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In the midst of the apparent diversity of human affairs, a certain number of primary facts may be discovered, from which all others are derived. -- Alexis De Tocqueville
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I am of opinion that a central administration enervates the nations in which it exists by incessantly diminishing their public spirit. -- Alexis De Tocqueville
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To be a government of "liberty regulated by law," with such results in the development of strength, in population, wealth, and military and commercial power, as no age had ever witnessed. -- Alexis De Tocqueville
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[N]ow that I am drawing to the close of this work, in which I have spoken of so many important things done by the Americans, to what the singular prosperity and growing strength of that people ought mainly to be attributed, I should reply: To the superiority of their women. -- Alexis De Tocqueville
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Men living in democratic times have many passions, but most of their passions either end in the love of riches, or proceed from it. -- Alexis De Tocqueville
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Town-meetings are to liberty what primary schools are to science; -- Alexis De Tocqueville
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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
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The province of Texas is still part of the Mexican dominions, but it will soon contain no Mexicans; the same thing has occurred whenever the Anglo-Americans have come into contact with populations of a different origin. -- Alexis De Tocqueville
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A great democratic revolution is taking place in our midst. -- Alexis De Tocqueville
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There is hardly a pioneer's hut which does not contain a few odd volumes of Shakespeare. I remember reading the feudal drama of Henry V for the first time in a log cabin. -- Alexis De Tocqueville
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A government which should have no other means of exacting obedience than open war must be very near its ruin, for one of two alternatives would then probably occur: -- Alexis De Tocqueville
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Nothing seems at first sight less important than the outward form of human actions, yet there is nothing upon which men set more store: they grow used to everything except to living in a society which has not their own manners. -- Alexis De Tocqueville
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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
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But in the course of thirty years a great change took place, and the North refused to perpetuate what had become the "peculiar institution" of the South, especially as it gave the South a species of aristocratic preponderance. -- Alexis De Tocqueville
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Men cannot abandon their religious faith without a kind of aberration of intellect and a sort of violent distortion of their true nature; they are invincibly brought back to more pious sentiments. Unbelief is an accident, and faith is the only permanent state of mankind. -- Alexis De Tocqueville
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History, it is easily perceived, is a picture-gallery containing a host of copies and very few originals. -- Alexis De Tocqueville
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Consequently, in the United States the law favors those classes which are most interested in evading it elsewhere. -- Alexis De Tocqueville
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For a taste for variety is one of the characteristic passions of democracy. -- Alexis De Tocqueville
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There is a natural prejudice which prompts men to despise whomsoever has been their inferior long after he is become their equal; -- Alexis De Tocqueville
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To get the inestimable good that freedom of the press assures one must know how to submit to the inevitable evil it gives rise to. -- Alexis De Tocqueville
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When an American asks for the cooperation of his fellow citizens, it is seldom refused; and I have often seen it afforded spontaneously and with great good will. -- Alexis De Tocqueville
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Can it be believed that the democracy which overthrew the feudal system and vanquished kings will retreat before tradesmen and capitalists? -- Alexis De Tocqueville
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I do not know if the people of the United States would vote for superior men if they ran for office, but there can be no doubt that such men do not run. -- Alexis De Tocqueville
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Sixty years is too brief a compass for man's imagination. The incomplete joys of this world can never satisfy his heart. -- Alexis De Tocqueville
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There is one universal law that has been formed, or at least adoptedby the majority of mankind. That law is justice. Justice forms the cornerstone of each nation's law. -- Alexis De Tocqueville
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He who seeks freedom for anything but freedom's self is made to be a slave. -- Alexis De Tocqueville
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One's love for despotism is in exact proportion to one's contempt for one's country. -- Alexis De Tocqueville
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I know of no other country where love of money has such a grip on men's hearts or where stronger scorn is expressed for the theory of permanent equality of property -- Alexis De Tocqueville
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Rulers who destroy men's freedom commonly begin by trying to retain its forms ... They cherish the illusion that they can combine the prerogatives of absolute power with the moral authority that comes from popular assent. -- Alexis De Tocqueville
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The American Republic will endure until the day Congress discovers that it can bribe the public with the public's money. -- Alexis De Tocqueville
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It's not an endlessly expanding list of rights - the 'right' to education, the 'right' to health care, the 'right' to food and housing. That's not freedom, that's dependency. Those aren't rights, those are the rations of slavery - hay and a barn for human cattle. -- Alexis De Tocqueville
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When the reality of power has been surrendered, it's playing a dangerous game to seek to retain the appearance of it; the external aspect of vigor can sometimes support a debilitated body, but most often it manages to deal it the final blow. -- Alexis De Tocqueville
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The States in which the citizens have enjoyed their rights longest are those in which they make the best use of them. -- Alexis De Tocqueville
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European Christianity has allowed itself to be intimately united with the powers of this world. Now that these powers are falling, it is as if it were buried under their ruins. -- Alexis De Tocqueville
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Jefferson went still further, and he introduced a maxim into the policy of the Union, which affirms that the Americans ought never to solicit any privileges from foreign nations, in order not to be obliged to grant similar privileges themselves. -- Alexis De Tocqueville
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In reality it is far less prejudicial to witness the immorality of the great than to witness that immorality which leads to greatness. -- Alexis De Tocqueville
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The French constitute the most brilliant and the most dangerous nation in Europe and the best qualified in turn to become an object of admiration, hatred, pity or terror but never indifference. -- Alexis De Tocqueville
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As the past has ceased to throw its light upon the future, the mind of man wanders in obscurity. -- Alexis De Tocqueville
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The main business of religions is to purify, control, and restrain that excessive and exclusive taste for well-being which men acquire in times of equality. -- Alexis De Tocqueville
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Freedom sees in religion the companion of its struggles and its triumphs, the cradle of its infancy, the divine source of its rights. It considers religion as the safeguard of mores; and mores as the guarantee of laws and the pledge of its duration. -- Alexis De Tocqueville
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The aspect of American society is animated, because men and things are always changing; but it is monotonous, because all the changes are alike. -- Alexis De Tocqueville
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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
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There are two things which a democratic people will always find very difficult - to begin a war and to end it. -- Alexis De Tocqueville
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One of the most ordinary weaknesses of the human intellect is to seek to reconcile contrary principles, and to purchase peace at the expense of logic. -- Alexis De Tocqueville
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Suppose, for instance, that the President of the United States has committed the crime of high treason; the House of Representatives impeaches him, and the Senate degrades him; he must then be tried by a jury, which alone can deprive him of his liberty or his life. -- Alexis De Tocqueville
