American Exceptionalism History, Alexis de Tocqueville Quotes

American Exceptionalism History, Alexis de Tocqueville Quotes

Dinner Topics for Wednesday

Alexis_de_tocquevillekeyOne reason Tocqueville, as a Frenchman, took such interest in America is the comparison between the American and French revolutions. The Founding Fathers loved the God of the Bible, and respected the Judeo-Christian moral values. The French were just the opposite. They totally rejected God and all His attendant values, resulting in murder, immorality, and anarchy. Note that  Tocqueville understands the difference. This is why it is so important to know and understand history—to learn from the choices, good and bad, made by people in the past and then apply those lessons today. ~CD

Alexis de Tocqueville

From Wikipedia

America is great because she is good, and if America ever ceases to be good, America will cease to be great.

  • This has often been attributed to de Tocqueville’s Democracy in America, but erroneously … There’s an earlier variant, without the memorable ending, that dates back to at least 1886:

I went at your bidding, and passed along their thoroughfares of trade. I ascended their mountains and went down their valleys. I visited their manufactories, their commercial markets, and emporiums of trade. I entered their judicial courts and legislative halls. But I sought everywhere in vain for the secret of their success, until I entered the church. It was there, as I listened to the soul-equalizing and soul-elevating principles of the Gospel of Christ, as they fell from Sabbath to Sabbath upon the masses of the people, that I learned why America was great and free, and why France was a slave. (Empty Pews & Selections from Other Sermons on Timely Topics, Madison Clinton Peters; Zeising, 1886, p. 35)

Read on for more thoughtful statements from de Tocqueville. CD

american exceptionalismAlexis-Charles-Henri Clérel de Tocqueville 29 July 1805, Paris – 16 April 1859, Cannes) was a French political thinker and historian best known for his Democracy in America (appearing in two volumes: 1835 and 1840) and The Old Regime and the Revolution (1856). In both of these works, he explored the effects of the rising equality of social conditions on the individual and the state in western societies. Democracy in America (1835), his major work, published after his travels in the United States, is today considered an early work of sociology and political science.

Alexis de Tocqueville came from an old Norman aristocratic family with ancestors who participated in the Battle of Hastings in 1066. His parents, Hervé Louis François Jean Bonaventure Clérel, Comte de Tocqueville, an officer of the Constitutional Guard of King Louis XVI, and Louise Madeleine Le Peletier de Rosanbo, narrowly avoided the guillotine due to the fall of Robespierre in 1794. After an exile in England, they returned to France during the reign of Napoleon. Under the Bourbon Restoration, his father became a noble peer and prefect.[citation needed] Tocqueville attended the Lycée Fabert in Metz.[1]

 

Tocqueville, who despised the July Monarchy (1830-1848), began his political career at the start of the same period, 1830. Thus, he became deputy of the Manche department (Valognes), a position which he maintained until 1851. In parliament, he defended abolitionist views and upheld free trade, while supporting the colonisation of Algeria carried on by Louis-Philippe‘s regime. Tocqueville was also elected general counsellor of the Manche in 1842, and became the president of the department’s conseil général between 1849 and 1851. According to one account, Tocqueville’s political position became untenable during this time in the sense that he was mistrusted by both the left and right, and was looking for an excuse to leave France.[2] In 1831, he obtained from the July Monarchy a mission to examine prisons and penitentiaries in America, and proceeded there with his lifelong friend Gustave de Beaumont. While Tocqueville did visit some prisons, he traveled widely in America and took extensive notes about his observations and reflections.[2] He returned in less than two years, and published a report, but the real result of his tour was De la démocratie en Amerique, which appeared in 1835.[3]

