Alexis de Tocqueville (Historian)

#31916 Alexis de Tocqueville

As one digs deeper into the national character of the Americans, one sees that they have sought the value of everything in this world only in the answer to this single question: how much money will it bring in? .

Alexis de Tocqueville Quotes about money
#31917 Alexis de Tocqueville

Les meilleures lois ne peuvent faire marcher une constitution en d .

Alexis de Tocqueville
#31918 Alexis de Tocqueville

So many of my thoughts and feelings are shared by the English that England has turned into a second native land of the mind for me. .

Alexis de Tocqueville Quotes about mind
#31919 Alexis de Tocqueville

The French want no-one to be their superior. The English want inferiors. The Frenchman constantly raises his eyes above him with anxiety. The Englishman lowers his beneath him with satisfaction. .

Alexis de Tocqueville Quotes about action
#31921 Alexis de Tocqueville

I studied thea great deal. I came away from that study with the conviction there have been few religions in the world as deadly to men as that of . So far as I can see, it is the principal cause of the decadence so visible today in the Muslim world and, though less absurd than the polytheism of old, its social and political tendencies are in my opinion to be feared, and I therefore regard it as a form of decadence rather than a form of progress in relation to paganism itself. .

Alexis de Tocqueville Quotes about religion
#31922 Alexis de Tocqueville

We are sleeping on a volcano... A wind of revolution blows, the storm is on the horizon. .

Alexis de Tocqueville Quotes about evolution
#31923 Alexis de Tocqueville

Socialism is a new form of slavery. .

Alexis de Tocqueville Quotes about slavery
#31924 Alexis de Tocqueville

As for me, I am deeply a democrat; this is why I am in no way a socialist. Democracy and socialism cannot go together. You can't have it both ways. .

Alexis de Tocqueville Quotes about socialism
#31925 Alexis de Tocqueville

La d .

Alexis de Tocqueville
#31926 Alexis de Tocqueville

It is almost never when a state of things is the most detestable that it is smashed, but when, beginning to improve, it permits men to breathe, to reflect, to communicate their thoughts with each other, and to gauge by what they already have the extent of their rights and their grievances. The weight, although less heavy, seems then all the more unbearable. .

Alexis de Tocqueville Quotes about men
#31927 Alexis de Tocqueville

History, it is easily perceived, is a picture-gallery containing a host of copies and very few originals. .

Alexis de Tocqueville Quotes about story
#31928 Alexis de Tocqueville

The French are ... the most brilliant and the most dangerous nation of Europe, and the one that is surest to inspire admiration, hatred, terror, or pity, but never indifference. .

Alexis de Tocqueville Quotes about anger
#31929 Alexis de Tocqueville

He who seeks freedom for anything but freedom's self is made to be a slave. .

Alexis de Tocqueville Quotes about freedom
#31930 Alexis de Tocqueville

The regime which is destroyed by a revolution is almost always an improvement on its immediate predecessor, and experience teaches that the most critical moment for bad governments is the one which witnesses their first steps toward reform. .

Alexis de Tocqueville Quotes about war
#31931 Alexis de Tocqueville

The last thing abandoned by a party is its phraseology, because among political parties, as elsewhere, the vulgar make the language, and the vulgar abandon more easily the ideas that have been instilled into it than the words that it has learnt. .

Alexis de Tocqueville Quotes about art
#31932 Alexis de Tocqueville

In a revolution, as in a novel, the most difficult part to invent is the end. .

Alexis de Tocqueville Quotes about art
#31933 Alexis de Tocqueville

I have come across men of letters who have written history without taking part in public affairs, and politicians who have concerned themselves with producing events without thinking about them. I have observed that the first are always inclined to find general causes whereas the second, living in the midst of disconnected daily facts, are prone to imagine that everything is attributable to particular incidents, and that the wires they pull are the same as those that move the world. It is to be presumed that both are equally deceived. .

Alexis de Tocqueville Quotes about art
#31934 Alexis de Tocqueville

For the first time in sixty years, the priests, the old aristocracy and the people met in a common sentiment—a feeling of revenge, it is true, and not of affection ; but even that is a great thing in politics, where a community of hatred is almost always the foundation of friendships. Alternative translation: In politics... shared hatreds are almost always the basis of friendships. .

