TOCQUEVILLE, NAPOLEON, AND HISTORY-WRITING IN A DEMOCRATIC AGE

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Scopus citations

Abstract

In Democracy in America, Tocqueville posited a contrast between the way history is written in “aristocratic” and “democratic” ages. In the former, historians tend to assign great weight to the actions of individuals; in the latter, they privilege great impersonal forces that act upon the mass. The essay examines Tocqueville’s views of Napoleon Bonaparte in light of these reflections. It concludes that despite his occasional vulnerability to the lure of Napoleonic grandeur, and despite his own desire, as an aristocrat writing in a democratic age, to effect a synthesis of the two modes of historical writing, in the end he fundamentally viewed Napoleon’s actions as determined by the forces of democratic equality and revolution.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)43-55
Number of pages13
JournalTocqueville Review
Volume42
Issue number2
DOIs
StatePublished - Dec 2021

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • History
  • Sociology and Political Science

Fingerprint

Dive into the research topics of 'TOCQUEVILLE, NAPOLEON, AND HISTORY-WRITING IN A DEMOCRATIC AGE'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this