Quotes by French Historian Alexis de Tocqueville

In politics... shared hatreds are almost always the basis of friendships. Alexis de Tocqueville

Those that despise people will never get the best out of others and themselves. Alexis de Tocqueville

The whole life of an American is passed like a game of chance, a revolutionary crisis, or a battle. Alexis de Tocqueville

The Americans combine the notions of religion and liberty so intimately in their minds, that it is impossible to make them conceive of one without the other. Alexis de Tocqueville


There are many men of principle in both parties in America, but there is no party of principle. Alexis de Tocqueville

The most dangerous moment for a bad government is when it begins to reform. Alexis de Tocqueville

Life is to be entered upon with courage. Alexis de Tocqueville

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

In countries where associations are free, secret societies are unknown. In America there are factions, but no conspiracies. Alexis de Tocqueville

In a revolution, as in a novel. the most difficult part to invent is the end. Alexis de Tocqueville

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

There are two things which will always be very difficult for a democratic nation: to start a war and to end it. Alexis de Tocqueville
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There are two things that a democratic people will always find very difficult, to begin a war and to end it. 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

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

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

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 for fear of being carried off their feet. The prospect really does frighten me that they may finally become so engrossed in a cowardly love of immediate pleasures that their interest in their own future and in that of their descendants may vanish, and that they will prefer tamely to follow the course of their destiny rather than make a sudden energetic effort necessary to set things right. Alexis de Tocqueville

Nothing is quite so wretchedly corrupt as an aristocracy which has lost its power but kept its wealth and which still has endless leisure to devote to nothing but banal enjoyments. All its great thoughts and passionate energy are things of the past, and nothing but a host of petty, gnawing vices now cling to it like worms to a corpse. Alexis de Tocqueville

By and large the literature of a democracy will never exhibit the order, regularity, skill, and art characteristic of aristocratic literature; formal qualities will be neglected or actually despised. The style will often be strange, incorrect, overburdened, and loose, and almost always strong and bold. Writers will be more anxious to work quickly than to perfect details. Short works will be commoner than long books, wit than erudition, imagination than depth. There will be a rude and untutored vigor of thought with great variety and singular fecundity. Authors will strive to astonish more than to please, and to stir passions rather than to charm taste. 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


Alexis de Tocqueville's favourite quotes topics
LibertyWarDemocraticReligionEquality

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