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Alexis de Tocqueville Essay


Alexis de Tocqueville was a French citizen who was a historian. He wrote a historic documentation by the name democracy in America in the year 1835. This paper clearly describes the three distinct races that lived in America in the 19th century. According to the documentation, the three races were; the Native Americans, Africans and Europeans.

The three races

The whites were the most dominating race in the 19th century. They considered themselves to be more superior and intelligent than the other races. They dominated and forcefully used other races as slaves. The Negroes and Indians were the second group just below the whites. One common feature shared among these two races was unhappiness.

The Negroes and Indians purely shared equal level of misfortune. Notable to mention is that, they both occupied an equal low class status in the country. They were also exposed to severe suffering by their tyranny. This was a clear indicator that the whites were the dominating race in the entire country.

Negroes originated from the African continent. They were taken to America to work as slaves. Regardless of the communistic dependency within the three races, it was evident that the level of hostility was very high at that time. It was also clear that the only reason as to why they lived together on the same soil was because of fortune.

Each race had to participate fully and fulfill their assigned duty apart. As a result of this oppression, most Negroes and Indians lost their originality. Most of them were denied their rightful privileges. That was why up to date they cannot trace back their original language. They also lost their forefathers resemblance, culture and religious practices.

Alexis de Tocqueville view on the three races

According to Alexis de Tocqueville, the Negroes were the most isolated race living in America in the 19th century. This was because they were sold to the whites as slaves. The Negroes at that time had no family. According to the Europeans, a woman in the Negro community was considered to be a temporal companion to the man. Everyone in the Negro community was equal to the other.

This also included new born babies. Despite the fact that Negroes tirelessly tried to insinuate themselves among the whites, their effort always ended up being fruitless. The most daring effort was the attempt to mingle with whites through intermarriage. This failed and the Negroes were isolated and declared to be naturally inferior.

The oppressive slave life for Indians was more similar to the Negroes. However, life for Indians had less different end effects. Long before the whites discovered America, the land was fully occupied by the Indians. The Indian communities were harmoniously living together on their own until when the whites came and dispersed them.

They lost their traditional sentiment of attachment with their original families. Moreover, the Europeans also forced them to live in a more civilized lifestyle. This resulted in total distortion precisely on their moral and physical condition. Nevertheless, unlike the Negroes, the Europeans failed to completely civilize the Indians. The Indians progressively continued practicing their traditional and cultural rites.

Alexis de Tocqueville observation

Basing on Alexis de Tocqueville observation, there was low harmonious relationship between the three races inhabiting America in the 19th century. This was caused by strong racial discrimination present at that time. The Negroes and Indians faced calamitous situation due to discrimination.

In addition, the Negroes misfortune always began right inside their mother’s womb. Most Negro babies began slave life immediately they were born. Life for Negroes and Indians was always far from happiness. They were deprived of life privileges inclusive of basic amenities. As time progressed, they slowly adapted to their slave life.

On the other hand, Alexis de Tocqueville observed that there was a growing positive relationship between the three races. Alexis de Tocqueville also observed that the Negroes admired their oppressors more than the hatred they had on them. Most of the slaves pleaded that they were happy when serving and imitating their masters.

This was a clear indication that there was good and harmonious relationship between the two races. Alexis de Tocqueville further pointed out of the strong bond that connected the three races. The development of this bond resulted in good harmonious relationship among them. He further describes how he saw the slaves taking care of a white child in a peculiar manner. He also witnessed the strength of affection between the oppressor and the oppressed that bonded them together.

The future view on the three races

The road toward brighter future life for the native Indians of America changed spontaneously. Long before the whites arrived in North America, the Indians used to be hunters. They lived in the woods and wore cloths made from animal skin. The arrival of Europeans marked the beginning of civilization and the end of their future dreams. The whites introduced human settlements, barter trade and cloths made of fur. They also introduced firearms, iron and other materials used in manufacturing industry.

The urge to preserve their culture made the Indians migrate away from the civilization. Therefore, this reveals that the native Indians of North America were not driven away by the Europeans. They moved away due to the introduction of civilization and modern discoveries made by the Europeans.

In the course of their migration hunger, drought and enemies bisected them from all sides. In the end, they were dissolved and weakened. This saw their common and original language disappear. The entire native Indian community existed only in recollection. Those who survived the massacre mingled with their conquerors and adopted their foreign lifestyle losing their culture.

The Negroes unlike the Indians were able to develop good relationship with the Europeans without intermingling. They developed a strong long lasting relationship with the whites. However, their fast increasing population threatened the future survival of the whites. Slave trade in America was suppressed due to the introduction of Christianity in the 19th century. Although there was slight discrimination in America, the Negroes progressively increased in population, intelligence and wealth.

Intermarriages with the Negroes were future danger for the whites. This was because intermarriages permanently developed a true bond uniting the two races. The more the Negroes increased in population, the more the whites became insecure. New legislative laws were also formed that allowed equity in education, leadership and other opportunities between the two races. This paved way for more Negroes to pursue education. Many of them graduated and become Magistrates, priests, journalists, engineers and many other careers.


In summary, Alexis de Tocqueville clearly illustrates how life was in the 19th century. He also describes how each race progressively developed in life until when they reached their final destination.

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