Wednesday, November 04, 2015

Tocqueville Alexis De (1805-1859)

Tocqueville Alexis De, French political thinker, historian and statesman, was born in Verneil, France, to an aristocratic family that had narrowly escaped the guillotine during the French revolution.  He could trace his lineage back to the Normans who fought at the Battle of Hastings.

Tocqueville Alexis De was a leading abolitionist during the July Monarchy (1830-1848) of King Louis-Philippe. He is widely known for his classic study of the culture and politics of the United States, Democracy in America (1835-1840) the first analysis of American government written by a foreigner.

He studied law in Paris and served briefly as a junior magistrate at Versailles. In 1831 he accepted a commission to travel to the United States ostensibly to study the American penal system.

Throughout these travels, Tocqueville took extensive notes and observations that he would use later in his writing.

Tocqueville served in France’s Chamber of Deputies from 1839 to 1851 where he advocated government decentralization and the establishment of an independent judiciary.

He served as a foreign minister under Louis Napoleon Bonaparte for five months in 1849.

He spent his last year writing a massive history of France designed to return the French to the ideas of liberty and equality that were the core of the French Revolution.

From 1850 to 1851 he wrote Reflections of the Revolution of 1848. He completed the first volume, The Old Regime and the French Revolution (1856), before succumbing to tuberculosis in 1859.
Tocqueville Alexis De (1805-1859)

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