Essay about Alexis de Tocqueville: Democracy in America

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Democracy in America has been a guiding principle since the foundation of the country. Many over the years have commented on the structure and formation of democracy but more importantly the implementation and daily function within the democratic parameters that have been set. Alexis de Tocqueville was a French political thinker and historian born July 29, 1805. He is most famously known for his work Democracy in America. Democracy in America has been an evolving social and economic reform, and has continually changed since it’s founding. America’s form of representative democracy came as a result of the transgressions Britain committed against their colonies. Several hundred years of salutary neglect served well for those living an …show more content…
As a result Tocqueville was astonished at the working of democratic processes yet, was still skeptical of the possibilities the free market economy could lead to. Nations differ in language, faith, culture, traditions and views. Thus, each government created distinctly different and formulated to best govern its constituents. This causes nations to function in a variety of ways as well as have varying public opinion. The differences represented in America at the time Tocqueville visited and wrote his book were what shaped his opinion of the differences between the United States and other countries. The first major difference Tocqueville observed upon arriving in America is the role faith played amongst the inhabitants especially Christianity.
Tocqueville writes in Democracy in America, “here is no country in the whole world in which the Christian religion retains a greater influence over the souls of men than in America, and there can be no greater proof of its utility” (de Tocqueville). The principle of faith taught those in America morals and beliefs in which guided their actions for hard work and prosperity. These principles led to an ultimate betterment for the community and nation as a whole or ‘utility’. Utilitarianism is the greatest good for the most people. Thus, this utilitarian aspect of America is what brought the country together under the revolution, the formation of the constitution and the continual construction of