Tocqueville Characteristics

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Tocqueville created a rather lovely image of what townships were like back in the 1800s. He gives us a deep look into what townships were like back then and even tells us of its origins. He paints a rather rosy picture of involvement and the livelihood of how townships operated. By looking at how Tocqueville saw townships in his day and age, we can use it to compare how townships look in today’s day and age.
Tocqueville counts Plymouth, New York as the where the origins of the township system were created. When people got here they knew they needed some type of government and they decided to pick their leaders as a whole. They also voted on laws to be enacted. Most of the laws were religious laws or laws that would separate out land. Most of the religious laws were taken right out of the bible and used them to help them set up their basic government. They also figured that religion would act as a safeguard against any bad character. The basis was set for the township system. They, in their small community would work together to pick leaders and vote in laws. (CH. 1) Townships were formed by men that gathered together and decided to create a township. They wanted freedom within the reach of people. (CH. 5) The townships would decide if they wanted certain administrators. Men that were
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Educated was probably the biggest influence in creating a spirit of liberty. With townships creating public schools, more people were educated which would mean that more people were taught about liberty and the rights of citizens. People also liked to be in the know about their local politics. It was something that men liked to gather around and talk about. Tocqueville once even commented that citizens of the United States “reign over America as God does over the universe.” (CH. 4 – pg. 54) The people realized how they could influence and be involved within a township and they take that power

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