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novelty of the subject had indeed worn off, but the excessive tendency to generalize which was apparent in the earlier volumes was now still more evident, and the discussions are often too abstract for the popular taste. Still the second part of the work formed in its author's mind, and is in fact, the necessary complement of all that preceded. It is divided into four books, treating respectively of the “Influence of Democracy upon the Action of Intellect in the United States," of the “ Influence of Democracy on the Feelings of the Americans," of the “Influence of Democracy on Manners properly so called,” and of the “ Influence of Democratic Ideas and Feelings on Political Society.” Under the first head are included various observations on the state of religion, literature, and the arts in this country, as affected by democratic influences, with much collateral discussion as to the general tendency of the intellect in democratic times and nations; in the second division, De Tocqueville starts from the proposition that individualism, or the disposition of “ each member of the community to sever himself from the mass of his fellows, and to draw apart with his family and his friends,” is a plant of democratic origin, and is likely to spread coextensively with the equality of condition, and then proceeds to show how the Americans have endeavored to overcome this tendency, sidering at the same time such of the characteristics of our countrymen as are chiefly dependent on the tastes and feelings; the next division is mainly devoted to an account of the state of manners, education, and society in America, and to a consideration of the effect of democratic institutions on the domestic relations, but also includes some remarks on the pacific inclinations of democratic nations, and the warlike inclinations of democratic armies, and on the conduct of military affairs under a democracy; and the last division is occupied in showing that the tendency of such institutions is naturally toward centralization, and in gathering up the general results of the inquiry. “ Around every man,” he says in conclusion, and it is in the spirit of these words that the whole book is written, “ around every man a fatal circle is traced, beyond which he cannot pass; but within the wide verge of that circle he is powerful and free: as it is with man, so with
communities. The nations of our time cannot prevent the conditions of men from becoming equal; but it depends upon themselves whether the principle of equality is to lead them to servitude or freedom, to knowledge or barbarism, to prosperity or wretchedness."
Not long after the publication of his first two volumes, De Tocqueville had been chosen a member of the Academy of the Moral and Political Sciences; and in 1841, the year following the publication of the second part of his work, he was further honored by an election to a vacant chair in the French Academy. After the completion of the “ Democracy in America” his thoughts appear to have been chiefly directed to political life, and he entered with considerable activity into the stormy debates which preceded the Revolution of 1848. In the remarkable speech which Mr. Bowen has translated and printed in the volumes before us, De Tocqueville attacks the government in general and Guizot in particular with a sharpness of invective and a personality of accusation to be found only in the annals of the Chamber of Deputies during the reign of Louis Philippe ; but in spite of the admiration which every one must feel for the transcendent genius of Guizot, his lofty integrity, and his disinterested patriotism, it must be conceded that there was not much of exaggeration in the orator's account of the depraved state of public and private morals in France. It was in this speech that he distinctly predicted a revolution. “I sincerely declare," he says, at the very commencement of the speech, “that, for the first time for fifteen years, I feel a special dread of the future.” Elsewhere, in avowing his belief that the opinions then agitated in France “ must bring about sooner or later the most fearful revolutions,” he says: “ This, gentlemen, is my profound conviction. I believe we are, at the present moment, slumbering upon a volcano. I am thoroughly convinced of it.” And in another place he asks : “ Are you not aware, by a sort of instinctive intuition that you cannot analyze, but which is certain, that the ground is heaving anew in Europe ? Do you not feel that the air is already stirred by the coming gust of a revolution ? "
When the Revolution actually burst upon France, he at
once ranged himself on the side of law and order, in opposition to the socialistic designs of some of those who were now thrown to the surface of affairs. In the Constituent Assembly which was convoked for the 4th of May, 1848, he sat for the Department of La Manche; and he was one of the members of that body intrusted with the formation of a constitution. In the discharge of this duty he seems to have made profitable use of his observations in this country, and of his subsequent studies on the character and working of the American government; but his views did not commend themselves to the majority of the committee, and the constitution which was finally adopted was not altogether such as he could approve. In the election for President, which soon afterward ensued, he gave a cordial support to General Cavaignac, in the belief that it was more important for France that the right man should be intrusted with the management of affairs than that the constitution should be theoretically perfect. During the brief period in which Cavaignac had already held the supreme power, De Tocqueville had been appointed Minister Plenipotentiary to the conference designed to be held at Brussels for the purpose of settling the quarrel between Austria and Sardinia, but which, we believe, never met, or at least accomplished nothing. Subsequently he was chosen a member of the Legislative Assembly under the new constitution, and six months after the election of Louis Napoleon to the Presidency he was appointed to the portfolio of Foreign Affairs in the ministry of Odillon Barrot. At this time he was travelling on the Rhine with his wife; but he immediately returned to Paris, and at once entered on the performance of his new duties. He held the office of Minister of Foreign Affairs till near the close of the year 1849, discharging his delicate and important trust in a manner creditable to himself and useful to his country.
