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Democracy In America Alexis de Tocquevilles Views on Slavery, Race, Religion, Political Parties and


Alexis de Tocqueville's Views on Slavery, Race, Religion, Political Parties and Classes ... order, and on the other those who love liberty and legal equality. ... – PowerPoint PPT presentation

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Title: Democracy In America Alexis de Tocquevilles Views on Slavery, Race, Religion, Political Parties and

Democracy In America Alexis de Tocquevilles
Views on Slavery, Race, Religion, Political
Parties and Classes
  • Created By
  • James Hoy, Waid Lester, Jon Tatum, Seth Arnold

Man is not made for slavery that truth is
perhaps even better proved by the master than by
the slave.
Humanity and morality have often demanded,
sometimes perhaps with imprudence, the abolition
of slavery. Today it is a political necessity.
Man has never had the right to possess man, and
the fact of possession has always been and is
still unlawful.
-Alexis de Tocqueville
Economic Problems of Slavery
Ohio River Example
  • Ohio
  • Free state
  • Growing population
  • Booming business and economy
  • Kentucky
  • Slave state
  • Low population
  • Stagnant agrarian economy

Tocqueville believes that free states overall
have better economies
Thus slavery prevents the whites not only from
becoming opulent, but even from desiring to
become so.
Can The Races Coexist?
  • These two races are fastened to each other
    without intermingling and they are alike unable
    to separate entirely or to combine.
  • Even after slavery blacks and whites would never
    be able to mix and be on a completely equal level
  • Cornel West echoes this same thought in Democracy

  • Supports the views of Cornell West
  • West believed (and proved) that blacks were still
    discriminated after emancipation through problems
    like Jim Crow laws up until the Civil Rights
  • Tocqueville believed that blacks might be in an
    even worse position after emancipation because
    they would have a late start to social and
    economic freedom
  • Also, blacks would not have the luxury of
    wealth, knowledge, and arms that the whites did

Political Parties
Society is composed by great parties, it is only
agitated by minor ones it is torn by the former,
by the latter it is degraded and if the first
sometimes save it by a salutary perturbation, the
last invariably disturb it to no good end.
-Alexis de Tocqueville
Political Parties
Distinction from Factions
  • If interests are different on the most basic
    level, these are more appropriately called
    factions and are essentially separate nations
  • If the interests are based on an opinion of
    something that effects the entire country
    equally, then they can be called parties

A Necessary Evil
  • They allow for the fluidity of the state as times
  • To be effective, they are as their times dictate

Political Parties
Lesser vs Great
  • Appear in the turbulent times
  • Cling to principles not promise of gain
  • Tend to cause change
  • Tocqueville feels that these are the better
  • Appear in the calm times
  • Selfishness is prevalent in actions
  • Lack interest and faith from the public
  • Untruthful
  • Irresolute in action though Vehement in
  • This seems to be the case today As Cornell West

  • Constants
  • Conservatism vs. Liberalism
  • The dangerous parties are those that seek
    material gain
  • Note to De Tocqueville these groups constitute
    another Nation not political parties
  • Agitation is the cause of change in parties but
    this also requires a leader for example the
    growth of the Jacksonian Democrats
  • The use of media in its various forms

Religion and Morality
"Liberty cannot be established without morality,
nor morality without faith."
What has always struck me in my country,
especially of late years, has been to see ranged
on one side the men who value morality, religion,
and order, and on the other those who love
liberty and legal equality. To me this is as
extraordinary as it is deplorable for I am
convinced that all things which we thus separate
are indissolubly united in the eyes of God."
-Alexis de Tocqueville
Religion and Morality
  • Christianity- brought by settlers rejecting the
    popes authority. De Tocqueville describes it as
    both a democratic and republican religion. From
    this religion sprung a bond between politics and
    religion that has not been broken.
  • Catholicism- considered the enemy of democracy,
    however De Tocqueville finds it Favorable to
    equality of condition , because the same
    standards apply to everyone, social status and
    wealth are disregarded.
  • All religious views apply to both democratic and
    republican aspects.

Religion and Morality
  • De Tocqueville believed that it was very
    important for all members of society to profess a
    religion because it provided a common morality.
  • De Tocqueville believed that women were more
    directly influenced by religion, and also had a
    very important role of shaping children's view of
    politics through religion.
  • In Morality everything in America is certain and
    absolute, but in politics everything is up for
  • De Tocqueville expresses from the quote above
    that religion is the primary political
    institution, because it teaches people the best
    ways to use their freedom.

Religion and Morality
  • The reason for Religions strength in America, is
    the separation of church and state, religious
    leaders dont hold political office, and by doing
    this make religion independent of politics.
  • De Tocqueville believes that religion must remain
    apolitical, because the political sphere is
    always changing due to public opinion.

Classless Society and Equality
Aristocracy had made a chain of all the members
of the community, from the peasant to the king
democracy breaks that chain, and severs every
link of it.
As the United States was colonized by men
holding equal rank, there is as yet no natural
and permanent disagreement between the interests
of the different inhabitants.
In America, even more than in Europe, there is
only one society.
-Alexis de Tocqueville
Classless Society according to De Tocqueville and
  • It may be said generally, that on leaving the
    mother country the emigrants had, in general no
    notion of superiority one over another. -
    Democracy in America Alexis De Tocqueville
  • Our politicians have sacrificed their
    principles on the altar of special interests
    our corporate leaders have sacrificed their
    integrity on the altar of profits and our media
    watchdogs have sacrificed the voice of dissent on
    the altar of audience competition
    Democracy Matters Cornel West
  • There is no class in America in which the taste
    for intellectual pleasures is transmitted with
    hereditary fortune and leisure. - Democracy in
    America Alexis De Tocqueville
  • What immigrant characteristics and factors
    contributed to the creation of a classless
    society during colonial and post revolutionary
    war times?
  • Alexis de Tocqueville Democracy in America
  • Where does the power in todays society?
  • Cornel West Democracy Matters

Characteristics of the American Immigrant and
factors that contributed to the creation of a
classless society
  • Characteristics
  • Common Language differing languages can be a
    source of discrimination.
  • Religious Morality Puritan values taught modest
    living and humbleness, especially in New England.
  • Agricultural Population Hard working men of the
    lower and middle class. This was not a power
    seeking population.
  • Immigrant Mentality In general there was no
    notion of superiority over one another.
  • Factors
  • Creation of townships allowed for political
    participation by the public.
  • Lack of aristocracy Power did not rest in the
    hands of the few and wealthy, and allowed for the
    creation of townships.

Deterioration of a classless society in todays
  • Political
  • Corporate dominated political economy No
    concern for public interests or good.
  • Political Nihilism sacrifice of principles to
    gain or retain power. Eg. President
  • Social
  • Corruption Pursuit of profits at all costs both
    legally and illegally.
  • Decline in media professionalism watchdog
    duties have been sacrificed for audience
    competition. Given rise to the market driven
  • Wealth inequality intensifies class hostility