Alexis de Tocqueville Quotes about friendship
#31936 Alexis de Tocqueville

God does not need to speak for himself in order for us to discover definitive signs of his will; it is enough to examine the normal course of nature and the consistent tendency of events. I know without needing to hear the voice of the Creator that the stars trace out in space the orbits which his hand has drawn. .

Alexis de Tocqueville Quotes about nature
#31937 Alexis de Tocqueville

If a [democratic] society displays less brilliance than an aristocracy, there will also be less wretchedness; pleasures will be less outrageous and wellbeing will be shared by all; the sciences will be on a smaller scale but ignorance will be less common; opinions will be less vigorous and habits gentler; you will notice more vices and fewer crimes. .

Alexis de Tocqueville Quotes about science
#31938 Alexis de Tocqueville

By the side of these religious men I discern others whose looks are turned to the earth more than to Heaven; they are the partisans of liberty, not only as the source of the noblest virtues, but more especially as the root of all solid advantages; and they sincerely desire to extend its sway, and to impart its blessings to mankind. It is natural that they should hasten to invoke the assistance of religion, for they must know that liberty cannot be established without morality, nor morality without faith; but they have seen religion in the ranks of their adversaries, and they inquire no further; some of them attack it openly, and the remainder are afraid to defend it. .

Alexis de Tocqueville Quotes about faith
#31939 Alexis de Tocqueville

The Indian knew how to live without wants, to suffer without complaint, and to die singing. .

Alexis de Tocqueville Quotes about sin
#31940 Alexis de Tocqueville

Step back in time; look closely at the child in the very arms of his mother; see the external world reflected for the first time in the yet unclear mirror of his understanding; study the first examples which strike his eyes; listen to the first words which arouse within him the slumbering power of thought; watch the first struggles which he has to undergo; only then will you comprehend the source of his prejudices, the habits, and the passions which are to rule his life. The entire man, so to speak, comes fully formed in the wrappings of his cradle. .

Alexis de Tocqueville Quotes about life
#31941 Alexis de Tocqueville

The surface of American society is covered with a layer of democratic paint, but from time to time one can see the old aristocratic colours breaking through. .

Alexis de Tocqueville Quotes about time
#31942 Alexis de Tocqueville

I know of no country, indeed, where the love of money has taken stronger hold on the affections of men, and where the profounder contempt is expressed for the theory of the permanent equality of property. .

Alexis de Tocqueville Quotes about love
#31943 Alexis de Tocqueville

There is in fact a manly and legitimate passion for equality that spurs all men to wish to be strong and esteemed. This passion tends to elevate the lesser to the rank of the greater. But one also finds in the human heart a depraved taste for equality, which impels the weak to want to bring the strong down to their level, and which reduces men to preferring equality in servitude to inequality in freedom. .

Alexis de Tocqueville Quotes about freedom
#31944 Alexis de Tocqueville

Furthermore, when citizens are all almost equal, it becomes difficult for them to defend their independence against the aggressions of power. .

Alexis de Tocqueville Quotes about power
#31945 Alexis de Tocqueville

"The will of the nation" is one of those expressions which have been most profusely abused by the wily and the despotic of every age. .

Alexis de Tocqueville Quotes about age
#31946 Alexis de Tocqueville

The people reign over the American political world as God rules over the universe. It is the cause and the end of all things; everything rises out of it and is absorbed back into it. .

Alexis de Tocqueville Quotes about people
#31947 Alexis de Tocqueville

With much care and skill power has been broken into fragments in the American township, so that the maximum possible number of people have some concern with public affairs. .

Alexis de Tocqueville Quotes about people
#31948 Alexis de Tocqueville

The New Englander is attached to his township because it is strong and independent; he has an interest in it because he shares in its management; he loves it because he has no reason to complain of his lot; he invests his ambition and his future in it; in the restricted sphere within his scope, he learns to rule society; he gets to know those formalities without which freedom can advance only through revolutions, and becoming imbued with their spirit, develops a taste for order, understands the harmony of powers, and in the end accumulates clear, practical ideas about the nature of his duties and the extent of his rights. .

Alexis de Tocqueville Quotes about love
#31949 Alexis de Tocqueville

Useful undertakings which require sustained attention and vigorous precision in order to succeed often end up by being abandoned, for, in America, as elsewhere, the people move forward by sudden impulses and short-lived efforts. .

