Alexis de Tocqueville


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Alexis-Charles-Henri Clérel de Tocqueville (29 July 1805 – 16 April 1859) was a French political thinker and historian best known for his Democracy in America (appearing in two volumes: 1835 and 1840) and The Old Regime and the Revolution (1856). In both of these works, he analysed the rising living standards and social conditions of individuals and their relationship to the market and state in ... more »

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  • ''Grant me thirty years of equal division of inheritances and a free press, and I will provide you with a republic.''
    Alexis de Tocqueville (1805-1859), French social philosopher. "About Virtue in Republics," vol. 2, appendix 5, Democracy in America (1840).
  • What is most important for democracy is not that great fortunes should not exist, but that great fortunes should not remain in the same hands. In that way there are rich men, but they do not form a cl...
    Alexis de Tocqueville (1805-1859), French social philosopher. "Democracy," vol. 2, appendix 5, Democracy in America (1840).
  • ''In America the majority raises formidable barriers around the liberty of opinion; within these barriers an author may write what he pleases, but woe to him if he goes beyond them.''
    Alexis de Tocqueville (1805-1859), French social philosopher. Democracy in America, vol. 1, ch. 15 (1835).
  • ''The main business of religions is to purify, control, and restrain that excessive and exclusive taste for well-being which men acquire in times of equality.''
    Alexis de Tocqueville (1805-1859), French social philosopher. Democracy in America, vol. 2, pt. 1, ch. 5 (1840).
  • ''In other words, a democratic government is the only one in which those who vote for a tax can escape the obligation to pay it.''
    Alexis de Tocqueville (1805-1859), French social philosopher. Democracy in America, vol. 1, pt. 2, ch. 5 (1840).
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