Democracy in America

Democracy in America




Democracy in America

Tocqueville makes several arguments in his article. Firstly, the he notes that there are significant contradictions in regards to democracy. He states that on one hand, democracy advocates for the rights of individuals to perform actions that pleases them (Tocqueville, 2009, p.547). Conversely, democracy also campaigns for the supremacy of the will of the majority in establishing authority (Tocqueville, 2009, p.547). However, even though he recognizes the significant role played by democracy in the United States, the author argues uncontrolled authority might endanger liberty. According to him, democracy might create an aristocratic system of government, which establishes legal institutions that represent the majority, such as the executive and legislature.

He states that due to tyrannical abuse, these institutions might be influenced to make decision that might oppress the minority. Secondly, the author states that citizens in democratic nations prefer equality to liberty (Tocqueville, 2009, p.551). He states that citizens are contented with the fact that everybody has an equal opportunity to take part in the government. As a result, no one can abuse his or her tyrannical power because everybody would be equal. However, he argues that in is impossible to attain this equality because it cannot be achieved unless everybody is free (Tocqueville, 2009, p.551).

To support his arguments, the author has used the United States to express the advantages and disadvantages of democracy. He has identified areas in which democracy could introduce obstacles to liberty and freedom. For instance, he states that the executive arm of the government is appointed and empowered by the majority. He argues that individuals who have been wronged by the by the executive do not have an alternative organ through which they can acquire justice within the United States (Tocqueville, 2009, p.551). In regards to its advantages, he states that due to equality, representatives elected by the majority will refrain from suppressing the minority (Tocqueville, 2009, p.547). According to him, this attributed to the fact that everybody has an equal opportunity to become a public representative.

Several articles have tried to address issues relating to public administration. However, this Tocqueville’s stands out more vividly compared to those written by other authors. This is because it addressed several issues that have been neglected by other articles. Firstly, the author elaborated the contradictions surrounding democracy. Furthermore, he described the merits and demerits associated with this form of government. However, the idea that makes this article stand out among the rest is the tyranny surrounding democracy. From the article, it was very clear that the American democracy has one major limitation associated with its usage. Without liberty and freedom, equality, which appears to be the foundation of the American democracy, cannot be attained. Therefore, the article is very helpful in that it elaborates how controlled authority can be used to safeguard the interest of both the majority and minority within the society.

The author has made tremendous effort to make his arguments very convincing. He has compared the American democracy to that of other countries in Europe. As a result, he has pointed out how the obstacles can be identified and eliminated. His description of the American democracy as tyrannical appears to be the most effective aspect of his argumentation. He has provided meaningful insight as to how the American democracy can evolve into a tyrannical system if authority is not well monitored. Furthermore, he has used first person narrative to convey his ideas. This portrays his passion for the topic, hence making it more convincing. Finally, the author avoided favoritism regarding the topic. He has provided evidences that support and opposes his arguments.


Tocqueville, Alexis. Democracy in America. Volumes I & II Volumes I & II. Waiheke Island: Floating Press, 2009.

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