Reading Tocqueville behind the Veil: African American Receptions of Democracy in America, 1835–1900

  title={Reading Tocqueville behind the Veil: African American Receptions of Democracy in America, 1835–1900},
  author={Alvin B. Tillery},
  journal={American Political Thought},
  pages={1 - 25}
Tocqueville’s views on race and race relations as espoused in Democracy in America have received considerable scholarly attention over the past several decades. This article examines the reception of these ideas within the black counterpublic. The analysis focuses on commentary about Democracy in America in black-controlled periodicals between 1835 and 1900. The main finding is that African American intellectuals developed their own distinct interpretations of the text. This finding is… 
4 Citations
Friend or foe? British receptions of Tocqueville’s Democracy in America, 1835–1885
Alexis de Tocqueville’s Democracy in America (1835, 1840) strongly influenced Western understandings of democracy. The dissemination and reception of Tocqueville’s ideas had been studied in various
Transatlantic Anxieties: Democracy and Diversity in Nineteenth-Century Discourse
  • David A. Bateman
  • History, Sociology
    Studies in American Political Development
  • 2019
This article reconstructs a set of widely disseminated nineteenth-century ideas about the relationship between diversity and democracy and details how these informed state-building and political
Aristocracy in America: Tocqueville on White Supremacy
This article builds upon recent contributions to the growing literature on Tocqueville and race by exploiting underappreciated parallels in Tocqueville’s thought between European feudalism and
Rassismus und politische Ideengeschichte


The Contributions of Beaumont to Democracy in America: His Analysis of Race Relations and Slavery
Alexis de Tocqueville has become famous for his analysis of the foundations of American democracy. Tocqueville's close friend, Gustave de Beaumont, on the other hand, who accompanied him during his
The Other America: Tocqueville and Beaumont on Race and Slavery
In this paper I argue that Tocqueville, when read in concert with the work of Beaumont, his often overlooked collaborator, provides a compelling analysis of the coexistence of liberal democracy and
Beyond Tocqueville, Myrdal, and Hartz: The Multiple Traditions in America
Analysts of American politics since Tocqueville have seen the nation as a paradigmatic “liberal democratic” society, shaped most by the comparatively free and equal conditions and the Enlightenment
Forgotten Readers: Recovering the Lost History of African American Literary Societies
Over the past decade the popularity of black writers including E. Lynn Harris and Terry McMillan has been hailed as an indication that an active African American reading public has come into being.
Tocqueville in America
Alexis de Tocqueville's Democracy in America (1835) has become a touchstone for almost any discussion of the American polity. Taking as its topic the promise and shortcomings of the democratic form
Tocqueville Between Two Worlds: The Making of a Political and Theoretical Life
Alexis de Tocqueville may be the most influential political thinker in American history. He also led an unusually active and ambitious career in French politics. In this work one of America's most
Modern Black nationalism : from Marcus Garvey to Louis Farrakhan
Since its dramatic growth under Marcus Garvey and the Universal Negro Improvement Association during the 1920s, black nationalism has played a central role in American political and intellectual
The Chicago Companion to Tocqueville's Democracy in America
One of the greatest books ever to be written on the United States, "Democracy in America" continues to find new readers who marvel at the lasting insights Alexis de Tocqueville had into our nation
The comparative imagination : on the history of racism, nationalism, and social movements
In this collection of essays, an eminent American historian of race relations discusses issues central to our understanding of the history of racism, the role of racism, and the possibilites for
Alexis De Tocqueville and the Negro: Democracy in America Reconsidered
Although Alexis de Tocqueville wrote the most penetrating account of Jacksonian America, he did not understand the plight of the American Negro. The young French aristocrat and his colleague, Gustave