French philosopher and politician Alexis de Tocqueville came from a noble family.
King Louis-Philippe sent him and his friend Gustave de Beaumont to investigate American prisons in 1831 which inspired Tocqueville to write the well-known book “Democracy in America.” This is one of the best books on democracy and American society.
Further, Tocqueville corresponded with notable individuals like John Stuart Mill and wrote about his travels to England Ireland and Algeria.
Politically he supported the government during the 1848 revolution and served as a deputy and advisor during the July Monarchy.
He briefly served as a minister for Louis-Napoleon Bonaparte but he left politics after the coup d’état of 1851 because he would not swear allegiance to Bonaparte.
Here is a great collection of quotes by Alexis de Tocqueville.
Top 10 Alexis de Tocqueville Quotes
Nothing is more wonderful than the art of being free, but nothing is harder to learn how to use than freedom. ~ Alexis de Tocqueville.
What is not yet done is only what we have not yet attempted to do. ~ Alexis de Tocqueville.
Next to hating their enemies, men are most inclined to flatter them. ~ Alexis de Tocqueville.
The whole life of an American is passed like a game of chance, a revolutionary crisis, or a battle. ~ Alexis de Tocqueville.
He who seeks freedom for anything but freedom’s self is made to be a slave. ~ Alexis de Tocqueville.
History is a gallery of pictures in which there are few originals and many copies. ~ Alexis de Tocqueville.
The tie of language is perhaps the strongest and the most durable that can unite mankind. ~ Alexis de Tocqueville.
There is no country in the world where the Christian religion retains a greater influence over the souls of men than in America. ~ Alexis de Tocqueville.
I have only one passion, the love of liberty and human dignity. ~ Alexis de Tocqueville.
America is great because she is good. If America ceases to be good, America will cease to be great. ~ Alexis de Tocqueville.
Best Alexis de Tocqueville Quotes
Countries, therefore, when lawmaking falls exclusively to the lot of the poor cannot hope for much economy in public expenditure; expenses will always be considerable, either because taxes cannot touch those who vote for them or because they are assessed in a way to prevent that. ~ Alexis de Tocqueville.
Laws are always unstable unless they are founded upon the manners of a nation; manners are the only durable and resisting power in a people. ~ Alexis de Tocqueville.
No men are less addicted to reverie than the citizens of a democracy. ~ Alexis de Tocqueville.
Lawyers belong to the people by birth and interest, and to the aristocracy by habit and taste; they may be looked upon as the connecting link of the two great classes of society. ~ Alexis de Tocqueville.
There is hardly a political question in the United States which does not sooner or later turn into a judicial one. ~ Alexis de Tocqueville.
The Americans combine the notions of religion and liberty so intimately in their minds, that it is impossible to make them conceive of one without the other. ~ Alexis de Tocqueville.
The evil which one suffers patiently as inevitable seems insupportable as soon as he conceives the idea of escaping from it. ~ Alexis de Tocqueville.
Famous Alexis de Tocqueville Quotes
One of the distinguishing characteristics of a democratic period is the taste that all men have for easy success and present enjoyment. This occurs in the pursuits of the intellect as well as in others. ~ Alexis de Tocqueville.
Consider any individual at any period of his life, and you will always find him preoccupied with fresh plans to increase his comfort. ~ Alexis de Tocqueville.
There is one universal law that has been formed, or at least adopted by the majority of mankind. That law is justice. Justice forms the cornerstone of each nation’s law. ~ Alexis de Tocqueville.
America is a land of wonders, in which everything is in constant motion and every change seems an improvement. No natural boundary seems to be set to the efforts of man; and in his eyes what is not yet done is only what he has not attempted to do. ~ Alexis de Tocqueville.
The happy and powerful do not go into exile, and there are no surer guarantees of equality among men than poverty and misfortune. ~ Alexis de Tocqueville.
No stigma attaches to the love of money in America, and provided it does not exceed the bounds imposed by public order, it is held in honor. The American will describe as noble and estimable ambition that our medieval ancestors would have called base cupidity. ~ Alexis de Tocqueville.
Popular Alexis de Tocqueville Quotes
Men cannot abandon their religious faith without a kind of aberration of intellect and a sort of violent distortion of their true nature; they are invincibly brought back to more pious sentiments. Unbelief is an accident, and faith is the only permanent state of mankind. ~ Alexis de Tocqueville.
The world belongs to those with the most energy. ~ Alexis de Tocqueville.
The greatness of America lies not in being more enlightened than any other nation, but rather in her ability to repair her faults. ~ Alexis de Tocqueville.
What is most important for democracy is not that great fortunes should not exist, but that great fortunes should not remain in the same hands. In that way there are rich men, but they do not form a class. ~ Alexis de Tocqueville.
Socialism is a new form of slavery. ~ Alexis de Tocqueville.
At the head of any new undertaking where in France you would find the government, or in England some great lord, in the United States you are sure to find an association. ~ Alexis de Tocqueville.
It is from the midst of this putrid sewer that the greatest river of human industry springs up and carries fertility to the whole world. From this foul drain pure gold flows forth. ~ Alexis de Tocqueville.
