Christianity in Tocqueville's American Democracy Book Review by Righter

Christianity in Tocqueville's American Democracy
An analysis of the views of Alexis de Tocqueville regarding the role of Christianity in American society, as seen in his book, "Democracy in America."
# 105535 | 1,803 words | 6 sources | APA | 2008 | US


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Description:

This paper discusses Alexis de Tocqueville's book, "Democracy in America," translated by Arthur Goldhammer. The paper discusses Tocquville's view that religion - and in particular, Christianity - acts as a buffer to individualism and materialism and their potentially adverse effects. It specifically looks at the role of Christianity in American society.

Table of Contents:
Introduction
The Spirit of Religion
Potential Problems in America's Nascent Democratic Society: Isolation and Individualism, and Extreme Materialism
Religion Counteracts the Potential Problems in America and Contributes Greatly to the Continued Prosperity of the Democracy
Conclusion

From the Paper:

"In Democracy in America, Tocqueville made it clear that although the equality of conditions in America has given the budding country much hope, it has also given the young democracy much to fear. Among the main problems that Tocqueville saw as inherent in American democracy are the country's isolationist tendencies (and, consequently, its inclination towards individualism), and its proclivity for an extreme form of materialism. According to Tocqueville, religion - and in particular, Christianity - acts as a buffer to individualism and materialism and their potentially adverse effects; moreover, Christianity additionally plays a "positive" role by contributing greatly to the well-being and prosperity of American society. In particular, Tocqueville claimed that Christianity's acceptance of its limits (e.g. by staying far removed from political concerns, and by being keenly observant of and sensitive to public opinion), as well as its ability to actively and successfully give moral guidance, make it the best religion for American democracy."

Sample of Sources Used:

  • Lamberti, Jean-Claude. Goldhammer, Arthur, Translator. Tocqueville and the Two Democracies. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press. 1989.
  • Lively, Jack. The Social and Political Thought of Alexis de Tocqueville. London: OxfordUniversity Press. 1962.
  • Manent, Pierre. Waggoner, John, Translator. Tocqueville and the Nature of Democracy. Lanham, MD: Rowman & Littlefield Publishers. 1996.
  • Tocqueville, Alexis de. Goldhammer, Arthur, Translator. Democracy in America. New York, NY: The Library of America. 2004.
  • Welch, Cheryl. De Tocqueville. New York, NY: Oxford University Press. 2001.

Cite this Book Review:

APA Format

Christianity in Tocqueville's American Democracy (2008, July 09) Retrieved February 16, 2020, from https://www.academon.com/book-review/christianity-in-tocqueville-american-democracy-105535/

MLA Format

"Christianity in Tocqueville's American Democracy" 09 July 2008. Web. 16 February. 2020. <https://www.academon.com/book-review/christianity-in-tocqueville-american-democracy-105535/>

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