Did de Tocqueville not spend enough time assessing the South?

Posted on January 2, 2014 by


Getting back to the post from the other day

Not meaning to seem flip regarding de Tocqueville’s Democracy in America, but one of the first things I did when researching his work, the other day, was to take a closer look at his travel intinerary. He spent nine months in the United States, and yet, his travels in the South were limited to about a month and a half. Even in that month and a half, he essentially “dashed” through (12 days) Alabama, Georgia, South Carolina and North Carolina before reaching Norfolk, Virginia.

What I see here, is nominal contact with the people of the South, though he had spent considerable time in the Northeast, and especially in New England. It’s almost as if de Tocqueville came to the U.S. with a thesis… and he needed to prove what he suspected. What little I have read in Democracy in America, I enjoy, but… did he fail to give the American South adequate attention, in considering what had influenced “democracy in America”?