TOCQUEVILLE, ALEXIS CHARLES CLEREL DE, a French statesman, and the most eminent writer of this century on the science of politics, was born at Verneuil, in the department of Seine-et-Oise, July 29, 1805. His father was the representative of an old family, the Clerels, proprietors of Tocqueville, in Normandy. The Clerels. although in the direct line noblesse d'epge, had been closely connected with the magistracy, and, indeed, might be considered to belong more properly to that order, which in France has produced so many distinguished men. The mother of De Tocqueville was a grand daughter of Malesherbes, the academician, political writer, and magistrate, who defended Louis XVI. at the bar of the Convention, and whose fearless intrepidity was punished by the execution of himself and all the most distinguished of his relatives. lime. de Tocqueville and her husband narrowly escaped the guillotine by the fall of Robespierre; but they did not emigrate, like other royalist families, and they preserved their property. At the restoration in 1815. the father of De. Tocqueville re-assumed the title of count, which belonged to the family before the revolution. Young De Tocqueville was called to the bar at Paris in 1825; and after a short tour in Italy, entered the magistracy as jugs auditeur at Versailles. In this situation lie carefully studied the administrative system of France; and, struck by the perpetual recurrence of revolution, devoted much thought to political questions. In 1831 he threw up his appointmeht at Versailles, and with his colleague there, 3I. Gustave de Beaumont, accepted a government mission to America, to report on the working of the penitentiary system. The commissioners, after their return to Europe, published their report (Du Systbne penitentiaire aux 1832-, Eng. transl., Philadelphia, 1833)—an admirable work, which modified all the ideas pre viously entertained in France regarding prison-discipline. But this was not the most important result of their inquiries. In 1835 De Tocqueville published his great work, .De la Democratte en Amerigue (Eng. trausl. by Reeve, London, 1835). In his introduc tion he sought to show that a great democratic revolution has for centuries being going on in Europe. There is a general progress toward social equality, which must be looked on as a providential fact. In France it has always been borne on by chance, the intelli gent and moral classes of the nation never having connected themselves with it, in order to guide it. In America he found that the same revolution has been going on more rapidly than in Europe, and has indeed nearly reached its limit in the absolute equality of conditions. There, accordingly, lie thinks we may see what is about to happen in Europe. He points out that the people in America may be strictly said to govern. They make the laws and administer them. He draws from what he has observed the conclu sion, that democracy may he reconciled with respect for property, deference for rights, safety to freedom, and reverence for religion. He does not propose the laws and man
ners of the Americans for the imitation of other democratic peoples. He merely seeks, by a faithful picture of an existing democracy to allay the dread of democratic progress, and to induce those at the head of affairs to recognize it as irresistible, and to seek to control it by wise concessions. The Democracy made at once a great sensation. The accuracy of the statements, the skill with which the matter had been digested, and the beauty of the style, were loudly praised by critics. The author was described as the continuator of Montesquieu, and the greatest political writer of his time. He became successively a member of the academy of moral sciences and of the French academy. In 1835 De Tocqueville visited England, where his work had made him known, and where he received an enthusiastic welcome from the leaders of the Whig party. In the same year lie married Miss Mottley, an Englishwoman. He shortly afterward, by a family arrangement, entered into possession of Tocqueville. He stood in 1837 as candi date for the representation of Valognes in the chamber of deputies. His opponent was a retired mill-spinner, who raised the cry of "No nobles" against him. Alluding to the great dovecot of Tocqueville, his opponent said: "Prenez garde! Il va vows remener les pigeons." De Tocqueville was defeated; but two years after lie had become a great favorite with his neighbors, the Norman farmers, and they returned him to the cham bers by an overwhelming majority. As a speaker, De Tocqueville did not succeed, but he exercised great influence on the legislature. Immediately after the revolution he was the most formidable opponent of the socialists and extreme republicans. He opposed Louis Napoleon as a man who believed in his right to throne as firmly as Charles X. He became, however, in 1849, vice-president of the assembly; and from June to October in the same year minister of foreign affairs. At this time he vindicated the policy of the expedition to Rome, on the ground, it must not be forgotten, that it would secure liberal institutions to the states of the church. After the coup d'etat, he returned to Tocque ville, where he devoted himself to agricultural pursuits. He there wrote Eancien Regime et la Rev" olution (Par. 1856; Eng. transl., London and New York, 1856), a work worthy of his fame. In June, 1858, he broke a blood vessel, and was obliged to leave the bleak coast of Normandy for a warmer climate. He took up his abode at Cannes, where lord Brougham and chevalier Bunsen spared no effort to soothe his lingering illness. He died there Apri116, 1859. De Tocqueville's CEupree et Corresponckince Inedites were pub lished in 2 vols. (1860), by his friend M. de Beaumont, who prefixed a biographical notice. The English translation of this work appeared at London and New York in 1861.
TOD (derivation unknown), a weight for wool, now unused; it was fixed at 28 lbs. avoirdupois in 1671.