Writings on Empire and Slavery

ISBN-10: 0801877563
ISBN-13: 9780801877568
Edition: 2001
Description: After completing his research for Democracy in America, Alexis de Tocqueville turned to the French consolidation of its empire in North Africa, which he believed deserving of similar attention. Tocqueville began studying Algerian history and  More...
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List Price: $30.00
Copyright Year: 2001
Publisher: Johns Hopkins University Press
Publication Date: 9/24/2003
Binding: Paperback
Pages: 320
Size: 6.00" wide x 9.00" long x 1.00" tall
Weight: 1.100
Language: English

After completing his research for Democracy in America, Alexis de Tocqueville turned to the French consolidation of its empire in North Africa, which he believed deserving of similar attention. Tocqueville began studying Algerian history and culture, making two trips to Algeria in 1841 and 1846. He quickly became one of France's foremost experts on the country and wrote essays, articles, official letters, and parliamentary reports on such diverse topics as France's military and administrative policies in North Africa, the people of the Maghrib, his own travels in Algeria, and the practice of Islam. Throughout, Tocqueville consistently defended the French imperial project, a position that stands in tension with his admiration for the benefits of democracy he witnessed in America. Although Tocqueville never published a book-length study of French North Africa, his various writings on the subject provide as invaluable a portrait of French imperialism as Democracy in America does of the Early Republic period in American history. In Writings on Empire and Slavery, Jennifer Pitts has selected and translated nine of his most important dispatches on Algeria, which offer startling new insights into both Tocqueville's political thought and French liberalism's attitudes toward the political, military, and moral aspects of France's colonial expansion. The volume also includes six articles Tocqueville wrote during the same period calling for the emancipation of slaves in France's Caribbean colonies.

French writer and politician Alexis de Tocqueville was born in Verneuil to an aristocratic Norman family. He entered the bar in 1825 and became an assistant magistrate at Versailles. In 1831, he was sent to the United States to report on the prison system. This journey produced a book called On the Penitentiary System in the United States (1833), as well as a much more significant work called Democracy in America (1835--40), a treatise on American society and its political system. Active in French politics, Tocqueville also wrote Old Regime and the Revolution (1856), in which he argued that the Revolution of 1848 did not constitute a break with the past but merely accelerated a trend toward greater centralization of government. Tocqueville was an observant Catholic, and this has been cited as a reason why many of his insights, rather than being confined to a particular time and place, reach beyond to see a universality in all people everywhere.

Acknowledgments
Introduction
Some Ideas About What Prevents the French from Having Good Colonies (1833)
First Letter on Algeria (23 June 1837)
Second Letter on Algeria (22 August 1837)
Notes on the Koran (March 1838)
Notes on the Voyage to Algeria in 1841
Essay on Algeria (October 1841)
Intervention in the Debate Over the Appropriation of Special Funding (1846)
First Report on Algeria (1847)
Second Report on Algeria (1847)
The Emancipation of Slaves (1843)
Notes
Select Bibliography
Index

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