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On close inspection, we shall find that religion, and not fear, has ever been the cause of the long-lived prosperity of an absolute government. -- Alexis De Tocqueville
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In the principle of equality I very clearly discern two tendencies; one leading the mind of every man to untried thoughts, the other prohibiting him from thinking at all. -- Alexis De Tocqueville
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We can state with conviction, therefore, that a man's support for absolute government is in direct proportion to the contempt he feels for his country. -- Alexis De Tocqueville
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Literature became an arsenal where the poorest and the weakest could always find weapons to their hand. -- Alexis De Tocqueville
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All around you everything is on the move, -- Alexis De Tocqueville
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The greatest difficulty in antiquity with that of altering the law; among the moderns, it is that of altering the manners. -- Alexis De Tocqueville
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They took over from the old order not only most of its customs, conventions, and modes of thought, but even those ideas which prompted our revolutionaries to destroy it; that, in fact, though nothing was further from their intentions, they used the debris of the old order for building up the new. -- Alexis De Tocqueville
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The best laws cannot make a constitution work in spite of morals; morals can turn the worst laws to advantage. That is a commonplace truth, but one to which my studies are always bringing me back. It is the central point in my conception. I see it at the end of all my reflections. -- Alexis De Tocqueville
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It would seem that if despotism were to be established among the democratic nations of our days, it might assume a different character; it would be more extensive and more mild; it would degrade men without tormenting them. -- Alexis De Tocqueville
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There is no philosopher in the world so great but he believes a million things on the faith of other people and accepts a great many more truths than he demonstrates. -- Alexis De Tocqueville
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Men will not accept truth at the hands of their enemies, and truth is seldom offered to them by their friends -- Alexis De Tocqueville
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What is called family pride is often founded on the illusion of self-love. A man wishes to perpetuate and immortalize himself. -- Alexis De Tocqueville
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The only authors whom I acknowledge as American are the journalists. They, indeed, are not great writers, but they speak the language of their countrymen, and make themselves heard by them. -- Alexis De Tocqueville
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The Americans live in a democratic state of society, which has naturally suggested to them certain laws and a certain political character. This -- Alexis De Tocqueville
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It is from the midst of this putrid sewer that the greatest river of human industry springs up and carries fertility to the whole world. From this foul drain pure gold flows forth. -- Alexis De Tocqueville
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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
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The revolution of the United States was the result of a mature and dignified taste for freedom, and not of a vague or ill-defined craving for independence. -- Alexis De Tocqueville
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He who has set his heart exclusively upon the pursuit of worldly welfare is always i a hurry, for he has but a limited time at his disposal to reach, to grasp, and to enjoy it. -- Alexis De Tocqueville
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The more I view the independence of the press in its principal effects, the more I convince myself that among the moderns the independence of the press is the capital and so to speak the constitutive element of freedom. -- Alexis De Tocqueville
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A certain degree of power must be granted to public officers, for they would be of no use without it. But the ostensible semblance of authority is by no means indispensable to the conduct of affairs, and it is needlessly offensive to the susceptibility of the public. -- Alexis De Tocqueville
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Nothing conceivable is so petty, so insipid, so crowded with paltry interests, in one word, so anti-poetic, as the life of a man in the United States. -- Alexis De Tocqueville
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In democratic countries as well as elsewhere most of the branches of productive industry are carried on at a small cost by men little removed by their wealth or education above the level of those whom they employ. -- Alexis De Tocqueville
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The Indians had only the two alternatives of war or civilization; in other words, they must either have destroyed the Europeans or become their equals. -- Alexis De Tocqueville
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I do not find fault with equality for drawing men into the pursuit of forbidden pleasures, but for absorbing them entirely in the search for the pleasures that are permitted. -- Alexis De Tocqueville
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It is easy to see that, even in the freedom of early youth, an American girl never quite loses control of herself; she enjoys all permitted pleasures without losing her head about any of them, and her reason never lets the reins go, though it may often seem to let them flap. -- Alexis De Tocqueville
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The language in which thought is embodied is the mere carcass of the thought, and not the idea itself; tribunals may condemn the form, but the sense and spirit of the work is too subtle for their authority. -- Alexis De Tocqueville
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Remember that life is neither pain nor pleasure; it is serious business, to be entered upon with courage and in a spirit of self-sacrifice. -- Alexis De Tocqueville
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He was as great as a man can be without morality. -- Alexis De Tocqueville
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What is understood by republican government in the United States is the slow and quiet action of society upon itself. -- Alexis De Tocqueville
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I had rather mistrust my own capacity than God's justice. -- Alexis De Tocqueville
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A man's admiration for absolute government is proportionate to the contempt he feels for those around him. -- Alexis De Tocqueville
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Among a democratic people, where there is no hereditary wealth, every man works to earn a living, or is born of parents who have worked. The notion of labor is therefore presented to the mind, on every side, as the necessary, natural, and honest condition. -- Alexis De Tocqueville
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Generally speaking, only simple conceptions can grip the mind of a nation. An idea that is clear and precise even though false will always have greater power in the world than an idea that is true but complex. -- Alexis De Tocqueville
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Despotism may govern without faith, but liberty cannot. -- Alexis De Tocqueville
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The advantage of democracy is not, as has been sometimes asserted, that it protects the interests of the whole community, but simply that it protects those of the majority. -- Alexis De Tocqueville
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Absolute excellence is rarely to be found in any legislation. -- Alexis De Tocqueville
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The Revolution in the United States was produced by a mature and thoughtful taste for liberty, and not by a vague and undefined instinct for independence. -- Alexis De Tocqueville
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If the maladministration of the democracy ever brings about a revolutionary crisis, and if monarchical institutions ever become practicable in the United States, the truth of what I advance will become obvious. -- Alexis De Tocqueville
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The American republics have no standing armies to intimidate a discontented minority; but as no minority has as yet been reduced to declare open war, the necessity of an army has not been felt. -- Alexis De Tocqueville
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America is great because she is good. If America ceases to be good, America will cease to be great. -- Alexis De Tocqueville
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The prestige of royal power has evaporated, but the majesty of the law has failed to take its place. People nowadays despise authority yet still fear it, and fear extracts from them more than they previously gave out of respect and love. -- Alexis De Tocqueville
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The pursuit of wealth generally diverts men of great talents and of great passions from the pursuit of power, and it very frequently happens that a man does not undertake to direct the fortune of the State until he has discovered his incompetence to conduct his own affairs. -- Alexis De Tocqueville
