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Democracy In America Volume 2 of 2 - Alexis de Toqueville - zip

Democracy In America
Alexis De Tocqueville
Translator - Henry Reeve

Book Two

Influence Of Democracy On Progress Of Opinion In US

De Tocqueville's Preface To The Second Part

The Americans live in a democratic state of society, which
has naturally suggested to them certain laws and a certain
political character. This same state of society has, moreover,
engendered amongst them a multitude of feelings and opinions
which were unknown amongst the elder aristocratic communities of
Europe: it has destroyed or modified all the relations which
before existed, and established others of a novel kind. The
aspect of civil society has been no less affected by these
changes than that of the political world. The former subject has
been treated of in the work on the Democracy of America, which I
published five years ago; to examine the latter is the object of
the present book; but these two parts complete each other, and
form one and the same work.

I must at once warn the reader against an error which would
be extremely prejudicial to me. When he finds that I attribute
so many different consequences to the principle of equality, he
may thence infer that I consider that principle to be the sole
cause of all that takes place in the present age: but this would
be to impute to me a very narrow view. A multitude of opinions,
feelings, and propensities are now in existence, which owe their
origin to circumstances unconnected with or even contrary to the
principle of equality. Thus if I were to select the United
States as an example, I could easily prove that the nature of the
country, the origin of its inhabitants, the religion of its
founders, their acquired knowledge, and their former habits, have
exercised, and still exercise, independently of democracy, a vast
influence upon the thoughts and feelings of that people.
Different causes, but no less distinct from the circumstance of
the equality of conditions, might be traced in Europe, and would
explain a great portion of the occurrences taking place amongst

I acknowledge the existence of all these different causes,
and their power, but my subject does not lead me to treat of
them. I have not undertaken to unfold the reason of all our
inclinations and all our notions: my only object is to show in...
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