1. "Amongst the novel
objects that attracted my attention... in the United States, nothing struck me more forcibly than the general equality of
conditions among the people.... The more I advanced in the study of American society, the more I perceived that this equality
of condition is the fundamental fact from which all others seem to be derived..."
2. "division of property has lessened the distance between the
rich and the poor; but it would seem that the nearer they draw to each other, the greater is the mutual hatred, and the more
vehement the envy and the dread with which they resist each others claims to power;"
3. "The poor man ... has adopted
the doctrine of self-interest as the rule of his actions,"
4. "Can it be believed that the
democracy which has overthrown the feudal system, and vanquished kings, will retreat before tradesmen and capitalism?"
5. "voluntary associations of
the citizens might then take the place of the individual exertions of the nobles, and the community would be alike protected
from anarchy and from oppression."
6. "I know of no country in which
there is so little independence of mind and real freedom of discussion as in America."
7. "Men are not corrupted by the
exercise of power, or debased by the habit of obedience; but by the exercise of power which they believe to be illegitimate,
and by obedience to a rule which they consider to be usurped and oppressive."
8. "has man always inhabited a
world like the present, where all things are out of their natural connections, where virtue is without genius, and genius
without honor; where the love of order is confounded with a taste for oppression, and the holy rites of freedom with a contempt
of law; where the light thrown by conscience on human actions is dim, and where nothing seems to be any longer forbidden or
allowed, honorable or shameful, false or true?"
9. " There are virtuous and peaceful individuals
whose pure morality, quiet habits, opulence, and talents fit them to be the leaders of the surrounding population. Their love
of country is sincere, and they are ready to make the greatest sacrifices for its welfare. But civilization often finds them
among its opponents; they confound its abuses with its benefits, and the idea of evil is inseparable in their minds from that
of novelty. Near these I find others, whose object is to materialize mankind, to hit upon what is expedient without heeding
what is just, to acquire knowledge without faith, and prosperity apart from virtue; claiming to be the champions of modern
civilization, they place themselves arrogantly at its head, usurping a place which is abandoned to them, and of which they
are wholly unworthy."
ON POLITICAL PARTIES
1. "In the United States, the majority governs
in the name of the people,..... This majority is principally composed of peaceable citizens, who, either by inclination or
by interest, sincerely wish the welfare of their country. But they are surrounded by the incessant agitation of parties, who
attempt to gain their cooperation and support."
2. "When the war of independence was terminated,
.... the nation was divided between two opinions -- two opinions which are as old as the world, ....the one tending to limit,
the other to extend indefinitely, the power of the people. The conflict between these two opinions never assumed the degree
of violence in America which it has frequently displayed elsewhere."
3. "Both parties of the Americans were agreed upon
the most essential points; and neither of them had to destroy an old constitution, or overthrow the structure of society,
in order to triumph. In neither of them, consequently, were a great number of private interests affected by success or defeat:
but moral principles of a high order, such as the love of equality and independence, were concerned in the struggle, and these
sufficed to kindle violent passions."
4. "The party which desired to limit
the power of the people, endeavored to apply its doctrines more especially to the Constitution of the Union, whence it derived
its name of Federal. The other party, which affected to be exclusively attached to the cause of liberty, took that
5. "Federalists, therefore, were always in a minority:
but they reckoned on their side almost all the great men whom the war of independence had produced, and their moral power
was very considerable. In 1801, the Republicans got possession of the government: Thomas Jefferson was elected President;
and he increased the influence of their party by the weight of his great name, the brilliancy of his talents, and his immense
6. "The accession of the Federalists to power (in
the beginning years of our nation) was, in my opinion, one of the most fortunate incidents which accompanied the formation
of the great American Union: .....their government at least gave the new republic time to acquire a certain stability, and
afterwards to support without inconvenience the rapid growth of the vary doctrines which they had combated. ....the Federal
Constitution, which subsists at the present day, is a lasting monument to their patriotism and their wisdom."
7. "Great political parties, then, are not to be
met with in the United States at the present time."
8. "In the United States, there is no religious
animosity, because all religion is respected, ....there is no jealousy of rank, because the people are everything, and none
can contest their authority; lastly, there is no public misery to serve as a means of agitation,"
9. "I affirm that aristocratic or democratic passions
may easily be detected at the bottom of all parties, and that, although they escape a superficial observation, they are the
main point and soul of every faction in the United States."
10. "At the present day, the more affluent classes
of society have no influence in political affairs; and wealth, far from conferring a right, is rather a cause of unpopularity
than a means of attaining power. The rich abandon the lists, through unwillingness to contend, and frequently to contend in
vain, against the poorer classes of their fellow-citizens. As they cannot occupy in public a position equivalent to what they
hold in private life, they abandon the former and give themselves up to the latter; and they constitute a private society
in the state, which has its own tastes and pleasures."
11. "The two chief weapons which parties use in
order to obtain success are the newspapers and public associations."