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Tocqueville

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TOCQUEVILLE, (Fr. tilk-vel), Alexis Charles Henri Clerel de, French states man and writer: b. Verneuil, 29 July 1805; d. Cannes, 16 April 1859. He was originally destined for the military profession, but ex changed it for that of law. In 1827 he was ap pointed an assistant magistrate at Versailles. In 1831 he was commissioned by the French government to proceed along with his friend, M. Gustave de Beaumont, to America, and to investigate and report upon the penitentiary system of the United States. The results of the inquiry were nublished in 1833 under the title (Du Systeme Penitentiaire aux Etats-Unis et de son Application en France.> This, how ever, was only the precursor of the greater and more celebrated work (La Democratie en Amerique> (1835), to which the Montyon prize of the French Academy was awarded in 1836, and which, by 1850, had run through 13 edi tions. It was the first systematic analysis of democracy as exemplified in the institutions and political relations of the United States, and was translated into the principal European lan guages. Tocqueville was in 1839 elected to a

seat in the Chamber of Deputies, and ranged himself with the opposition. After the Revolu tion of 1&48 he was nominated deputy from the department of La Manche to the National As sembly, where he voted always against the proposttions of the ultra-democratic party. In the Cabinet of 2 June 1849, he accepted the portfolio of Foreign Affairs, but resigned it the same year, after holding it for five months. After the coup d'itat of 2 Dec. 1851, he lived retired from public affairs, and devoted his leisure to the production of (L'Ancien Regime et la Revolution,' published in 1856. His com nlete works appeared in 1860-65. Consult Jaques, 'Alexis de Tocqueville> (1876) ; (Sou venirs d'Alexis de Tocqueville> (1893) ; and D'Eichtal, (Alexis de Tocqueville et la Demo crane Liberale) (1897).