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CHAPTER 6: The Transformation of a Continent - James T. Schleifer, The Making of Tocqueville’s Democracy in America 
The Making of Tocqueville’s Democracy in America, Foreword by George W. Pierson (2nd edition) (Indianapolis: Liberty Fund, 2000).
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The Transformation of a Continent
Commentators have often remarked that Tocqueville failed to detect what Michel Chevalier and other foreign observers noticed.1 Somehow the author of the Democracy overlooked the astonishing developments in transportation and communication that signaled an American technological revolution. He had traveled on steamboats, talked of railroads, and inspected canals, but had inexplicably missed the transformation being wrought on both the shape of the continent and the nature of the republic by America’s fascination with machines.
Restudy of his manuscripts shows that Tocqueville did indeed neglect many of these developments. His enthusiasm in the presence of the railroads, for example, was restrained at best, and his interest in manufacturing was not great enough to push him from the salons of Boston to the factories of Lowell.2 Yet his travel diaries and letters reveal a greater interest in technology and its impact than some critics have implied.
Although technology never became one of Tocqueville’s primary concerns, his sense of wonder and pride at the spectacle of the continent’s subjugation did stimulate his interest in the specific instruments of the American assault, and he sought from his hosts in almost every corner of the United States facts and opinions about the “improvements” being imposed upon the land.
During the early 1830s, the steamboat and the railroad ranked as the two most striking and significant advancements in American transportation; the application of steam had revolutionized travel in the New World. “Floating palaces” had already appeared on rivers and lakes everywhere in the nation, but the railroad, by contrast, was in its infancy when the investigators arrived in the United States.3 Even so, Tocqueville’s failure to recognize the full importance of the railroad was certainly one of his most serious oversights. His enthusiasm focused instead on that older use of steam, and although on more than one occasion during the journey the steamboat nearly cost the two friends their lives,4 Tocqueville never recovered from an early fascination with the superbe maison which had carried him from Newport to New York.5
A more general subject, the republic’s expanding network of internal improvements, also demanded probing, and in Baltimore he had a profitable discussion about American canal projects with William Howard, “a very distinguished engineer of this country.”6 While talking with Salmon P. Chase of Cincinnati, Tocqueville also learned that as of 1831 the state of Ohio had already spent the enormous sum of six million dollars on canal construction.7
The commissioners were often annoyed by the deplorable condition of American roads, but even so, the size and thoroughness of the web seemed impressive. So before leaving Boston at the beginning of October, they left a long series of questions with Jared Sparks. Although designed primarily to uncover the mysteries of the New England town, these queries concerned several other significant matters as well, including the “System of Roads.” “1. In Massachusetts what is the system of roads? Are certain roads, bridges, or canals made by the state? 2. If roads are made by the towns, are they good? What is the means of maintaining them so? ... Is there an inspection done by the state? 3. Can the state form a general plan of a road or a canal?”8
Beaumont presented similar questions to B. W. Richards of Philadelphia, who answered: “Our turnpike roads throughout the state have for the most part been made by private individuals and corporate companies.” The Pennsylvanian noted, however, that “the state in many cases subscribes to the stock.”9
In January 1832, Tocqueville interrogated Joel Poinsett: “How are the roads in America made and repaired?” Poinsett remarked that this involved “a great constitutional question,” but attempted nonetheless to answer, and his questioner later summarized the diplomat’s comments. “Doubt whether central government has the right.10 Sometimes by the state. More often by the counties. Badly kept up. Substantial loans in the localities. Turnpikes better system. Difficulty of getting a people used to them. Ineffectiveness of the law which allows help to counties.”11
Evidently no single agent shouldered the responsibility for American internal improvements, and no single method of financing, building, or maintaining these works existed. Despite Poinsett’s warnings, the danger of such confusion about powers and responsibilities did not preoccupy Tocqueville until later. For the moment he was more fascinated than troubled by the various forms of American transportation activity. The private corporation, in particular, became a frequent subject of conversation.
The perceptive Frenchman studied American private associations for many reasons, but one undoubtedly involved the role which the corporation played in the creation of American internal improvements. Whenever he committed his early thoughts about associations to paper, he connected the private groups with America’s ambitious projects. “The spirit of association ... is one of the distinctive characteristics of America; it is by this means that a country where capital is scarce and where absolutely democratic laws and habits hinder the accumulation of wealth in the hands of a few individuals, has already succeeded in carrying out undertakings and accomplishing works which the most absolute kings and the most opulent aristocracies would certainly not have been able to undertake and finish in the same time.”12 Tocqueville had stumbled on one of the most significant economic developments of Jacksonian America: the rise of corporations.
When, in December 1831, he began studying James Kent’s four volumes of Commentaries, he carefully noted the jurist’s statements about corporate institutions, especially any comments about the new ease in obtaining charters and the expanded privileges and numbers of corporations. He also discerned the worry behind Kent’s words. “The number of charters of incorporation increases in the United States with a rapidity that appears to alarm Kent. I do not know why.”13
During his journeys into the interior, Tocqueville also discovered several implications of American transportation and communication beyond the constitutional and the institutional. His frontier experiences, in particular, demonstrated additional advantages of the republic’s road system. In Michigan, for example, he first realized that in the United States paths and roads preceded settlement and were an essential step in the movement westward.
