Posted February 16, 2012
Quotes by French political observer and historian Alexis d’Tocqueville [Born in 1805] -- worth pondering for the insights they provide to our times.
The American Republic will endure until the day Congress discovers that it can bribe the public with the public's money.
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.
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.
The greatness of America lies not in being more enlightened than any other nation, but rather in her ability to repair her faults.
The health of a democratic society may be measured by the quality of functions performed by private citizens.
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.
The power of the periodical press is second only to that of the people.
The surface of American society is covered with a layer of democratic paint, but from time to time one can see the old aristocratic colors breaking through.
There are many men of principle in both parties in America, but there is no party of principle.
There are two things which a democratic people will always find very difficult - to begin a war and to end it.
There is hardly a political question in the United States which does not sooner or later turn into a judicial one.
We succeed in enterprises which demand the positive qualities we possess, but we excel in those which can also make use of our defects.
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.
When the past no longer illuminates the future, the spirit walks in darkness.
A democratic government is the only one in which those who vote for a tax can escape the obligation to pay it.
Consider any individual at any period of his life, and you will always find him preoccupied with fresh plans to increase his comfort.
Grant me thirty years of equal division of inheritances and a free press, and I will provide you with a republic.
History is a gallery of pictures in which there are few originals and many copies.
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.
In a revolution, as in a novel, the most difficult part to invent is the end.
Liberty cannot be established without morality, nor morality without faith.