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The Federalist Papers Publications

De Tocqueville analyzed American society at a particular point in time and found a republican democracy with certain characteristics.

De Tocqueville's analysis of American society holds that the American system embodies certain variations of the universal culture. He found an America that was then an agrarian nation where the basic unit of association was the local community. This was much like the society of jay's time, though not like the urbanized social structure in which we live today. What marked the society as different from other societies was found in the spirit, the mores, that animated members of this community, a spirit symbolized in the representative character of the independent citizen. The term "republic" had a particular meaning for de Tocqueville that transcended the idea of the Union that was then so important because of the Civil War. De Tocqueville stated that "republic" in the United States meant "the slow and quiet action of society upon itself":

It is an orderly state really founded on the enlightened will of the people. It is a conciliatory government under which resolutions have time to ripen, being discussed with deliberation and executed only when mature (De Tocqueville 395).

Smith challenges the idea that America had the sort of uniformity and equality note by Jay and de Tocqueville, and de Tocqueville indeed looks back to the time of Jay and cites such elements as the vast tract of uninhabited land, the understanding of the people from England of the ideas of the rights and principles of true liberty:

This combination of comparatively equal and open economic and social conditions and an ideological legacy conducive to republicanism and personal liberties made america the perfect laboratory to study the tendencies of a society that from the start was decisively free, egalitarian, and democratic in theory and practice (Smith 551).

Actually, the early nation was not as egalitarian as de ...

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The Federalist Papers Publications. (1969, December 31). In Retrieved 11:29, August 17, 2017, from
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