Alexis de Tocqueville (29 July, 1805 – 16 April, 1859) was a French philosopher, historian, diplomat, and scientist. He is known for his two volumes of Democracy in America, as well as The Old Regime and Revolution.
Fun Facts about Alexis de Tocqueville:
- Alexis Charles Henri Clérel, comte de Tocqueville was born into an old aristocratic family. His father, an officer of the Constitutional Guard of King Louis XVI barely escaped being executed by guillotine due to the fall of Maximilien Robespierre.
- Tocqueville served as a member of the lower house of parliament, sitting on the center-left. He defended abolitionists and supported free trade, as well as the colonization of Algeria.
- He held several other political positions and even started his own Young Left Party.
- In 1831 Tocqueville traveled all over the United States, taking extensive notes and observations. He also visited Montreal and Quebec City.
- After returning to French and publishing a report of his tour in 1835, De la démocratie en Amérique.
- Not to be one to let the grass grow under his feet, Tocqueville traveled through Ireland. His observations about the state, the growing Catholic middle class, and the horrible conditions that Catholic tenant farmers lived in to give one of the best pictures of Ireland before the Great Famine.
- Tocqueville was elected a member of the Constituent Assembly of 1848, and was a member of the commission to draft the new Constitution of the Second Republic.
- As a Minister of Foreign Affairs, Tocqueville supported laws restricting political freedoms, liberty of clubs, and freedom of the press. This was in direct contrast to his defense of freedoms in Democracy in America.
- After an unsuccessful coup that demanded that Napoleon III, a winner he didn’t support of the election, will be tried for “high treason”, Tocqueville left political life.
- Tocqueville suffered all his life from tuberculosis, which finally killed him.
Zohar — Man of la Book
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