Apart from America, Tocqueville also made an observational tour of England, producing Memoir on Pauperism. In 1841 and 1846, he traveled to Algeria. His first travel inspired his Travail sur l’Algérie, in which he criticized the French model of colonisation, which was based on an assimilationist view, preferring instead the British model of indirect rule, which avoided mixing different populations together. He went as far as openly advocating racial segregation between the European colonists and the “Arabs” through the implementation of two different legislative systems (a half century before implementation of the 1881 Indigenous code based on religion). In 1835 de Tocqueville made a journey through Ireland. His observations provide one of the best pictures of how Ireland stood before the Great Famine 1845-1849. The observations chronicle the growing Catholic middle-class and the appalling conditions in which most Catholic tenant farmers lived. De Tocqueville’s libertarian sympathies and his affinity for his Irish co-religionists are made clear.[4]

american exceptionalismAfter the fall of the July Monarchy during the February 1848 Revolution, Tocqueville was elected a member of the Constituent Assembly of 1848, where he became a member of the Commission charged with the drafting of the new Constitution of the Second Republic (1848-1851). He defended bicameralism (the existence of two parliamentary chambers) and the election of the President of the Republic by universal suffrage. As the countryside was thought to be more conservative than the labouring population of Paris, universal suffrage was conceived as a means to counteract the revolutionary spirit of Paris.

During the Second Republic, Tocqueville sided with the parti de l’Ordre against the socialists. A few days after the February insurrection, he believed that a violent clash between the Parisian workers’ population led by socialists agitating in favor of a “Democratic and Social Republic” and the conservatives, which included the aristocracy and the rural population, was inescapable. As Tocqueville had foreseen, these social tensions eventually exploded during the June Days Uprising of 1848. Led by General Cavaignac, the repression was supported by Tocqueville, who advocated the “regularization” of the state of siege declared by Cavaignac, and other measures promoting suspension of the constitutional order.[5] Between May and September, Tocqueville participated in the Constitutional Commission which wrote the new Constitution. His proposals underlined the importance of his American experience, as his amendment about the President and his reelection.[6]

american exceptonalismA supporter of Cavaignac and of the parti de l’Ordre, Tocqueville, however, accepted an invitation to enter Odilon Barrot‘s government as Minister of Foreign Affairs from 3 June to 31 October 1849. There, during the troubled days of June 1849, he pleaded with Jules Dufaure, Interior Minister, for the reestablishment of the state of siege in the capital and approved the arrest of demonstrators. Tocqueville, who since February 1848 had supported laws restricting political freedoms, approved the two laws voted immediately after the June 1849 days, which restricted the liberty of clubs and freedom of the press. This active support in favor of laws restricting political freedoms stands in contrast of his defense of freedoms in Democracy in America. A closer analysis reveals, however, that Tocqueville favored order as “the sine qua non for the conduct of serious politics. He [hoped] to bring the kind of stability to French political life that would permit the steady growth of liberty unimpeded by the regular rumblings of the earthquakes of revolutionary change.″[7]

Tocqueville had supported Cavaignac against Louis Napoléon Bonaparte for the presidential election of 1848. Opposed to Louis Napoléon’s 2 December 1851 coup which followed his election, Tocqueville was among the deputies who gathered at the 10th arrondissement of Paris in an attempt to resist the coup and have Napoleon III judged for “high treason,” as he had violated the constitutional limit on terms of office. Detained at Vincennes and then released, Tocqueville, who supported the Restoration of the Bourbons against Bonaparte’s Second Empire (1851-1871), quit political life and retreated to his castle (Château de Tocqueville). Against this image of Tocqueville, biographer Joseph Epstein has concluded: “Tocqueville could never bring himself to serve a man he considered a usurper and despot. He fought as best he could for the political liberty in which he so ardently believed-had given it, in all, thirteen years of his life [….] He would spend the days remaining to him fighting the same fight, but conducting it now from libraries, archives, and his own desk.”[8] There, he began the draft of L’Ancien Régime et la Révolution, publishing the first tome in 1856, but leaving the second one unfinished.

A longtime sufferer from bouts of tuberculosis, Tocqueville would eventually succumb to the disease on April 16, 1859. He was buried in the Tocqueville cemetery in Normandy.

Tocqueville’s professed religion was Roman Catholicism.[9] He saw religion as being compatible with both equality and individualism, and felt that religion would be strongest when separated from politics.[2]

Quotes by Alexis de Tocqueville

Liberty cannot be established without morality, nor morality without faith.
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 Americans combine the notions of Christianity and of liberty so intimately in their minds, that it is impossible to make them conceive the one without the other; and with them this conviction does not spring from that barren traditionary faith which seems to vegetate in the soul rather than to live.