Alexis de Tocqueville Quotes about war
#31950 Alexis de Tocqueville

In order to enjoy the inestimable benefits that the liberty of the press ensures, it is necessary to submit to the inevitable evils it creates .

Alexis de Tocqueville Quotes about joy
#31951 Alexis de Tocqueville

The power of the periodical press is second only to that of the people. .

Alexis de Tocqueville Quotes about people
#31952 Alexis de Tocqueville

In countries where associations are free, secret societies are unknown. In America there are factions, but no conspiracies. .

Alexis de Tocqueville Quotes about action
#31953 Alexis de Tocqueville

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 Quotes about men
#31954 Alexis de Tocqueville

In America, conscription is unknown; men are enlisted for payment. Compulsory recruitment is so alien to the ideas and so foreign to the customs of the people of the United States that I doubt whether they would ever dare to introduce it into their law. .

Alexis de Tocqueville Quotes about people
#31955 Alexis de Tocqueville

The greatness of America lies not in being more enlightened than any other nation, but rather in her ability to repair her faults. .

Alexis de Tocqueville Quotes about light
#31956 Alexis de Tocqueville

In the United States, except for slaves, servants and the destitute fed by townships, everyone has the vote and this is an indirect contributor to law-making. Anyone wishing to attack the law is thus reduced to adopting one of two obvious courses: they must either change the nation's opinion or trample its wishes under foot. .

Alexis de Tocqueville Quotes about change
#31957 Alexis de Tocqueville

An American cannot converse, but he can discuss, and his talk falls into a dissertation. He speaks to you as if he was addressing a meeting; and if he should chance to become warm in the discussion, he will say "Gentlemen" to the person with whom he is conversing. .

Alexis de Tocqueville Quotes about war
#31958 Alexis de Tocqueville

I know of no country in which there is so little independence of mind and real freedom of discussion as in America. .

Alexis de Tocqueville Quotes about freedom
#31959 Alexis de Tocqueville

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 Quotes about liberty
#31960 Alexis de Tocqueville

Laws are always unstable unless they are founded on the manners of a nation; and manners are the only durable and resisting power in a people. .

Alexis de Tocqueville Quotes about people
#31961 Alexis de Tocqueville

In cities men cannot be prevented from concerting together, and from awakening a mutual excitement which prompts sudden and passionate resolutions. Cities may be looked upon as large assemblies, of which all the inhabitants are members; their populace exercises a prodigious influence upon the magistrates, and frequently executes its own wishes without their intervention. .

Alexis de Tocqueville Quotes about passion
#31962 Alexis de Tocqueville

If it be of the highest importance to man, as an individual, that his religion should be true, the case of society is not the same. Society has no future life to hope for or to fear; and provided the citizens profess a religion, the peculiar tenets of that religion are of very little importance to its interests. .

Alexis de Tocqueville Quotes about life
#31963 Alexis de Tocqueville

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. .

Alexis de Tocqueville Quotes about faith
#31964 Alexis de Tocqueville

Despotism may govern without faith, but liberty cannot. How is it possible that society should escape destruction if the moral tie is not strengthened in proportion as the political tie is relaxed? And what can be done with a people who are their own masters if they are not submissive to the Deity? .

Alexis de Tocqueville Quotes about faith
#31965 Alexis de Tocqueville

They all attributed the peaceful dominion of religion in their country mainly to the separation of church and state. I do not hesitate to affirm that during my stay in America I did not meet a single individual, of the clergy or the laity, who was not of the same opinion on this point. .

Alexis de Tocqueville Quotes about religion
#31966 Alexis de Tocqueville

The Americans never use the word peasant, because they have no idea of the class which that term denotes; the ignorance of more remote ages, the simplicity of rural life, and the rusticity of the villager have not been preserved among them; and they are alike unacquainted with the virtues, the vices, the coarse habits, and the simple graces of an early stage of civilization. .

Alexis de Tocqueville Quotes about life
#31970 Alexis de Tocqueville

No natural boundary seems to be set to the efforts of man; and what is not yet done is only what he has not yet attempted to do. Variant: What is not yet done is only what we have not yet attempted to do. .

Alexis de Tocqueville Quotes about man

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