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Two things in America are astonishing: the changeableness of most human behavior and the strange stability of certain principles. Men are constantly on the move, but the spirit of humanity seems almost unmoved. -- Alexis De Tocqueville
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No state of society or laws can render men so much alike but that education, fortune, and tastes will interpose some differences between them; and though different men may sometimes find it their interest to combine for the same purposes, they will never make it their pleasure. -- Alexis De Tocqueville
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[Patriotism] is in itself a kind of religion: it does not reason, but it acts from the impulse of faith and sentiment. -- Alexis De Tocqueville
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A nation cannot long remain strong when every man belonging to it is individually weak -- Alexis De Tocqueville
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Nothing is more striking to an European traveller in the United States than the absence of what we term the Government, or the Administration. -- Alexis De Tocqueville
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The debates of that great assembly are frequently vague and perplexed, seeming to be dragged rather than to march, to the intended goal. Something of this sort must, I think, always happen in public democratic assemblies. -- Alexis De Tocqueville
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Nothing is more annoying in the ordinary intercourse of life than this irritable patriotism of the Americans. A foreigner will gladly agree to praise much in their country, but he would like to be allowed to criticize something, and that he is absolutely refused. -- Alexis De Tocqueville
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The Americans make associations to give entertainment, to found seminaries, to build inns, to construct churches, to diffuse books, to send missionaries to the antipodes; in this manner, they found hospitals, prisons and schools. -- Alexis De Tocqueville
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Democratic institutions strongly tend to promote the feeling of envy. -- Alexis De Tocqueville
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You may be sure that if you succeed in bringing your audience into the presence of something that affects them, they will not care by what road you brought them there; and they will never reproach you for having excited their emotions in spite of dramatic rules. -- Alexis De Tocqueville
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There is hardly a congressman prepared to go home until he has at least one speech printed and sent to his constituents, and he won't let anybody interrupt his harangue until he has made all his useful suggestions about the 24 states of the Union, and especially the district he represents. -- Alexis De Tocqueville
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In democratic countries, however opulent a man is supposed to be, he is almost always discontented with his fortune, because he finds that he is less rich than his father was, and he fears that his sons will be less rich than himself. -- Alexis De Tocqueville
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Everybody feels the evil, but no one has courage or energy enough to seek the cure -- Alexis De Tocqueville
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One of the happiest consequences of the absence of government ... is the development of individual strength that inevitably follows. -- Alexis De Tocqueville
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To mimic virtue is of every age; but the hypocrisy of luxury belongs more particularly to the ages of democracy. -- Alexis De Tocqueville
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[R]eligion cannot share the material strength of the rulers without being burdened with some of the animosity roused against them. -- Alexis De Tocqueville
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Durability is one of the chief elements of strength. Nothing is either loved or feared but that which is likely to endure. -- Alexis De Tocqueville
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When fortune has been abolished, when every profession is open to everyone, an ambitious man may think it is easy to launch himself on a great career and feel that he has been called to no common destiny. But this is a delusion which experience quickly corrects. -- Alexis De Tocqueville
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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
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Evils which are patiently endured when they seem inevitable become intolerable once the idea of escape from them is suggested. -- Alexis De Tocqueville
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Democracy does not create strong ties between people. But it does make living together easier. -- Alexis De Tocqueville
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No true power can be founded among men which does not depend upon the free union of their inclinations; and patriotism and religion are the only two motives in the world which can permanently direct the whole of the body politic to one end. -- Alexis De Tocqueville
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Nobody is going to occupy a place higher than I. -- Alexis De Tocqueville
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Though it is very important for man as an individual that his religion should be true, that is not the case for society. Society has nothing to fear or hope from another life; what is most important for it is not that all citizens profess the true religion but that they should profess religion. -- Alexis De Tocqueville
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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
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The invention of fire-arms equalized the villein and the noble on the field of battle; printing opened the same resources to the minds of all classes; -- Alexis De Tocqueville
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From this foul drain the greatest stream of human industry flows out to fertilize the whole world. From this filthy sewer gold flows. Here humanity attains its most complete development and its most brutish, here civilization works its miracles and civilized man is turned almost into a savage. -- Alexis De Tocqueville
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But in America the sovereignty of the people is neither hidden nor sterile as with some other nations; mores recognize it, and the laws proclaim it; it spreads with freedom and attains unimpeded its ultimate consequences. -- Alexis De Tocqueville
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In democratic countries, knowledge of how to combine is the mother of all other forms of knowledge; on its progress depends that of all the others. -- Alexis De Tocqueville
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Lawyers belong to the people by birth and interest, and to the aristocracy by habit and taste; they may be looked upon as the connecting link of the two great classes of society. -- Alexis De Tocqueville
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The prejudice of the race appears stronger in the States that have abolished slaves than in the States where slavery still exists. White carpenters, white bricklayers, and white painters will not work side by side with the blacks in the North but do it in almost every Southern State ... -- Alexis De Tocqueville
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[Liberty] considers religion as the safeguard of morality, and morality as the best security of law and the surest pledge of the duration of freedom. -- Alexis De Tocqueville
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Thus the negro transmits the eternal mark of his ignominy to all his descendants; and although the law may abolish slavery, God alone can obliterate the traces of its existence. -- Alexis De Tocqueville
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If men are to remain civilized or to become so, the art of associating together must grow and improve in the same ratio in which the equality of conditions is increased. -- Alexis De Tocqueville
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A man who raises himself by degrees to wealth and power, contracts, in the course of this protracted labor, habits of prudence and restraint which he cannot afterwards shake off. A man cannot gradually enlarge his mind as he does his house. -- Alexis De Tocqueville
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Laws are always unstable unless they are founded upon the manners of the nation; manners are the only durable and resisting power in a people. -- Alexis De Tocqueville
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The evil which one suffers patiently as inevitable seems insupportable as soon as he conceives the idea of escaping from it. -- Alexis De Tocqueville
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The South, which is peopled with ardent and irascible beings, is becoming more irritated and alarmed. -- Alexis De Tocqueville
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The nations of our time cannot prevent the conditions of men from becoming equal; but it depends upon themselves whether the principle of equality is to lead them to servitude or freedom, to knowledge or barbarism, to prosperity or to wretchedness. -- Alexis De Tocqueville
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Americans are so enamored of equality, they would rather be equal in slavery than unequal in freedom. -- Alexis De Tocqueville
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December, 1865, of the celebrated 13th article or amendment of the Constitution, which declared that neither slavery nor involuntary servitude - except as a punishment for crime - shall exist within the United States. -- Alexis De Tocqueville
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Amongst democratic nations, each new generation is a new people. -- Alexis De Tocqueville