Despotism may govern without faith, but liberty cannot. How is it possible that society should escape destruction if the moral tie is not strengthened in proportion as the political tie is relaxed? And what can be done with a people who are their own masters if they are not submissive to the Deity?

Muhammad brought down from heaven and put into the Koran not religious doctrines only, but political maxims, criminal and civil laws, and scientific theories. Beyond that, they teach nothing and do not oblige people to believe anything. That alone, among a thousand reasons, is enough to show that Islam will not be able to hold its power long in ages of enlightenment and democracy, while Christianity is destined to reign in such ages, as in all others.

The Gospels, on the other hand, deal only with the general relations between man and God and between man and man.

The principle of equality does not destroy the imagination, but lowers its flight to the level of the earth.

I should have loved freedom, I believe, at all times, but in the time in which we live I am ready to worship it.

As the past has ceased to throw its light upon the future, the mind of man wanders in obscurity.

 

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Push Back: America First Patriotism, American Exceptionalism History vs. Democrat Squad Anti-American Activities

Push Back:

America First Patriotism, American Exceptionalism History

vs.

Democrat Squad Anti-American Activities

Ye shall know them by their fruits. ~Matthew 7:16

Conservatives Love Everybody and We Want Everybody to Love America

RUSH: We conservatives love everybody. We wish the best for everybody. We understand the great opportunity we all have as Americans.

Rush Limbaugh

rush-trump MAGARUSH: I want to remind you of something that I have said for I don’t know how long. I made a big deal of this point when I addressed CPAC all those years ago in my first national address to the nation, televised by all the cable networks, starting at 5 p.m. on a Saturday. I was taking the occasion — knowing that there was a nationwide audience, I thought it’d be wise — to define conservatism in a way that could be understood by everybody. And in a way that a lot of people don’t understand because of the smearing that conservatives have taken throughout the Drive-By Media.

It is this: We love everybody.

We conservatives love everybody.

We wish the best for everybody.

We understand the great opportunity we all have as Americans.

We wish for all to achieve the American dream.

We wish all who want to, to apply themselves to whatever pursuit of happiness or excellence they desire. It’s a rare opportunity to be born in America and to have these blessed opportunities. And all that we ask — all that people expect, all that we expect — is that you love America, that you recognize how fortunate you are to be in America and that you not run around thinking it’s some great punishment to be an American.

american exceptionalismIt’s not some grievance, not some disadvantage. You’re not a victim because you’re born in America. We want everybody to love America. We want everybody to do well. We want everybody to take advantage of the great potential that they all have. We bend over backwards in this country to help anybody who wants to get their dream. Just don’t diss us and the country in the process.

So it isn’t hard to say you love the country, and it’s not a cliche to say so. It shouldn’t be embarrassing to say so. And it shouldn’t be in any way problematic to explain why and what you want. And, by the way, it’s not defensive to talk this way.

But if you start disrespecting us, if you start trying to tear it all down, if you start lying about it, if you start trying to undermine, disrupt, and rip this place to shreds, then we’re not just gonna sit by and smile and say, “Well, you have the freedom to do that.” You may, but we have the freedom to stop you, and we’re gonna do what we can to stop you. And that’s the battle that we are in here.

Conservatives Love Everybody and We Want Everybody to Love America

The Anti-American Squad’s Vile Press Conference

RUSH: The Democrat Party is the number one hate group in the country, followed by the Drive-By Media.

President Trump’s Twitter Message

Joel B. Pollak

Breitbart

democrat squad

More A.F. Branco Cartoons at The Daily Torch.

So interesting to see “Progressive” Democrat Congresswomen, who originally came from countries whose governments are a complete and total catastrophe, the worst, most corrupt and inept anywhere in the world (if they even have a functioning government at all), now loudly…… ….and viciously telling the people of the United States, the greatest and most powerful Nation on earth, how our government is to be run. Why don’t they go back and help fix the totally broken and crime infested places from which they came. Then come back and show us how…. ….it is done. These places need your help badly, you can’t leave fast enough. I’m sure that Nancy Pelosi would be very happy to quickly work out free travel arrangements!