The next two years were among the most active in his political life, though a portion of the time was spent in Italy in the pursuit of health ; but the necessary suppression of so large a part of his correspondence renders it extremely difficult to construct a satisfactory narrative of this period, and nearly impossible to show how he regarded the course VOL. LXXIII. - 5TH S. VOL. XI. NO, III.
of public events. Of the transactions immediately preceding the coup d'état of December, 1851, however, we have a very clear and animated account in a letter addressed by him to the London Times a few days afterward. During the whole spring and summer he had seen the approaching storm, and his mind had been greatly agitated by it.
6 The responsibility of absence in political times,” he wrote from Sorrento, in March, to a former colleague, seems to me heavier than the responsibility of action.” Two months later he said: “ The constitution, bad as it is, is our only bulwark. Nothing else stands between us and either anarchy or despotism.” A fortnight later, in speaking of the revision of the constitution, which in the stress of the times he felt obliged to advocate, he said: “So clearly do I see the dangers of the revision, that I could not bring myself to vote for it, if I saw any other less dangerous course." And finally, less than a week before the coup d'état he wrote, in reference to the busy yet peaceful months which he had passed on the shore of the Bay of Naples : “ That delicious and tranquil retreat, coming as it did between the Revolution of 1848 and the one which is impending, was like a rest upon some Southern isle between two shipwrecks."
At length the blow fell, and the French Republic ceased to be. The Legislative Assembly had struggled courageously but vainly in behalf of the cause of free institutions, and against the growing power of Louis Napoleon, when on the 2d of December they took the last fatal step, which was instantly followed by their overthrow. On that morning the members learned that several of their colleagues and political friends, including Thiers, Changarnier, Cavaignac, and Lamoricière, had already been arrested, and on attempting to enter their usual place of assembly they were driven back at the point of the bayonet. From this place a considerable number proceeded to the Mairie of the tenth arrondissement, where they immediately organized, and voted a decree to the effect, that “ Louis Napoleon Bonaparte is deprived of all authority as President of the Republic. The citizens are enjoined to withhold their obedience. The executive power has passed in full right to the National Assembly. The
Judges of the High Court of Justice are enjoined to meet immediately, under pain of forfeiture, to proceed to the judgment of the President and his accomplices; consequently, all the officers and functionaries of power and of public authority are bound to obey all requisitions made in the name of the National Assembly, under pain of forfeiture and of high treason." The decree was signed by the officers and representatives to the number of two hundred and thirty, among whom were Odillon Barrot, Gustave de Beaumont, Berryer, De Broglie, Rémusat, and De Tocqueville. They were all of them shortly afterward arrested on the spot, and marched off to the barracks on the Quai d'Orsay, from which they were transferred, “ some to the fortress of Mont Valerien, some to the Prison Mazas in Paris, and the remainder to Vincennes.” De Tocqueville's imprisonment was only of short duration, but with it his political life terminated forever.
After his release he withdrew to his estate in the northwestern corner of France, and there, with the exception of several visits to Paris and some other journeys, most of his time was passed in superintending the improvements on his land and his buildings, and in literary avocations. Even before the coup d'état he had meditated writing a second book, and as early as January, 1851, he intimated to De Beaumont his belief that his fame must ultimately rest on his works, rather than on his career as a statesman. “ I have long, as you know," he writes, “ been engrossed with the thought of undertaking another book. It has occurred to me a hundred times, that, if I am to leave any traces of my passage through the world, it will be far more by my writings than by my actions. Besides, I feel myself more capable of writing a book now than I was fifteen years ago. I have, therefore, employed my thoughts, in my walks over the hills round Sorrento, in search of a subject.” When he could no longer take part in political discussions and the various duties of public life, he naturally reverted to this plan in order to seek relief from the depressing thoughts by which his mind was far too much occupied. With but little hesitation he selected for his subject the French Revolution, not, indeed, with any purpose of writing a history, but rather with a view