Skip to comments.Tocqueville: on Christianity in America, Islam in Algeria, & the "despotism" of an "all powerful government" when citizens "debase" their souls with "vulgar pleasures"
Posted on 08/02/2020 4:00:11 PM PDT by Perseverando
Alexis de Tocqueville was born JULY 29, 1805.
A French social scientist, he traveled the United States in 1831, and wrote a two-part work, Democracy in America (1835; 1840), which has been described as:
"the most comprehensive and penetrating analysis of the relationship between character and society in America that has ever been written."
In it, Tocqueville wrote:
"Upon my arrival in the United States the religious aspect of the country was the first thing that struck my attention;
and the longer I stayed there, the more I perceived the great political consequences resulting from this new state of things, to which I was unaccustomed.
In France I had almost always seen the spirit of religion and the spirit of freedom marching in opposite directions.
But in America I found they were intimately united and that they reigned in common over the same country ..."
Tocqueville wrote further:
"The Americans combine the notions of Christianity and of liberty so intimately in their minds, that it is impossible to make them conceive the one without the other;
and with them this conviction does not spring from that barren traditionary faith which seems to vegetate in the soul rather than to live ..."
"They brought with them ... a form of Christianity, which I cannot better describe, than by styling it a democratic and republican religion ...
From the earliest settlement of the emigrants, politics and religion contracted an alliance which has never been dissolved."
"Religion in America ... must be regarded as the foremost of the political institutions of that country; for if it does not impart a taste for freedom, it facilitates the use of it ...
This opinion is not peculiar to a class
(Excerpt) Read more at myemail.constantcontact.com ...
All Trump’s Fault!!!!
thanks, GREAT link. Tocqueville never seems to age; just as mind-blowing and subversive when I’m 59 as when I was 17.
The de Tocqueville no one knows:
He originated the concept of Tyranny of the Majority, of great interest with BLM.
He remarked that Americans have stifling uniformity of opinions, with dissent strongly forbidden.
There was an awful lot of European skepticism about the American Experiment; de Tocqueville's point was that the American experiment could work without the usual constraints imposed by the European monarchies because Americans, with their strong religious faith, policed themselves.
I think it's become clear that without the self-policing, this experiment simply doesn't work.
Very well done.
Disclaimer: Opinions posted on Free Republic are those of the individual posters and do not necessarily represent the opinion of Free Republic or its management. All materials posted herein are protected by copyright law and the exemption for fair use of copyrighted works.