Trump’s remarks seemed primarily directed at Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-MN), who is from Somalia. On Friday, Omar said the president “shouldn’t be in office,” responding to his similar criticism of her, after questions from reporters.

This month, Omar also told an audience of high school students that the U.S. was failing to keep its promise to be a just society.

Tlaib’s Fraud

Of the other three members, one, Rep. Rashida Tlaib (D-MI), is a first-generation American whose parents immigrated from the West Bank, in an area administered by the Palestinian Authority. She represents a district that includes part of Detroit. [Tlaib’s own father exposed her fraud:  that she doesn’t even live in the district she supposedly represents.]

Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY) represents parts of Queens and the South Bronx, and traces her roots to Puerto Rico, a U.S. territory. Rep. Ayanna Pressley (D-MA) is African-American, and was born to a single mother in Cincinnati and raised in Chicago.

The “Squad” is the nickname Pelosi has given the group

The “Squad” is the nickname Pelosi has given the group, which is loosely organized around an organization called the “Justice Democrats,” which seeks to back primary challenges against moderate and white incumbents.

Ocasio-Cortez and her chief of staff, Saikat Chakrabarti, have feuded with Pelosi and the Congressional Black Caucus recently. After Ocasio-Cortez suggested Pelosi was racist, President Trump defended the Speaker — often his nemesis — on Friday.

The Anti-American Squad’s Vile Press Conference

 

American Exceptionalism History: Founding of America based on Biblical Values

American Exceptionalism History:

Founding of America based on Biblical Values

Rediscovering America’s goodness

Rusty Benson

AFA Journal

July 2019 – Take a guess: On average, how long is the lifespan of a written national constitution? One hundred years? Fifty? Thirty?

The answer, according to three scholars at the University of Chicago Law School, may surprise you: 17 years.

While it’s the job of scholars to figure out why these governing compositions are so fragile, Americans must appreciate the durability of the U.S. Constitution, especially as the nation approaches its 232nd anniversary on September 17 and the 243rd anniversary of the Declaration of Independence on July 4.

Stephen McDowell (photo, right), historian and founder of Providence Foundation, is convinced that these founding documents have endured because they are based squarely on yet another document that has endured even longer: the Bible.

In “Christianity and the Constitution” (See below.), McDowell quotes a prestigious literary journal of 1867: “The American government and Constitution is the most precious possession which the world holds, or which the future can inherit. This is true – true because the American system is the political expression of Christian ideas.”

In celebration of Independence Day, McDowell spoke to AFA Journal regarding these abiding ideas expressed in the nation’s core writings.

AFA Journal: What are the underlying beliefs or ideas encompassed in the nation’s founding documents?
Stephen McDowell: The power and form of the Declaration and the Constitution are biblical. Power being the underlying ideas that are reflected, and form, the structure of how our government was set up and flows out of those ideas.

The Declaration of Independence is America’s founding covenant.

The Declaration of Independence is America’s founding covenant. It declares why we became a nation. The Constitution is the bylaws of this new nation. So you have to look at them together.

The Declaration begins by saying “We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.“

Now that statement is full of biblical ideas.

Absolute Truth Exists

1) First, the founders recognized that absolute truth exists. Right and wrong, moral and immoral, legal and illegal – these emanated from a Creator.

This is a foundational idea of our nation: there is absolute truth we can know, and it comes from the Creator. The founders declared that fact to be self-evident. And from that, flows the idea that any law contrary to God’s truth is no law at all.

No One Is Above the Law

2) Another important concept in our form of government is that the rulers, as well as the people, are subject to the laws. No man is above the law. We are a self-governing republic in which power emanates from the people, who themselves are under the Creator.

Therefore, our unalienable rights come from the Creator. Thomas Jefferson summarized those as the right to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness, a concept that in the modern mind means people being free to do whatever they want to do. But that’s not what the founders meant. The right to pursue happiness meant the right to be free to obey the will of God. So, if the government or other men keep us from doing God’s will, we have an obligation to change that form of government or take appropriate steps.