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When the people rule, they must be rendered happy, or they will overturn the state. -- Alexis De Tocqueville
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Whether democracy or aristocracy is the better form of government constitutes a very difficult question. But, clearly, democracy inconveniences one person while aristocracy oppresses another. That is a truth which establishes itself and precludes any discussion: you are rich and I am poor. -- Alexis De Tocqueville
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Better use has been made of association and this powerful instrument of action has been applied for more varied aims in America than anywhere else in the world. -- Alexis De Tocqueville
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This so-called tolerance, which, in my opinion, is nothing but a huge indifference. -- Alexis De Tocqueville
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Under wage labor, the art advances, the artisan declines. -- Alexis De Tocqueville
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The free worker receives a wage; the slave an education, food, care, clothing; the money that the master spends to keep the slave is drained little by little and in detail; one hardly perceives it.1 -- Alexis De Tocqueville
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I see no clear reason why the doctrine of self-interest properly understood should turn men away from religious beliefs. -- Alexis De Tocqueville
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It is impossible to read this opening paragraph without an involuntary feeling of religious awe; it breathed the very savor of Gospel antiquity. The sincerity of the author heightens his power of language. -- Alexis De Tocqueville
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The moderns, then, after they have abolished slavery, have three prejudices to contend against, which are less easy to attack and far less easy to conquer than the mere fact of servitude: the prejudice of the master, the prejudice of the race, and the prejudice of color. -- Alexis De Tocqueville
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The whole military power of the State is at the disposal of the Governor. He is the commander of the militia, and head of the armed force. -- Alexis De Tocqueville
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Nothing tends to materialise man, and to deprive his work of the faintest trace of mind, more than extreme division of labour. -- Alexis De Tocqueville
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What is most important for democracy is not that great fortunes should not exist, but that great fortunes should not remain in the same hands. In that way there are rich men, but they do not form a class. -- Alexis De Tocqueville
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In the States of New England, from the first, the condition of the poor was provided for; -- Alexis De Tocqueville
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In such an admirable position of the New World, man has no other enemy than himself. -- Alexis De Tocqueville
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Among these widely differing families of men, the first that attracts attention, the superior in intelligence, in power, and in enjoyment, is the white, or European, the MAN pre-eminently so called, below him appear the Negro and the Indian. -- Alexis De Tocqueville
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In the United States, there is no end which human will despairs of attaining through the combined power of individuals united in a society. -- Alexis De Tocqueville
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In countries where associations are free, secret societies are unknown. In America there are factions, but no conspiracies. -- Alexis De Tocqueville
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The passion for war is so intense that there is no undertaking so mad, or so injurious to the welfare of the State, that a man does not consider himself honored in defending it, at the risk of his life. -- Alexis De Tocqueville
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For benefits by their very greatness spotlight the difference in conditions and arouse a secret annoyance in those who profit from them. But the charm of simple good manners is almost irresistible. -- Alexis De Tocqueville
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It is the dissimilarities and inequalities among men which give rise to the notion of honor; as such differences become less, it grows feeble; and when they disappear, it will vanish too. -- Alexis De Tocqueville
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Society is endangered not by the great profligacy of a few, but by the laxity of morals amongst all. -- Alexis De Tocqueville
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Those which we call necessary institutions are simply no more than institutions to which we have become accustomed. -- Alexis De Tocqueville
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No protracted war can fail to endanger the freedom of a democratic country -- Alexis De Tocqueville
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I studied the Koran a 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 Muhammad -- Alexis De Tocqueville
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All those who seek to destroy the liberties of a democratic nation ought to know that war is the surest and shortest means to accomplish it. -- Alexis De Tocqueville
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To commit violent and unjust acts, it is not enough for a government to have the will or even the power; the habits, ideas and passions of the time must lend themselves to their committal. -- Alexis De Tocqueville
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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 ... socialism is a new form of slavery. -- Alexis De Tocqueville
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When, after having examined in detail the organization of the Supreme Court, one comes to consider in sum the prerogatives that have been given it, one discovers without difficulty that a more immense judicial power has never been constituted in any people. -- Alexis De Tocqueville
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A depraved taste for equality, which impels the weak to attempt to lower the powerful to their own level and reduces men to prefer equality in slavery to inequality with freedom. -- Alexis De Tocqueville
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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
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There are many men of principle in both parties in America, but there is no party of principle. -- Alexis De Tocqueville
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The only nations which deny the utility of provincial liberties are those which have fewest of them; in other words, those who are unacquainted with the institution are the only persons who passed censure upon it. -- Alexis De Tocqueville
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America is a country where they have freedom of speech but everyone says the same thing. -- Alexis De Tocqueville
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Men who so uneasily tolerate superiors patiently suffer a master, and show themselves proud and servile at the same time. -- Alexis De Tocqueville
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The French under the old monarchy held it for a maxim that the king could do no wrong . The Americans entertain the same opinion with respect to the majority ... If ever the free institutions of America are destroyed, that event may be attributed to the omnipotence of the majority. -- Alexis De Tocqueville
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The only way to neutralize the effect of public journals is to multiply them indefinitely. -- Alexis De Tocqueville
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What chiefly diverts the men of democracies from lofty ambition is not the scantiness of their fortunes, but the vehemence of the exertions they daily make to improve them. -- Alexis De Tocqueville
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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
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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
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A whole nation cannot rise above itself. -- Alexis De Tocqueville
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There is no country in the world in which everything can be provided for by laws, or in which political institutions can prove a substitute for common sense and public morality. -- Alexis De Tocqueville
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Nothing is so dangerous as that of violence employed by well-meaning people for beneficial objects. -- Alexis De Tocqueville
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Christianity is the companion of liberty in all its conflicts, the cradle of its infancy, and the divine source of its claims. -- Alexis De Tocqueville
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I considered mores to be one of the great general causes responsible for the maintenance of a democratic republic ... the term "mores" ... meaning ... habits of the heart. -- Alexis De Tocqueville
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The position of the Americans is quite exceptional, and it may be believed that no democratic people will ever be placed in a similar one. -- Alexis De Tocqueville
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In America one of the first things done in a new State is to make the post go there; in the forests of Michigan there is no cabin so isolated, no valley so wild, but that letters and newspapers arrive at least once a week. -- Alexis De Tocqueville
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I have an intellectual inclination for democratic institutions, but I am instinctively an aristocrat, which means that I despise and fear the masses. I passionately love liberty, legality, the respect for rights, but not democracy ... liberty is my foremost passion. That is the truth. -- Alexis De Tocqueville
