Sunday, August 28, 2016

Democracy in America, Tocqueville

Tocqueville's perspicacity was incomplete on the Alleghenies and departed him completely on the South. In a footnote to the chapter "WHAT ARE THE CHANCES IN FAVOR OF THE DURATION OF THE AMERICAN UNION, AND WHAT DANGERS THREATEN IT" (sic) the translator writes,

This chapter is one of the most curious and interesting portions of the must be confessed that the sagacity of the author is sometimes at fault in these speculations, and did not save him from considerable errors. (442)

The translator then lists several. The undersigned skips around in his reading and came upon the following departures from perspicacity before he read the translator's note, is almost impossible to discover any sort of material interest which might at present tempt a portion of the Union to separate from the other States (452)

The South and the West, on their side, are still more directly interested  [than the North] in the preservation of the Union, and the prosperity of the North. (454)

...slavery has not created interests in the South contrary to  those of the North...