COMTE DE ALEXIS
See also:born at Verneuil on the 29th of
See also:July 18o5 . His
See also:family on the
See also:father's side were of
See also:good descent, and distinguished both in the
See also:law and in arms, while his
See also:mother was the granddaughter of Malesherbes . Alexis de Tocqueville was brought up for the
See also:bar, or rather for the
See also:bench, and became an assistant
See also:magistrate in 183o . A
See also:year later he obtained from the
See also:government of July a
See also:mission to examine prisons and penitentiaries in
See also:America, and proceeded thither with his
See also:life-long friend Gustave de
See also:Beaumont . He returned in less than two years, and published a
See also:report, but the real result of his tour was the famous De la Democralie en Amerique, which appeared in 1835, and very soon made his reputation (3rd ed . 186S) . It was at once caught up by influential members of the Liberal party in England, which
See also:country Tocqueville soon after visited, and where he married an Englishwoman . Returning to France, he was elected a mefnber of the Academie
See also:des sciences morales et politiques (
See also:Jan . 6, 1838), and beginning life as a country
See also:gentleman at Tocqueville, he thought to carry out the
See also:English ideal completely by
See also:standing for the chamber of deputies . But, with a
See also:scruple which illustrated his character, he refused government nomination from mole, and was defeated . Later he was successful, and sat for several years both beforeand after the revolution of
See also:February, becoming in 1849
See also:president of the
See also:assembly, and for a few months'
See also:minister of
See also:foreign affairs . He was a warm supporter of the
See also:Roman expedition, but an equally warm opponent of
See also:Louis Napoleiin; and after being one of the deputies who were arrested at the coitp d'etrt he retired from public life .
Twenty years after his 'first, he produced another
See also:book, De l'Ancien regime, which almost', if not quite, equalled its success . His
See also:health was never very strong, and in 1858 he broke a
See also:blood-vessel . He was ordered to 'the south, and, taking up his residence at
See also:Cannes, died there on the 16th of
See also:April 1859 . He had published some minor pieces during his lifetime, and his
See also:works, including much unpublished
See also:correspondence, were produced after his
See also:death in
See also:uniform shape by H . G. de Beaumont (Euvres completes de Tocqueville, 9 vols., 186o-1865) . During the last twenty years of his life, and for perhaps
See also:half that
See also:time after his death, Tocqueville had an increasing
See also:European fame . His manner, which is partly imitated from Montesquieu, has considerable charm; and he was the first and has remained the chief writer to put the orthodox liberal ideas which governed European politics during the first half or two-thirds of the 19th century into an orderly and attractive shape . He was, moreover, as has been said, much taken up by influential persons in Eng-•land—N . W .
See also:Mill and others—and he had the
See also:advantage of writing absolutely the first book of reasoned politics on democratic government in America . Besides, he was, if not an entirely impartial writer, neither a devotee nor an opponent of democracy . All this gave him a very great advantage which he has not yet wholly lost .
At the same time he had defects which were certain to make themselves
See also:felt as time went on, even without the alteration of the centre of liberal opinion which has taken place of
See also:late years . The chief of these was a certain weakness which can hardly be described by any word more dignified than priggishness." His correspondence with mole, above alluded to, is an instance of this, and it was also reflected on in various epigrams by countrymen and contemporaries; one of these accuses him of having " begun to think before he had begun to learn," while another declares that he avail
See also:fair de savoir de toute eternite ce qu'il venait d'apprendre . He appears both in
See also:history and in conducting actual
See also:political business to have been constantly surprised and disgusted that men and nations did not behave as he expected them to behave . This excess of the deductive spirit explains at once both the merits and the defects of his two great works, which will probably remain political
See also:classics, though they are less and less likely to be used as
See also:practical guides . See Heinrich Jacques, Alexis de Tocqueville; ei.n Lebens- and Geistesbild (Vienna, 1876) ;
See also:Bryce, The Predictions of Tocqueville (Baltimore, 1887) ; Count de Puymaigre,
See also:Les Souvenirs d'Alexis de Tocqueville (1893); and Correspondance entre Alexis de Tocqueville et Arthur de Gobineau (1908) .
TOCHI VALLEY, or DAWAR
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