The Relevance of Tocqueville

  • H. G. Nicholas


To anyone curious about America as a model for other societies, the appraisal which Alexis de Tocqueville made in his Democracy in America has more than a historic interest. The claims his work makes upon our attention are those of the true classic; it asks key questions and provides concepts to assist us in formulating our own answers. Tocqueville writes of his own time and place, but both his curiosities and his perception have a persisting relevance. A different America now confronts us, but it has its roots in the young nation that Tocqueville saw. The Britain that now looks across the Atlantic is one which is also just bridging the Straits of Dover; that ought, if anything, to sharpen the value of a philosophic Frenchman’s view of what he habitually called ‘the Anglo-Americans’.


Judicial Review Direct Election American Democracy American Revolution Judicial Power 
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Copyright information

© H. G. Nicholas 1974

Authors and Affiliations

  • H. G. Nicholas
    • 1
  1. 1.American History and InstitutionsOxford UniversityUK

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