Alexis De Tocqueville Quotes About Freedom, Tyranny, Slavery, Socialism, Individualism, Democracy & Philosophy! The French diplomat, political scientist, as well as historian Alexis de Tocqueville are well recognized for his works on democracy. In democratic nations, he was awestruck by the way people lived. He maintained that the French Revolution’s significance lay its ability to modernize and centralize the state. He was born in 1805 into a wealthy aristocratic family in Paris. Tocqueville studied law in Paris after graduating from college in Metz and was appointed a judge in Versailles.
At least for a short time, Tocqueville’s career was stopped when Louis-Philippe of France assumed power in 1830. It took Tocqueville and Beaumont nine months to journey throughout the country, seeing America’s prisons and many other exciting places. Tocqueville spent a week at the Eastern State Penitentiary in Pennsylvania, interviewing all the inmates there. It was during President Andrew Jackson’s visiting hours in Washington D.C. when he made the call.
In 1832, the group made their way back to France. As soon as they finished their paper, “The Penitentiary System of the United States and Its Application in France,” they published it. Tocqueville published “Democracy in America,” a wide-ranging study of American society and politics that he had worked on since 1828. Tocqueville returned to politics in 1839 as the second book of “Democracy in America” near publication, serving as a French delegate in the assembly. After the 1848 European revolutions, he briefly served as Louis Napoleon’s foreign minister until being expelled from politics again after he refused to support Louis Napoleon’s coup.
He started work on the history of modern France, the book published under the title “The Old Regime and the French Revolution” (1856). He ascribed the defeat of the French Revolution down to the parliamentarians’ unfamiliarity with the abstract principles of the Enlightenment. He died on April 16th, 1859.
Best Alexis De Tocqueville Quotes
- The American Republic will endure until the day Congress discovers that it can bribe the public with the public’s money.-Alexis De Tocqueville
- Americans are so enamored of equality, they would rather be equal in slavery than unequal in freedom.-Alexis De Tocqueville
- Nothing is more wonderful than the art of being free, but nothing is harder to learn how to use than freedom.-Alexis De Tocqueville
- Liberty cannot be established without morality, nor morality without faith.-Alexis De Tocqueville
- History is a gallery of pictures in which there are few originals and many copies.-Alexis De Tocqueville
- There are two things which a democratic people will always find very difficult – to begin a war and to end it.-Alexis De Tocqueville
Society is endangered not by the great profligacy of a few, but by the laxity of morals amongst all-Alexis De Tocqueville
- Society was cut in two: those who had nothing united in common envy; those who had anything united in common terror. -Alexis De Tocqueville
- The health of a democratic society may be measured by the quality of functions performed by private citizens.-Alexis De Tocqueville
- The happy and powerful do not go into exile, and there are no surer guarantees of equality among men than poverty and misfortune.-Alexis De Tocqueville
- The surface of American society is covered with a layer of democratic paint, but from time to time one can see the old aristocratic colours breaking through.-Alexis De Tocqueville
- A man’s admiration for absolute government is proportionate to the contempt he feels for those around him.-Alexis De Tocqueville
- The most perilous moment for a bad government is one when it seeks to mend its ways.-Alexis De Tocqueville
- The more alike men are, the weaker each feels in the face of all.-Alexis De Tocqueville
- Men will not accept truth at the hands of their enemies, and truth is seldom offered to them by their friends-Alexis De Tocqueville
- Despotism may govern without faith, but liberty cannot.-Alexis De Tocqueville
- There is no country in the world in which everything can be provided for by laws, or in which political institutions can prove a substitute for common sense and public morality.-Alexis De Tocqueville
- One of the commonest weaknesses of human intelligence is the wish to reconcile opposing principles and to purchase harmony at the expensive of logic.-Alexis De Tocqueville
- America is a land of wonders, in which everything is in constant motion and every change seems an improvement.-Alexis De Tocqueville
- Next to hating their enemies, men are most inclined to flatter them.-Alexis De Tocqueville
- Patriotism and religion are the only two motives in the world which can permanently direct the whole of a body politic to one end.-Alexis De Tocqueville
- I had rather mistrust my own capacity than God’s justice.-Alexis De Tocqueville
- No protracted war can fail to endanger the freedom of a democratic country.-Alexis De Tocqueville
- One’s love for despotism is in exact proportion to one’s contempt for one’s country.
- Town-meetings are to liberty what primary schools are to science;-Alexis De Tocqueville
- Nations, as well as men, almost always betray the most prominent features of their future destiny in their earliest years.-Alexis De Tocqueville
- When justice is more certain and more mild, is at the same time more efficacious.-Alexis De Tocqueville
- Slavery received, but the prejudice to which it has given birth remains stationary.-Alexis De Tocqueville
- No form or combination of social polity has yet been devised to make an energetic people out of a community of pusillanimous and enfeebled citizens.-Alexis De Tocqueville
- There is a natural prejudice which prompts men to despise whomsoever has been their inferior long after he is become their equal;-Alexis De Tocqueville