Democracy in America teaches people about the democratic process and the concept of pluralism. The film emphasizes the importance of citizen responsibility and encourages suspicion of ‘natural’ power. This leads to a ‘gestalt switch’ in the way people perceive power. Tocqueville also argues that democracy is akin to contingency in that the democratic process encourages citizens to keep a close eye on power. This is a good thing.
As Alexis de Tocqueville noted, “the people rule the political world of America.” In 1820, voting requirements were common but had started to disappear. Local and state offices were elected every year, and those who were entitled to vote showed up in large numbers. In fact, on one election day, seventy-five percent of American voters turned out. The book reflects the growing political consciousness of American society and is widely studied in universities and used by Presidents, Supreme Court Justices, and Congressmen today.
Democracy in America is an engrossing book, which captures the growth of a vibrant and open society. It emulates the dynamic growth of the American republic, and Tocqueville’s peripatetic across the young American republic expanded his horizons and changed his perception of democracy. In 1831, Tocqueville traveled to the United States with fellow Frenchman Gustave de Beaumont. The book was published in English in 1982.
The book is an excellent resource for high school teachers. This video course builds upon an established civics framework and covers the core skills, knowledge, and dispositions of citizens. Its host, Renee Poussaint, provides the audience with a wide range of information that will enrich the teaching of civics. It also includes print materials and Web sites. The book is a must-read for any history-conscious educator.
Tocqueville’s book Democracy in America began as an answer to the question of how democratic governments should be structured. Tocqueville’s introduction to American democracy reveals that Tocqueville had predicted a basic dilemma for American democracy: privileged Americans would try to restrict their social and political privileges. Their opponents, however, would organise to point out that such privileges are not natural and that they are an embarrassment to democracy.
In a book on American democracy, Tocqueville emphasized the importance of equality and argued that we should focus our attention on ‘equality’ rather than on ‘equality’ itself. While Tocqueville wasn’t concerned about contested concepts of equality, he was aware of Aristotle’s distinction between proportional and numerical equality. The book openly supported the latter view of equality. The book is still considered a classic of American history.
In a reading packet provided by the author, Tocqueville emphasizes the importance of human mind and its application to the democratic process. In a democratic society, the human mind is distributed, seemingly randomly, without regard to class, rank, or power. Tocqueville argues that this system is essential for democracy and spreads its passion for equality. This is the essence of the new American democracy. A new democratic society is never a stable one.