There are many more biblical concepts in the documents, including religious freedom, private property rights, and a just trial, to name a few.

AFAJ: How does providence fit into your understanding of America’s past, present, and future?
SM: The word providence means God’s superintendent care over His creation. God created everything. He is actively involved in His creation, in each of our individual lives, and in history. The Founding Fathers spoke about that over and over in regard to the colonies’ victory in the American Revolution. They also spoke of the Constitution as a miracle of God.

I love what historian George Bancroft said. He said the fact that God rules in the affairs of men is as certain as any truth of physical science. And that was the view of the founders when they wrote of their “firm reliance on the protection of divine Providence.”

But in that, we have a responsibility. Sowing and reaping works. However, there’s not anything that’s going to happen without God allowing or directing. John Quincy Adams put it this way. He said the duty is ours; the results are the Lord’s.

AFAJ: You say your mission is to “transform the culture for Christ.” In a pluralistic society, how do you defend that position?
SM: We live in God’s world, not in a made-up world of Karl Marx or Darwin or any other political philosopher.

God created it to function based upon a set of physical and moral laws. If we violate His laws, we suffer the consequence. The Bible teaches that, and history confirms it.

Keys to Happiness

Christianity has brought great blessing to mankind. Benjamin Rush, the third most famous Founding Father – although most people today have never heard of him – said Christianity is the only true and perfect religion, and that in the proportion that we adopt its principles and obey its precepts, mankind will be wise and happy. And that doesn’t just apply to those who believe, but to the unbeliever also. That’s the reason that millions are trying to get into America – they want to benefit from the great fruit that was produced from the Christian faith.

But if we remove the Christian faith and its principles, then we’re going to get worse and worse fruit. That’s what’s been happening the past century.

Benjamin Franklin told Thomas Paine that people are spitting against the wind when they attack Christianity because through obeying God, we bring great freedom and liberty for all.

That’s one among many ways that I would justify the great need for ministries like ours, AFA, and others.

AFAJ: What does the American dream mean to you?
SM: The American dream is those foundational principles adhered to by the early founders. They were like seeds that produced great fruit. For example, the individual has value because he is created in the image of God.

So we need to protect man’s life, liberty, and property. We have a civil government to protect private property so that men can benefit from the fruit of their labor.

These ideas and others such as religious freedom and the right to a fair trial before a jury of our peers are unique in the history of man. These are some of the fundamental rights that make up the American dream.

AFAJ: Is it possible to restore America to a nation in which Christian ideals are dominant?
SM: Most certainly it’s possible because we can see many times in history that God has sent a great outpouring of His Holy Spirit to awaken the hearts of the people.

We Have a Role to Play in Teaching our Children the Truth of the Gospel

And yet, we have a role to play in that – teaching our children the truth of the gospel, being faithful in our biblical duties, growing in Christ-like character, participating in the Great Commission, and standing for biblical truth in our communities.

Yes, there is plenty of bad fruit and much of it is getting worse. But there is also a lot of good fruit – Christians who are being awakened, and that indicates to me that God is at work and has a plan. That gives me hope.

 

American Ignorance of History


A 2017 survey by University of Pennsylvania’s Annenberg Public Policy Center revealed that:

  • 37% of Americans could not name a single right protected by the First Amendment.
  • Only 26% could name all three branches of government.
  • Only 33% could name any branch of government.

AFA has published a pocket-sized booklet containing the text of the U.S. Constitution and the Declaration of Independence, a great resource for all citizens. Order your copy afastore.net.

Recommended articles at providencefoundation.com

Christianity and the Constitution
Christian Ideas in the Declaration of Independence

Why Young Adults need to know about Judeo-Christian Heritage and Freedom of Religion

 

faith-and-freedomYoung people who have grown up with freedom and convenience tend to take it for granted —even to be lured by tyrannical “utopian” doctrines—because they don’t know what it’s like to be without God, and without freedom.

“Ben, this is spiritual warfare—for the souls of those we love,” Rebekah said. “If we don’t teach you the truth, the world will teach you its lies. You must write about our way of life before it is lost.” Birthright Covenant Trilogy, Book 1