On Tocqueville's Political Thought a General Review

Bengucan Findik


Alexis De Tocqueville is an intellectual who lived in a 19th century. There are two important works in his academic literature that are still up to date: ‘Democracy in America’ and ‘Ancient Regime and Revolution’. Generally, ‘Democracy in America’ examines the political systems of America and France in that day comparatively. In his work titled 'Ancient Regime and Revolution', Tocqueville examines the issue of what changed and even if it changed in France after the Revolution. The comparative method used by Tocqueville makes him one of the pioneers of comparative politics. His debates about democracy enabled him to be described as a democracy theorist. What makes Tocqueville important today; it is the consepts of freedom, centrality problem and tyranny of the masses that he has included in the discussions of democracy. These three focal points are still considered as a benchmark in discussions about how democratic democracies are today. The objective comments of Tocqueville on the French Revolution are valuable in that it is one of the first criticisms of the Revolution within France. Tocqueville compared the French Revolution with previous religious revolutions and analyzed the changes created by the revolution from a critical perspective.

Keywords: Tocqueville, Democracy in America, Ancient Regime and Revolution

DOI: 10.7176/JSTR/6-08-12

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ISSN (online) 2422-8702