Books Should Be Free is now
Loyal Books
Free Public Domain Audiobooks & eBook Downloads
Search by: Title, Author or Keyword

American Institutions and Their Influence   By: (1805-1859)

Book cover

First Page:





Entered according to Act of Congress, in the year 1851, BY A.S. BARNES & CO., In the Clerk's Office of the District Court of the United States for the Southern District of New York.


The American publishers of M. De Tocqueville's "Democracy in America," have been frequently solicited to furnish the work in a form adapted to seminaries of learning, and at a price which would secure its more general circulation, and enable trustees of School District Libraries, and other libraries, to place it among their collections. Desirous to attain these objects, they have consulted several gentlemen, in whose judgment they confided, and particularly the editor of the American editions, to ascertain whether the work was capable of abridgment or condensation, so as to bring the expense of its publication within the necessary limits. They are advised that the nature of the work renders it impossible to condense it by omitting any remarks or illustrations of the author upon any subject discussed by him, even if common justice to him did not forbid any such attempt; and that the only mode of reducing its bulk, is to exclude wholly such subjects as are deemed not to be essential.

It will be recollected that the first volume was originally published separately, and was complete in itself. It treated of the influence of democracy upon the political institutions of the United States, and exhibited views of the nature of our government, and of their complicated machinery, so new, so striking, and so just, as to excite the admiration and even the wonder of our countrymen. It was universally admitted to be the best, if not the first systematic and philosophic view of the great principles of our constitutions which has been presented to the world. As a treatise upon the spirit of our governments, it was full and finished, and was deemed worthy of being introduced as a text book in some of our Seminaries of Learning. The publication of the first volume alone would therefore seem to be sufficient to accomplish in the main the objects of the publishers above stated.

And upon a careful re examination of the second volume, this impression is confirmed. It is entirely independent of the first volume, and is in no way essential to a full understanding of the principles and views contained in that volume. It discusses the effects of the democratic principle upon the tastes, feelings, habits, and manners of the Americans; and although deeply interesting and valuable, yet the observations of the author on these subjects are better calculated for foreign countries than for our own citizens. As he wrote for Europe they were necessary to his plan. They follow naturally and properly the profound views which had already been presented, and which they carry out and illustrate. But they furnish no new developments of those views, nor any facts that would be new to us.

The publishers were therefore advised that the printing of the first volume complete and entire, was the only mode of attaining the object they had in view. They have accordingly determined to adopt that course, intending, if the public sentiment should require it, hereafter to print the second volume in the same style, so that both may be had at the same moderate price.

A few notes, in addition to those contained in the former editions, have been made by the American editor, which upon a reperusal of the volume seemed useful if not necessary: and some statistical results of the census of 1840 have been added, in connection with similar results given by the author from returns previous to that year.


The following work of M. DE TOCQUEVILLE has attracted great attention throughout Europe, where it is universally regarded as a sound, philosophical, impartial, and remarkably clear and distinct view of our political institutions, and of our manners, opinions, and habits, as influencing or influenced by those institutions... Continue reading book >>

eBook Downloads
ePUB eBook
• iBooks for iPhone and iPad
• Nook
• Sony Reader
Kindle eBook
• Mobi file format for Kindle
Read eBook
• Load eBook in browser
Text File eBook
• Computers
• Windows
• Mac

Review this book

Popular Genres
More Genres
Paid Books