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Tocqueville Analyses Political Society Functioning Politics Essay

Info: 1202 words (5 pages) Essay
Published: 1st Jan 2015 in Politics

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The key cultural and economic factors in the Tocqueville’s work revolve around social equality and inequality. In his work Tocqueville tend to focus on equality in the society – the aristocratic which compromised equality and democracy which maximized equality. Tocqueville recognizes that in America several social forces have allowed people to remain free. Tocqueville talks about burgeoning democratic order and views democracy from the perspective of a detached social scientist. Tocqueville observes democracy as an equation that balances equality and liberty concern for the America society. He finds human to thirst for equality and the desire of the weak to bring the strong down the equal levels reducing men to favor parity in servitude to inequality in freedom.

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Tocqueville analyses political society functioning and several forms of political associations and has shed some light on the civil society. Similar to Marx and Hegel, Tocqueville demonstrates civil society as a sphere of civil affairs and private entrepreneurship. Justifiably, Tocqueville indicates that equality of social condition has bred civilian and political values which in turn determine the type of legislations to be passed. Tocqueville maintains with Aristotle and Montesquieu that the balances of possessions determine the poise of power. Distinctively positioned at the crossroads of American history; Tocqueville view on American democracy attempted to capture the very fundamental nature of American culture and values.


Greenberg indicates that within the structure of democratic capitalism in America, the government structure and the constitution have a vitally liberal backbone. The relationship between the government and an individual is through the constitution which read aloud the liberal values fundamentally woven into the rich history of America. The American constitution combined with the Bill of Rights holds the prevailing government accountable for all the actions and sets a finite limit on the power it exercises over a citizen.

America as a capitalist society uses wealth distribution and taxation way to control social equity. In keeping with classical liberalism, the society and the state can be viewed as an immense social contract. The central liberal principle that is served by the American constitution limits and separates governmental power. In n keeping with Greenberg argument, the characteristically liberal mistrust of majoritarian tyranny has been continued to the contemporary American politics through the constitution. Liberal concern with individual rights has principally been portrayed in the American customs by the Bill of Rights. Liberalism guarantees individual liberty like freedom of religion, speech and the universal rights of all the American citizens. The function of the Bill of Rights is protection of the American citizen from the abuse of power that might be committed by any part of the government. Individual freedom has been established as one of the hallmarks of liberalism especially for the America’s free-market economy; every American citizen is free to choose how they would like to use their income.

Generally, liberal principles supports that individuals should pursue their own best interest economically, this mutual pursuit of individual interest encourages improvement and innovation. In regard to the Greenberg argument, the analogy presents that the free market economics is similar to free market for policies and ideas and thus liberal democracy. Underlying the liberal approach to political and economic organization is the assertion that every individual possess equal rights to work, cast their votes and this creates an equal playing-ground in the electoral politics. Arguably, united nation as a country has strayed least from values of liberalism. American constitution is based on fundamental liberal principles protecting individuals and limiting appropriate powers of government.


In keeping with the works of Lipet, formulating a national identity the American nation presents a progressive and a virile society that has abundance of opportunity to all. Lipset’s work also depicts a society rich in corrupt affluence; a society with a rising laxity of values and morals, impropriety of taste and a broadening gap between the haves and have-nots. American policies and put by Lipset follows the principles that were set in the federalist. America sort thet nations must focus their interest in their foreign policies. Lipset indicates that one powerful step to American development is the weight of ancient tradition present in most of the states was initially not there. America grew not only as a new nation but also a new society with new set morals and values. However, religion can at some point be seen as a new conventional institution that has played a great role in America. All in all, in the first half a decade the religion defenders were greatly weakened with disestablishment of Anglican and the New England Congregationalist. Lipset draws a significant connection between democracy and income. In keeping with Lipset, economic development through increased income determine the type of class struggle allowing person in the lower strata to come up with more gradualist views in reference to political change.

Factors that seem to be Central in all arguments

All the arguments respond to the impact of political and social development of the U.S. to its governance. In keeping with the three arguments it is definite that America has a unique culture which has been developed for a long time. In is fundamental to understand that Tocqueville lays emphasis on liberty, individualism, laissez-faire and egalitarianism as the main driving forces for Democratic republic

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Do you agree which the idea that the United States is exceptional that the political system here developed in ways that make it very different from political systems in other countries.

The distinctive national attribute of the U.S. political and social culture distinguishes the nations from other nations. United States possesses an exceptional political system that is developed in ways that make them very different from political system. U.S. Political system has clearly been defined by elementary documents. The 1776 declaration of independence and the 1789 U.S constitution are the foundations of the United States federal government. In reference to Khan (2003), the declaration of independence institutes the U.S. as a political entity that is independent. The constitution on the other hand, formulates a basic structure of the U.S. federal government. In keeping with Tocqueville, the greatest advantage of the Americans is the fact the country reached to a state of democracy without enduring democratic revolution.

Supplementary readings

Khan, L. (2003). A theory of universal democracy: beyond the end of history. The Hague New York: Kluwer Law International.

Schleifer, J. (2012). The Chicago companion to Tocqueville’s Democracy in America. Chicago: The University of Chicago Press.


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