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I cannot help fearing that men may reach a point where they look on every new theory as a danger, every innovation as a toilsome trouble, every social advance as a first step toward revolution, and that they may absolutely refuse to move at all. -- Alexis De Tocqueville
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The whole life of an American is passed like a game of chance, a revolutionary crisis, or a battle. -- Alexis De Tocqueville
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And now, As I come near the end of this book in which I have recorded so many considerable achievements of the Americans, if I am asked how we should account for the unusual prosperity and growing strength of this nation, I would reply that they must be attributed to the superiority of their woman. -- Alexis De Tocqueville
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In the laws of Connecticut, as well as in all those of New England, we find the germ and gradual development of that township independence which is the life and mainspring of American liberty at the present day. -- Alexis De Tocqueville
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Among the droves of men with political ambitions in the United States, I found very few with that virile candor, that manly independence of thought, that often distinguished Americans in earlier times and that is invariably the preeminent trait of great characters wherever it exists. -- Alexis De Tocqueville
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I have heard of patriotism in the United States, and it is a virtue which may be found among the people, but never among the leaders of the people. -- Alexis De Tocqueville
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Nations are less disposed to make revolutions in proportion as personal property is augmented and distributed among them, and as the number of those possessing it is increased. -- Alexis De Tocqueville
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When the question is reduced to the simple expression of the struggle between poverty and wealth, the tendency of each side of the dispute becomes perfectly evident without further controversy. -- Alexis De Tocqueville
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Slavery received, but the prejudice to which it has given birth remains stationary. -- Alexis De Tocqueville
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Centralization and socialism are products of the same soil. The one is to the other what the cultivated fruit is to the wild stock. -- Alexis De Tocqueville
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In no other country in the world is the love of property keener or more alert than in the United States, and nowhere else does the majority display less inclination toward doctrines which in any way threaten the way property is owned. -- Alexis De Tocqueville
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In democratic times, enjoyment is keener than in aristocratic centuries, and above all the number of those who taste it is infinitely greater; but on the other hand, one must recognize that hopes and desires are more often disappointed, souls more arouse and more restive, and cares more burning. -- Alexis De Tocqueville
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A long war almost always places nations in this sad alternative: that their defeat delivers them to destruction and their triumph to despotism. -- Alexis De Tocqueville
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I am far from denying that newspapers in democratic countries lead citizens to do very ill-considered things in common; but without newspapers there would be hardly any common action at all. So they mend many more ills than they cause. -- Alexis De Tocqueville
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If ever America undergoes great revolutions, they will be brought about by the presence of the black race on the soil of the United States - that is to say, they will owe their origin not to the equality but to the inequality of conditions. -- Alexis De Tocqueville
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By granting to the senators the privilege of being chosen for several years, and being renewed seriatim, the law takes care to preserve in the legislative body a nucleus of men already accustomed to public business, and capable of exercising a salutary influence upon the junior members. -- Alexis De Tocqueville
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The taste for well-being is the prominent and indelible feature of democratic times. -- Alexis De Tocqueville
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In the United States, the majority undertakes to supply a multitude of ready-made opinions for the use of individuals, who are thus relieved from the necessity of forming opinions of their own. -- Alexis De Tocqueville
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In democratic centuries, on the contrary, when the duties of each individual toward the species are much clearer, devotion toward one man becomes rarer: the bond of human affections is extended and loosened. -- Alexis De Tocqueville
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I cannot believe that a republic could subsist if the influence of the lawyers in public business did not increase in proportion to the power of the people. -- Alexis De Tocqueville
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I passionately love liberty, legality, respect for rights, but not democracy. That is what I find in the depth of my soul. -- Alexis De Tocqueville
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We succeed in enterprises which demand the positive qualities we possess, but we excel in those which can also make use of our defects. -- Alexis De Tocqueville
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When the English adopted the institution of the jury, they were a half-barbaric people; they have since become one of the most enlightened nations of the globe, and their attachment to the jury has seemed to increase with their enlightenment. -- Alexis De Tocqueville
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No form or combination of social polity has yet been devised to make an energetic people out of a community of pusillanimous and enfeebled citizens. -- Alexis De Tocqueville
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So religion, which among the Americans never directly takes part in the government of society, must be considered as the first of their political institutions; for if it does not give them the taste for liberty, it singularly facilitates their use of it. -- Alexis De Tocqueville
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What one must fear, moreover, is not so much the sight of the immorality of the great as that of immorality leading to greatness. -- Alexis De Tocqueville
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Life is to be entered upon with courage. -- Alexis De Tocqueville
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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
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No African has ever voluntarily emigrated to the shores of the New World; whence it must be inferred, that all the blacks who are now to be found in that hemisphere are either slaves or freedmen. -- Alexis De Tocqueville
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Despotism often presents itself as the repairer of all the ills suffered, the support of just rights, defender of the oppressed, and founder of order. -- Alexis De Tocqueville
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In the United States, if a political character attacks a sect, this may not prevent even the partisans of that very sect, from supporting him; but if he attacks all the sects together, every one abandons him and he remains alone. -- Alexis De Tocqueville
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Human understanding more easily invents new things than new words. -- Alexis De Tocqueville
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Chance does nothing that has not been prepared beforehand. -- Alexis De Tocqueville
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Consider any individual at any period of his life, and you will always find him preoccupied with fresh plans to increase his comfort. -- Alexis De Tocqueville
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While he loved liberty, he detested the crimes that had been committed in its name. Jon J. Ingalls -- Alexis De Tocqueville
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The man who submits to violence is debased by his compliance; but when he submits to that right of authority which he acknowledges in a fellow creature, he rises in some measure above the person who give the command. -- Alexis De Tocqueville
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Countries, therefore, when lawmaking falls exclusively to the lot of the poor cannot hope for much economy in public expenditure; expenses will always be considerable, either because taxes cannot touch those who vote for them or because they are assessed in a way to prevent that. -- Alexis De Tocqueville
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Men are not corrupted by the exercise of power or debased by the habit of obedience, but by the exercise of a power which they believe to be illegal and by obedience to a rule which they consider to be usurped and oppressive. -- Alexis De Tocqueville
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Although men cannot become absolutely equal unless they be entirely free, and consequently equality, pushed to its furthest extent, may be confounded with freedom, yet there is good reason for distinguishing the one from the other. -- Alexis De Tocqueville
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Nothing is more necessary to the culture of the higher sciences, or of the more elevated departments of science, than meditation; and nothing is less suited to meditation than the structure of democratic society. -- Alexis De Tocqueville
