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Rhetorical Strategies Of Alexis De Tocqueville's Democracy In America.

992 words - 4 pages

Ever since he was born, Tocqueville had been exposed to politics and government. His father was the mayor of Verneuil, which was where much of Tocqueville's childhood was spent. As he grew up he took courses in law, which eventually aided him in writing Democracy in America. While on official business to view the American penal system, Tocqueville got his first taste of democracy. When the twenty eight year old de Tocqueville returned to France he began writing Democracy in America. While composing it, Tocqueville has a specific audience and purpose in mind. In the 1830's the government in France was very unstable. Tocqueville's intentions for his book, Democracy in America, were to convince the French aristocracy that a democracy would be a superior form of government to a monarchy for the people of France. If this idea was exposed to and accepted by the aristocracy then it would eventually be accepted by the lower classes, and hopefully bring about permanent reform.Achieving this purpose would be a difficult task and would require a very convincing work, which in would turn take a determined author. We can see how Tocqueville endeavors to achieve his goal by his use of rhetoric and persuasion, which, in Democracy in America, go hand in hand. Rhetorical strategies used by Tocqueville include a clear writing style, powerful comparison and contrasting, and expression of logical opinions, which foster deductive reasoning on the part of the reader.Throughout writing Democracy in America Tocqueville kept the audience he is writing to, foremost in his mind. Tocqueville is addressing the French aristocracy and is introducing as well as explaining the benefits of a democracy within his book. As he wrote Tocqueville understood that the aristocracy in France would have most likely never even heard of life in a democracy, much less seen and experienced it. Since Tocqueville is trying to convince the upper class in France to like and eventually turn to this form of government, extra effort must be put on making the content of his book as clear and explicit as possible. Near the beginning of chapter six Tocqueville states: "The first characteristic of judicial power in all nations is the duty of arbitration. But rights must be contested ... The second characteristic of judicial power is that it pronounces on special cases... The third characteristic of the judicial power..." Through concise explanations of the American government, Tocqueville creates the possibility for the acceptance of a democracy in France, the achievement of his books purpose.The monarchy of France and the democracy in America have differences as well as similarities. Tocqueville sheds light on various facets of the two governments by comparing and contrasting them. The passage that stands out the most in utilizing this technique is out of the section entitled: "Origin of the Anglo-Americans, and the Importance of this Origin in Relation to their Future Condition." Tocqueville explains...

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