Examples Of Democracy In America By Alexis De Tocqueville

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In his book Democracy in America, Alexis De ‘Tocqueville recounts his firsthand experience with the burgeoning democracy in America. Overall, his account views democracy as a positive development, but he is fearful of a hidden toll on freedom that democracy brings. Expanding on idea of a danger coming from majority factions commented on by Madison and Adams, Tocqueville adopts the term “tyranny of the majority” in expressing this new and unprecedented danger. Several decades later English Philosopher John Stuart Mill argued in support of a slightly different concept of tyranny of the majority in On Liberty. Both writers feared that with the growth of the majority, the minority would be pressed under foot and thus much expertise would be cast aside or repressed.…show more content…
He viewed equality of conditions as willed by providence; America was the harbinger of democracy and the same conditions he saw in America would come to Europe. This change came with a cost however; "tyranny leaves the body alone and goes straight for the soul." In essence, you are allowed to speak out, but once the majority has effectively made their decision this voice is drowned out and can even lead to punishment and isolation by the majority. Thus restrictions over liberty occurred in a way that they never had under the previous hierarchical social systems, the constraint was mental rather than physical. The cost is that many great contributions from the minority are lost; literary geniuses cannot exist without freedom of spirit. Tocqueville saw fixed, elite institutions such as the judiciary as a possible check on tyranny of the majority. He argued that lawyers are a “natural link between aristocracy and

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