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The health of a democratic society may be measured by the quality of functions performed by private citizens. -- Alexis De Tocqueville
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I have only one passion, the love of liberty and human dignity. -- Alexis De Tocqueville
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I am unaware of his plans but I shall never stop believing in them because I cannot fathom them and I prefer to mistrust my own intellectual capacities than his justice. -- Alexis De Tocqueville
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Whatever may be the general endeavor of a community to render its members equal and alike, the personal pride of individuals will always seek to rise above the line, and to form somewhere an inequality to their own advantage. -- Alexis De Tocqueville
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He who in given cases consents to obey his fellows with servility, and who submits his will, and even his thoughts, to their control, how can he pretend that he wishes to be free? -- Alexis De Tocqueville
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The most durable monument of human labor is that which recalls the wretchedness and nothingness of man. -- Alexis De Tocqueville
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The arrogance of wealth and the dejection of wretchedness, capital cities of unwonted extent, a lax morality, a vulgar egotism, and a great confusion of interests, are the dangers which almost invariably arise from the magnitude of States. -- Alexis De Tocqueville
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In other words, the government of the democracy is the only one under which the power which lays on taxes escapes the payment of them. -- Alexis De Tocqueville
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The taste which men have for liberty and that which they feel for equality are, in fact, two different things ... among democratic nations they are two unequal things. -- Alexis De Tocqueville
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Despotism alone can provide that atmosphere of secrecy which favors crooked dealing and enables the freebooters of finance to make illicit fortunes. -- Alexis De Tocqueville
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I observed that equality of condition, though it has not there reached the extreme limit which it seems to have attained in the United States, is constantly approaching it; and that the democracy which governs the American communities appears to be rapidly rising into power in Europe. -- Alexis De Tocqueville
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There is hardly a political question in the United States which does not sooner or later turn into a judicial one. -- Alexis De Tocqueville
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But a democracy can only obtain truth as the result of experience, and many nations may forfeit their existence whilst they are awaiting the consequences of their errors. -- Alexis De Tocqueville
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The principle of equality does not destroy the imagination, but lowers its flight to the level of the earth. -- Alexis De Tocqueville
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No stigma attaches to the love of money in America, and provided it does not exceed the bounds imposed by public order, it is held in honor. The American will describe as noble and estimable ambition that our medieval ancestors would have called base cupidity. -- Alexis De Tocqueville
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The land was then naturally broken up into small portions, which the proprietor cultivated for himself. -- Alexis De Tocqueville
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In politics shared hatreds are almost always the basis of friendships. -- Alexis De Tocqueville
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Democratic nations care but little for what has been, but they are haunted by visions of what will be. -- Alexis De Tocqueville
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Grant me thirty years of equal division of inheritances and a free press, and I will provide you with a republic. -- Alexis De Tocqueville
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The great privilege of the Americans does not simply consist in their being more enlightened than other nations, but in their being able to repair the faults they may commit. -- Alexis De Tocqueville
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When none but the wealthy had watches, they were almost all very good ones; few are now made which are worth much, but everybody has one in his pocket. -- Alexis De Tocqueville
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Society was cut in two: those who had nothing united in common envy; those who had anything united in common terror. -- Alexis De Tocqueville
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When the past no longer illuminates the future, the spirit walks in darkness. -- Alexis De Tocqueville
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It must never be forgotten that religion gave birth to Anglo-American society. -- Alexis De Tocqueville
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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
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Patriotism and religion are the only two motives in the world which can permanently direct the whole of a body politic to one end. -- Alexis De Tocqueville
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Nothing, on the other hand, can be more impenetrable to the uninitiated than a legislation founded upon precedents. -- Alexis De Tocqueville
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If there ever are great revolutions there, they will be caused by the presence of the blacks upon American soil. -- Alexis De Tocqueville
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I avow that I do not hold that complete and instantaneous love for the freedom of the press that one accords to things whose nature is unqualifiedly good. I love it out of consideration for the evils it prevents much more than for the good it does. -- Alexis De Tocqueville
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Despotism may be able to do without religion, but democracy cannot. -- Alexis De Tocqueville
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Next to hating their enemies, men are most inclined to flatter them. -- Alexis De Tocqueville
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I have already expressed the conviction which I entertain as to the latter event. *r I do not imagine that the white and black races will ever live in any country upon an equal footing. But I believe the difficulty to be still greater in the United States than elsewhere. -- Alexis De Tocqueville
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However energetically society in general may strive to make all the citizens equal and alike, the personal pride of each individual will always make him try to escape from the common level, and he will form some inequality somewhere to his own profit. -- Alexis De Tocqueville
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Germans Francis Grund, and Francis Lieber, and the Pole Adam G. de Gurowski all wrote about the striking social equality they found in America, the absence of differences in status. They all noted the American obsession with work and the restless quest for the "almighty dollar."18 -- Alexis De Tocqueville
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A central administration enervates the nations in which it exists by incessantly diminishing their public spirit. If such an administration succeeds in convincing all the disposable resources of a people, it impairs at least the renewal of those resources. -- Alexis De Tocqueville
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Those who prize freedom only for the material benefits it offers have never kept it for long. -- Alexis De Tocqueville
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The legislator is like the navigator of a ship on the high seas. He can steer the vessel on which he sails, but he cannot alter its construction, raise the wind, or stop the waves from swelling beneath his feet. -- Alexis De Tocqueville
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When I refuse to obey an unjust law, I do not contest the right of the majority to command, but I simply appeal from the sovereignty of the people to the sovereignty of mankind. -- Alexis De Tocqueville
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General ideas are no proof of the strength, but rather of the insufficiency of the human intellect. -- Alexis De Tocqueville
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You need not value it yourself if you do not wish to; but you ought to allow it to us who do value it. -- Alexis De Tocqueville
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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
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It profits me but little, after all, that a vigilant authority always protects the tranquility of my pleasures and constantly averts all dangers from my path, without my care or concern, if this same authority is the absolute master of my liberty and my life ... -- Alexis De Tocqueville
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Every central government worships uniformity: uniformity relieves it from inquiry into an infinity of details. -- Alexis De Tocqueville
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Of all nations, those submit to civilization with the most difficulty which habitually live by the chase. -- Alexis De Tocqueville
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Righteous women in their circle of influence,
beginning in the home, can turn the world around. -- Alexis De Tocqueville
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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
