Alexis de Tocqueville Quotes

- Notable Alexis de Tocqueville Quotes Index -

Born: July 29, 1805, Paris, France
Birth Country: France
Died: Cannes, France, April 16, 1859
Occupation: Author, Historian

1.
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

2.
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

3.
Americans are so enamored of equality that they would rather be equal in slavery than unequal in freedom.
- Alexis de Tocqueville

4.
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

5.
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

6.
He was as great as a man can be without morality.
- Alexis de Tocqueville

7.
History is a gallery of pictures in which there are few originals and many copies.
- Alexis de Tocqueville

8.
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

9.
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

10.
In other words, 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

11.
In politics shared hatreds are almost always the basis of friendships.
- Alexis de Tocqueville

12.
It is the dissimilarities and inequalities among men which give rise to the notion of honor as such differences become less, it grows feeble and when they disappear, it will vanish too.
- Alexis de Tocqueville

13.
Liberty cannot be established without morality, nor morality without faith.
- Alexis de Tocqueville

14.
Life is to be entered upon with courage.
- Alexis de Tocqueville

15.
No protracted war can fail to endanger the freedom of a democratic country.
- Alexis de Tocqueville

16.
Nothing seems at first sight less important than the outward form of human actions, yet there is nothing upon which men set more store: they grow used to everything except to living in a society which has not their own manners.
- Alexis de Tocqueville

17.
The American Republic will endure until the day Congress discovers that it can bribe the public with the public's money.
- Alexis de Tocqueville

18.
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.
- Alexis de Tocqueville

19.
The debates of that great assembly are frequently vague and perplexed, seeming to be dragged rather than to march, to the intended goal. Something of this sort must, I think, always happen in public democratic assemblies.
- Alexis de Tocqueville

20.
The health of a democratic society may be measured by the quality of functions performed by private citizens.
- Alexis de Tocqueville

21.
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

22.
The power of the periodical press is second only to that of the people.
- Alexis de Tocqueville

23.
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

24.
There are many men of principle in both parties in America, but there is no party of principle.
- Alexis de Tocqueville

25.
There are two things which a democratic people will always find very difficult - to begin a war and to end it.
- Alexis de Tocqueville

26.
Those that despise people will never get the best out of others and themselves.
- Alexis de Tocqueville

27.
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

28.
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

29.
When the past no longer illuminates the future, the spirit walks in darkness.
- Alexis de Tocqueville

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