Chance does nothing that has not been prepared beforehand. ~ Alexis de Tocqueville.
Great Alexis de Tocqueville Quotes
Despotism often presents itself as the repairer of all the ills suffered, the support of just rights, defender of the oppressed, and founder of order. ~ Alexis de Tocqueville.
This so-called tolerance, which, in my opinion, is nothing but a huge indifference. ~ Alexis de Tocqueville.
Remember that life is neither pain nor pleasure; it is serious business, to be entered upon with courage and in a spirit of self-sacrifice. ~ Alexis de Tocqueville.
There are at the present time two great nations in the world allude to the Russians and the Americans All other nations seem to have nearly reached their national limits, and have only to maintain their power; these alone are proceeding along a path to which no limit can be perceived. ~ Alexis de Tocqueville.
Every central government worships uniformity: uniformity relieves it from inquiry into an infinity of details. ~ Alexis de Tocqueville.
The American Republic will endure until the day Congress discovers that it can bribe the public with the public’s money. ~ Alexis de Tocqueville.
The most perilous moment for a bad government is when it seeks to mend its ways. Only consummate statecraft can enable a king to save his throne when, after a long spell of oppression, he sets out to improve the lot of his subjects. ~ Alexis de Tocqueville.
In politics shared hatreds are almost always the basis of friendships. ~ Alexis de Tocqueville.
Better use has been made of association and this powerful instrument of action has been applied for more varied aims in America than anywhere else in the world. ~ Alexis de Tocqueville.
Freedom sees in religion the companion of its struggles and its triumphs, the cradle of its infancy, the divine source of its rights. It considers religion as the safeguard of mores; and mores as the guarantee of laws and the pledge of its duration. ~ Alexis de Tocqueville.
Wise Alexis de Tocqueville Quotes
In a revolution, as in a novel, the most difficult part to invent is the end. ~ Alexis de Tocqueville.
Democracy does not create strong ties between people. But it does make living together easier. ~ Alexis de Tocqueville.
Liberty cannot be established without morality, nor morality without faith. ~ Alexis de Tocqueville.
You need not value it yourself if you do not wish to; but you ought to allow it to us who do value it. ~ Alexis de Tocqueville.
It must not be forgotten that it is especially dangerous to enslave men in the minor details of life. For my part, I should be inclined to think freedom less necessary in the great things than in the little ones, if it were possible to be secure of the one without the other. ~ Alexis de Tocqueville.
A state of equality is perhaps less elevated, but it is more just; and its justice constitutes its greatness and beauty. ~ Alexis de Tocqueville.
In America the majority raises formidable barriers around the liberty of opinion; within these barriers an author may write what he pleases, but woe to him if he goes beyond them. ~ Alexis de Tocqueville.
The most dangerous moment for a bad government is when it begins to reform. ~ Alexis de Tocqueville.
When none but the wealthy had watches, they were almost all very good ones; few are now made which are worth much, but everybody has one in his pocket. ~ Alexis de Tocqueville.
I do not know if the people of the United States would vote for superior men if they ran for office, but there can be no doubt that such men do not run. ~ Alexis de Tocqueville.
Profound Alexis de Tocqueville Quotes
Evils which are patiently endured when they seem inevitable become intolerable once the idea of escape from them is suggested. ~ Alexis de Tocqueville.
A long war almost always places nations in this sad alternative: that their defeat delivers them to destruction and their triumph to despotism. ~ Alexis de Tocqueville.
It is easier for the world to accept a simple lie than a complex truth. ~ Alexis de Tocqueville.
Americans are so enamored of equality, they would rather be equal in slavery than unequal in freedom. ~ Alexis de Tocqueville.
The position of the Americans is quite exceptional, and it may be believed that no democratic people will ever be placed in a similar one. ~ Alexis de Tocqueville.
The more alike men are, the weaker each feels in the face of all. ~ Alexis de Tocqueville.
America is a land of wonders, in which everything is in constant motion and every change seems an improvement. ~ Alexis de Tocqueville.
Thought-Provoking Alexis de Tocqueville Quotes
As the past has ceased to throw its light upon the future, the mind of man wanders in obscurity. ~ Alexis de Tocqueville.
Society was cut in two: those who had nothing united in common envy; those who had anything united in common terror. ~ Alexis de Tocqueville.
We need a new political science for a new world. ~ Alexis de Tocqueville.
There are many men of principle in both parties in America, but there is no party of principle. ~ Alexis de Tocqueville.
Can it be believed that the democracy which overthrew the feudal system and vanquished kings will retreat before tradesmen and capitalists? ~ Alexis de Tocqueville.
When the past no longer illuminates the future, the spirit walks in darkness. ~ Alexis de Tocqueville.
When an American asks for the cooperation of his fellow citizens, it is seldom refused; and I have often seen it afforded spontaneously and with great good will. ~ Alexis de Tocqueville.
Trade is the natural enemy of all violent passions because it loves moderation, delights in compromise and is most careful to avoid anger. ~ Alexis de Tocqueville.
So these were the 70 top quotes about Alexis de Tocqueville.