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The genius of democracies is seen not only in the great number of new words introduced but even more in the new ideas they express. -- Alexis De Tocqueville
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Christianity has therefore retained a strong hold on the public mind in America ... In the United States ... Christianity itself is a fact so irresistibly established, that no one undertakes either to attack or to defend it. -- Alexis De Tocqueville
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We need a new political science for a new world. -- Alexis De Tocqueville
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On this waterlogged landscape ... are scattered palaces and hovels ... It is here that the human spirit becomes perfect, and at the same time brutalised, that civilisation produces its marvels and that civilised man returns to the savage. -- Alexis De Tocqueville
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The European generally submits to a public officer because he represents a superior force; but to an American he represents a right. In America it may be said that no one renders obedience to man, but to justice and to law. -- Alexis De Tocqueville
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It had been supposed, until our time, that despotism was odious, under whatever form it appeared. But it is a discovery of modern days that there are such things as legitimate tyranny and holy injustice, provided they are exercised in the name of the people. -- Alexis De Tocqueville
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The jury, which is the most energetic means to make the people rule, is also the most effective means to teach them to rule. -- Alexis De Tocqueville
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What is not yet done is only what we have not yet attempted to do. -- Alexis De Tocqueville
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Each man is forever thrown back on himself alone, and there is danger that he may be shut up in the solitude of his own heart. -- Alexis De Tocqueville
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Slavery ... dishonors labor. It introduces idleness into society, and with idleness, ignorance and pride, luxury and distress. It enervates the powers of the mind and benumbs the activity of man. -- Alexis De Tocqueville
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One of the commonest weaknesses of human intelligence is the wish to reconcile opposing principles and to purchase harmony at the expensive of logic. -- Alexis De Tocqueville
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Furthermore, when citizens are all almost equal, it becomes difficult for them to defend their independence against the aggressions of power. -- Alexis De Tocqueville
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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
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The power of the periodical press is second only to that of the people. -- Alexis De Tocqueville
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I should have loved freedom, I believe, at all times, but in the time in which we live I am ready to worship it. -- Alexis De Tocqueville
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The Indian knew how to live without wants, to suffer without complaint, and to die singing. -- Alexis De Tocqueville
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Egotism fears its own self. -- Alexis De Tocqueville
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Socialism is a new form of slavery. -- Alexis De Tocqueville
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Nothing is more repugnant to the human mind in an age of equality than the idea of subjection to forms. -- Alexis De Tocqueville
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All revolutions more or less threaten the tenure of property: but most of those who live in democratic countries are possessed of property - not only are they possessed of property but they live in the condition of men who set the greatest store upon their property. -- Alexis De Tocqueville
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But what most astonishes me in the United States, is not so much the marvelous grandeur of some undertakings, as the innumerable multitude of small ones. -- Alexis De Tocqueville
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The last thing a political party gives up is its vocabulary. -- Alexis De Tocqueville
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Military discipline is merely a perfection of social servitude. -- Alexis De Tocqueville
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Nature secretly avenges herself for the constraint imposed upon her by the laws of man. -- Alexis De Tocqueville
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In democracies, nothing is more great or more brilliant than commerce: it attracts the attention of the public, and fills the imagination of the multitude; all energetic passions are directed towards it. -- Alexis De Tocqueville
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The deeper we penetrate into the working of these parties, the more do we perceive that the object of the one is to limit, and that of the other to extend, the popular authority. -- Alexis De Tocqueville
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When justice is more certain and more mild, is at the same time more efficacious. -- Alexis De Tocqueville
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The American revolution broke out, and the doctrine of the sovereignty of the people, which had been nurtured in the townships and municipalities, took possession of the State: every class was enlisted in its cause; battles were fought, and victories obtained for it, until it became the law of laws. -- Alexis De Tocqueville
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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
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The taste for luxury, the love of war, the sway of fashion, and the most superficial as well as the deepest passions of the human heart, co-operated -- Alexis De Tocqueville
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Now I know of only two methods of establishing equality in the political world; every citizen must be put in possession of his rights, or rights must be granted to no one. -- Alexis De Tocqueville
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At the head of any new undertaking where in France you would find the government, or in England some great lord, in the United States you are sure to find an association. -- Alexis De Tocqueville
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By obliging men to turn their attention to other affairs than their own, it rubs off that private selfishness which is the rust of society. -- Alexis De Tocqueville
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In other words, 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
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The two chief weapons which parties use in order to ensure success are the public press and the formation of associations. -- Alexis De Tocqueville
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The personal opinions of the editors have no kind of weight in the eyes of the public: the only use of a journal is, that it imparts the knowledge of certain facts, and it is only by altering or distorting those facts that a journalist can contribute to the support of his own views. -- Alexis De Tocqueville
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Physical strength therefore is one of the first conditions of happiness and even of the existence of nations. -- Alexis De Tocqueville
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A newspaper is an adviser who does not require to be sought, but who comes of his own accord, and talks to you briefly every day of the common wealth, without distracting you from your private affairs. -- Alexis De Tocqueville
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The more government takes the place of associations, the more will individuals lose the idea of forming associations and need the government to come to their help. That is a vicious circle of cause and effect. -- Alexis De Tocqueville
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The happy and powerful do not go into exile, and there are no surer guarantees of equality among men than poverty and misfortune. -- Alexis De Tocqueville
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The civil jury is the most effective form of sovereignty of the people. It defies the aggressions of time and man. During the reigns of Henry VIII (1509-1547) and Elizabeth I (1158-1603), the civil jury did in reality save the liberties of England. -- Alexis De Tocqueville
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I have always noticed in politics how often men are ruined by having too good a memory. -- Alexis De Tocqueville
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Nothing is more wonderful than the art of being free, but nothing is harder to learn how to use than freedom. -- Alexis De Tocqueville
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Those that despise people will never get the best out of others and themselves. -- Alexis De Tocqueville
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This demonstrated to me that those who regard universal suffrage as a guarantee for good choices are under a complete illusion. Universal suffrage has other advantages, but not that one. -- Alexis De Tocqueville
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If I were asked where I place the American aristocracy, I should reply without hesitation that it is not composed of the rich, who are united together by no common tie, but that it occupies the judicial bench and the bar. -- Alexis De Tocqueville
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Nations, as well as men, almost always betray the most prominent features of their future destiny in their earliest years. -- Alexis De Tocqueville
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Patriotism is most often nothing more but an extension of individual egoism -- Alexis De Tocqueville
