Alexis De Tocqueville

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Imagine a man so smart that he is able to clearly observe and analyze major enlightenments and downfalls of a new nation. Now, imagine a man so shy that he rarely talks to women. These two men are one in the same: Alexis De Tocqueville. Tocqueville was a well-respected writer, philosopher and overall scholar of the 19th century, but he never could quite figure out one very important piece of the democratic puzzle: women. He spoke highly of the American woman; however, he took diminutive time truly getting to know her or gather her insight. Therefore, although he had the right intentions, he left America with observations on the female gender that were far from accurate. Tocqueville noted that women had the ultimate power to define household …show more content…
He also believes mothers shape America’s social norms, more commonly known as “mores.” During his time spent in America he also observed a great deal of men and women’s interaction, duties and overall thoughts. “America, among the world’s countries, is the one where they have taken the most continual care to draw cleanly separated lines of action for the two sexes, and where they have wanted them both to march at an equal pace but on ever different paths.” (Page 574) Men have executed more labor intensive and business-minded jobs throughout the course of history in America. On the other hand, women have often been portrayed and seen as homemakers and in charge of domestic duties. This supports Tocqueville’s observation of “cleanly separated lines of action” and “different paths,” but it does not address the notion of “equal pace” and overall gender equality.
Throughout history, starting from the time when Tocqueville visited through today’s modern America, duties and expectations stayed fairly separate. Inequality among men and women was seen most through matters such as voting, education and salary. Women’s suffrage efforts began about a decade after Tocqueville visited America, but even so, women did not obtain the right to vote until 1920. It is interesting to note that, although women were deemed as equal, they could not fully participate in America’s democracy for roughly 145

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