Tocqueville on Government, America, Morality, Democracy, Liberty and other Quotes

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

All those who seek to destroy the liberties of a democratic nation ought to know that war is the surest and shortest means to accomplish it.
Alexis de Tocqueville

America is great because she is good. If America ceases to be good, America will cease to be great.
Alexis de Tocqueville

Americans are so enamored of equality that they would rather be equal in slavery than unequal in freedom.
Alexis de Tocqueville

An American cannot converse, but he can discuss, and his talk falls into a dissertation. He speaks to you as if he was addressing a meeting; and if he should chance to become warm in the discussion, he will say “Gentlemen” to the person with whom he is conversing.
Alexis de Tocqueville

As one digs deeper into the national character of the Americans, one sees that they have sought the value of everything in this world only in the answer to this single question: how much money will it bring in?
Alexis de Tocqueville

Consider any individual at any period of his life, and you will always find him preoccupied with fresh plans to increase his comfort.
Alexis de Tocqueville

Democracy and socialism have nothing in common but one word, equality. But notice the difference: while democracy seeks equality in liberty, socialism seeks equality in restraint and servitude.
Alexis de Tocqueville

Grant me thirty years of equal division of inheritances and a free press, and I will provide you with a republic.
Alexis de Tocqueville

He was as great as a man can be without morality.
Alexis de Tocqueville

History is a gallery of pictures in which there are few originals and many copies.
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.
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 a revolution, as in a novel, the most difficult part to invent is the end.
Alexis de Tocqueville

In America the majority raises formidable barriers around the liberty of opinion; within these barriers an author may write what he pleases, but woe to him if he goes beyond them.
Alexis de Tocqueville

In no other country in the world is the love of property keener or more alert than in the United States, and nowhere else does the majority display less inclination toward doctrines which in any way threaten the way property is owned.
Alexis de Tocqueville

The genius of democracies is seen not only in the great number of new words introduced but even more in the new ideas they express.
Alexis de Tocqueville

The greatness of America lies not in being more enlightened than any other nation, but rather in her ability to repair her faults.
Alexis de Tocqueville

The health of a democratic society may be measured by the quality of functions performed by private citizens.
Alexis de Tocqueville

The main business of religions is to purify, control, and restrain that excessive and exclusive taste for well-being which men acquire in times of equality.
Alexis de Tocqueville

The power of the periodical press is second only to that of the people.
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

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

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

There are two things which a democratic people will always find very difficult – to begin a war and to end 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

There is hardly a pioneer’s hut which does not contain a few odd volumes of Shakespeare. I remember reading the feudal drama of Henry V for the first time in a log cabin.
Alexis de Tocqueville

There is hardly a political question in the United States which does not sooner or later turn into a judicial one.
Alexis de Tocqueville

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

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

What is most important for democracy is not that great fortunes should not exist, but that great fortunes should not remain in the same hands. In that way there are rich men, but they do not form a class.
Alexis de Tocqueville

When the past no longer illuminates the future, the spirit walks in darkness.
Alexis de Tocqueville

(Brainy Quote)

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2 thoughts on “Tocqueville on Government, America, Morality, Democracy, Liberty and other Quotes

  1. This is a site worthy of great time since it espouses reflection on conservative politics and theology. I invite you to evaluate my own political, theological posts. I’ve only been blogging for three weeks and would appreciate some informed criticism. Peace. wjholland.wordpress.com

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