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There is no more invariable rule in the history of society: the further electoral rights are extended, the greater is the need of extending them; for after each concession the strength of the democracy increases, and its demands increase with its strength. -- Alexis De Tocqueville
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Of all the countries of the world America is the one where the movement of thought and human industry is the most continuous and swift. -- Alexis De Tocqueville
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Theatre is the most democratic side of literature. -- Alexis De Tocqueville
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A state of equality is perhaps less elevated, but it is more just; and its justice constitutes its greatness and beauty. -- Alexis De Tocqueville
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Although the vast country which we have been describing was inhabited by many indigenous tribes, it may justly be said at the time of its discovery by Europeans to have formed one great desert. The Indians occupied without possessing it. -- Alexis De Tocqueville
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In America religion is the road to knowledge, and the observance of the divine laws leads man to civil freedom. -- Alexis De Tocqueville
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In politics a community of hatred is almost always the foundation of friendships. -- Alexis De Tocqueville
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I have seen Americans making great and sincere sacrifices for the key common good and a hundred times I have noticed that, when needs be, they almost always gave each other faithful support -- Alexis De Tocqueville
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Liberty cannot be established without morality, nor morality without faith. -- Alexis De Tocqueville
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I know of no country, indeed, where the love of money has taken a stronger hold on the affections of men. -- Alexis De Tocqueville
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It was never assumed in the United States that the citizen of a free country has a right to do whatever he pleases; on the contrary, social obligations were there imposed upon him more various than anywhere else. -- Alexis De Tocqueville
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The more alike men are, the weaker each feels in the face of all. -- Alexis De Tocqueville
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It is an axiom of political science in the United States that the sole means of neutralizing the effects of newspapers is to multiply their number. -- Alexis De Tocqueville
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It is the civil jury that really saved the liberties of England. -- Alexis De Tocqueville
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It must not be forgotten that it is especially dangerous to enslave men in the minor details of life. For my part, I should be inclined to think freedom
less necessary in the great things than in the little ones, if it were possible to be secure of the one without the other. -- Alexis De Tocqueville
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Among the laws controlling human societies there is one more precise and clearer, it seems to me, than all the others. If men are to remain civilized or to become civilized, the art of association must develop and improve among them at the same speed as equality of conditions spreads. -- Alexis De Tocqueville
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It is far more important to resist apathy than anarchy or despotism, for apathy can give rise, almost indifferently, to either one. -- Alexis De Tocqueville
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One has freedom as the principal means of action; the other has servitude. Their ... paths [are] diverse; nevertheless, each seems called by some secret design of Providence one day to hold in its hands the destinies of half the world. -- Alexis De Tocqueville
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The most natural privilege of man, next to the right of acting for himself, is that of combining his exertions with those of his fellow-creatures, and of acting in common with them. -- Alexis De Tocqueville
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In democratic society each citizen is habitually busy with the contemplation of a very petty object, which is himself. -- Alexis De Tocqueville
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However enlightened and however skilful a central power may be, it cannot of itself embrace all the details of the existence of a great nation. -- Alexis De Tocqueville
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The most perilous moment for a bad government is one when it seeks to mend its ways. -- Alexis De Tocqueville
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Any measure that establishes legal charity on a permanent basis and gives it an administrative form thereby creates an idle and lazy class, living at the expense of the industrial and working class. -- Alexis De Tocqueville
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I am of opinion, that, in the democratic ages which are opening upon us, individual independence and local liberties will ever be the produce of artificial contrivance; that centralization will be the natural form of government. -- Alexis De Tocqueville
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It is easier for the world to accept a simple lie than a complex truth. -- Alexis De Tocqueville
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Comfort becomes a goal when distinctions of rank are abolished and privileges destroyed. -- Alexis De Tocqueville
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The most dangerous moment for a bad government is when it begins to reform. -- Alexis De Tocqueville
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America is a land of wonders, in which everything is in constant motion and every change seems an improvement. -- Alexis De Tocqueville
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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
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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
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In America, more than anywhere else in the world, care has been taken constantly to trace clearly distinct spheres of action for the two sexes, and both are required to keep in step, but along paths that are never the same. -- Alexis De Tocqueville
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How could a society escape destruction if, when political ties are relaxed, moral ties are not tightened, and what can be done with a people master of itself if it not subject to God? -- Alexis De Tocqueville
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In the township, as well as everywhere else, the people is the only source of power; but in no stage of government does the body of citizens exercise a more immediate influence. -- Alexis De Tocqueville
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I must say that I have seen Americans make great and real sacrifices to the public welfare; and have noticed a hundred instances in which they hardly ever failed to lend faithful support to one another. -- Alexis De Tocqueville
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I am unacquainted with His designs, but I shall not cease to believe in them because I cannot fathom them, and I had rather mistrust my own capacity than His justice -- Alexis De Tocqueville
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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
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Amongst civilized nations revolts are rarely excited, except by such persons as have nothing to lose by them; -- Alexis De Tocqueville
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Men seldom take the opinion of their equal, or of a man like themselves, upon trust. -- Alexis De Tocqueville
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No men are less addicted to reverie than the citizens of a democracy. -- Alexis De Tocqueville
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In a revolution, as in a novel, the most difficult part to invent is the end. -- Alexis De Tocqueville
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Democratic institutions generally give men a lofty notion of their country and themselves. -- Alexis De Tocqueville
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The man who asks of freedom anything other than itself is born to be a slave. -- Alexis De Tocqueville
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History is a gallery of pictures in which there are few originals and many copies. -- Alexis De Tocqueville
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Nations as well as men require time to learn, whatever may be their intelligence or zeal. -- Alexis De Tocqueville
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Trade is the natural enemy of all violent passions because it loves moderation, delights in compromise an is most careful to avoid anger. -- Alexis De Tocqueville
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Despotism can do without faith but freedom cannot. -- Alexis De Tocqueville
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The progress of democracy seems irresistible, because it is the most uniform, the most ancient and the most permanent tendency which is to be found in history. -- Alexis De Tocqueville
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The world belongs to those with the most energy. -- Alexis De Tocqueville
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When a large number of organs of the press come to advance along the same track, their influence becomes almost irresistible in the long term, and public opinion, struck always from the same side, ends by yielding under their blows. -- Alexis De Tocqueville