Sunday, June 3, 2007

de Tocqueville on America

I again came across a quote by Alexis de Tocqueville, written in the 1850's. This Frenchman was arguably the most objective observer of America and its experiment in democracy, and so his conclusions are well worth considering and remembering...
I sought for the greatness and genius of America in her commodious harbors and her ample rivers, and it was not there; in her fertile fields and boundless prairies, and it was not there; in her rich mines and her vast world commerce, and it was not there. Not until I went to the churches of America and heard her pulpits aflame with righteousness did I understand the secret of her genius and power. America is great because she is good, and if America ever ceases to be good, America will cease to be great.
...but you won't hear this sort of history taught in our government schools today.

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