While in Kentucky and Tennessee, during December 1831, he and Beaumont also “traveled with the mail.” “There is an astonishing circulation of letters and newspapers among these savage woods.... I do not think that in the most enlightened rural districts of France, there is intellectual movement either so rapid or on such a scale as in this wilderness.”14 Later, thinking back to Michigan, Tocqueville asserted that “in America one of the first things done in a new state is to make the post go there; in the forests of Michigan there is no cabin so isolated, no valley so wild but that letters and newspapers arrive at least once a week; we have seen that.”15 The significance of such rapid transit of information and ideas did not long elude the companions.
By January 1832, Tocqueville had gathered a considerable amount of information about America’s projects and felt ready to speculate about their importance for the future of the American republic.
I only know of one means of increasing the prosperity of a people, whose application is infallible and on which I think one can count in all countries and in all places.
That means is none other than increasing the facility of communication between men.
On this point what can be seen in America is both strange and instructive.
The roads, the canals, and the post play a prodigious part in the prosperity of the Union. It is good to examine their effects, the value attached to them, and the way they are obtained.
... America has undertaken and finished the construction of some immense canals. It already has more railways than France; no one fails to see that the discovery of steam has incredibly increased the power and prosperity of the Union; and that is because it facilitates speedy communications between the different parts of that immense land....
Of all the countries in the world America is that in which the spread of ideas and of human industry is most continual and most rapid.
... As to the means employed to open up communications in America, this is what I have noticed about the matter.
It is generally believed in Europe that the great maxim of government in America is that of laisser-faire, of standing by as a simple spectator of the progress of society, of which individual interest is the prime mover; that is a mistake.
The American government does not interfere in everything, it is true, as ours does. It makes no claim to foresee everything and carry everything out; it gives no subsidies, does not encourage trade, and does not patronize literature or the arts. But where great works of public utility are concerned, it but seldom leaves them to the care of private persons; it is the State itself that carries them out;...
But it is important to observe that there is no rule about the matter. The activity of companies, of [towns], and of private people is in a thousand ways in competition with that of the State. All undertakings of moderate extent or limited interest are the work of [towns] or companies. Turnpikes or toll-roads often run parallel to those of the State. In some parts of the country, railways built by companies fulfill the functions of the canals as main thoroughfares. The local roads are maintained by the districts through which they pass. So then no exclusive system is followed; in nothing does America exemplify a system of that uniformity that delights the superficial and metaphysical minds of our age.16
So even before he began to draft the 1835 Democracy, Tocqueville had recognized several general results of the American technological revolution. What he had seen demonstrated the benefits of a flexible approach to public improvements, in general, and of a reliance on private action, in particular. (Somewhat paradoxically, the task of transformation also threatened a dangerous debate over the proper division of powers and responsibilities.) Improvements and the application of steam unfortunately stimulated the materialism and commercialism that were the blights of the republic, but America’s instruments of progress also made possible a rapid exchange of ideas, encouraged the creation of a well-informed and self-aware citizenry, and helped to unite a huge and diverse nation.17 In sum, the changes in technology and transportation seemed to promise a prosperous and powerful future for the American republic.
While drafting the first part of his book, Tocqueville pursued his quest for information about America’s internal improvements. At various times, he had collected six major works on the republic’s situation physique: Malte-Brun’s Annales de voyages; C. F. Volney’s Tableau du climat et du sol des Etats-Unis; accounts of two of Major Stephen H. Long’s expeditions, Account of an Expedition from Pittsburgh to the Rocky Mountains and Narrative of an Expedition to the Source of St. Peter’s River; Timothy Pitkin’s Statistical View of the Commerce of the United States; D. B. Warden’s Description ... des Etats-Unis; and William Darby’s View of the United States.
The works by Malte-Brun, Volney, and Long, because of age or intention, provided no information whatsoever on American technology. Tocqueville used them primarily for facts about natural features, flora and fauna, and Indians. Pitkin’s Statistical View of Commerce, almost twenty years old when Tocqueville read it, was only marginally useful.18 Only Warden, almost fifteen years old, and Darby, published in 1828, included discussions of developments in American transportation and communication. Warden’s small chapter on canals, railroads, and manufacturing in the United States appeared in the last of his five volumes. And, since Tocqueville cited Warden only when describing America’s physical features, it is possible that he had failed to study Warden’s final volume.19 If so, then his major single printed source on American internal improvements was William Darby’s View of the United States.
For anyone interested during the early 1830s in American transportation and communication, Darby’s volume was among the best available sources. Additional and more recent information could be gleaned from official documents, newspapers, and almanacs—all of which Tocqueville also used20 —but Darby’s work was one of few single-volume treatments.
Only the works of Mathew Carey and Guillaume-Tell Poussin’s Les Travaux d’améliorations intérieures ..., published in Paris in 1834,21 ranked in importance with Darby’s View. Unfortunately, the author of the Democracy apparently did not know of Carey’s writings on American economics and technology.22 Poussin’s analysis of 1834 was neglected for quite another reason, however. As is well known, Tocqueville insisted on insulating his own ideas and reactions from the influence of other recent European, and especially French, travelers to the United States. Poussin’s status as a fellow foreign visitor necessarily condemned the work to inattention.
So Tocqueville, though fully aware of the weaknesses of Darby’s book, made do. In his own list of statistical and general sources, he noted that “this work is highly regarded but already old; it dates from 1828,”23 and in 1834 he even wrote to James Gore King to request as a substitute, or at least as an addition, “some work of general statistics like Darby.”24 Either the American did not suggest a replacement or Tocqueville failed to pursue his recommendation.
In this matter, he committed another serious oversight, for in 1833 a new work had been published by Darby and Theodore Dwight, Jr., entitled A New Gazetteer of the United States, which offered valuable information about American manufacturing and even devoted a few paragraphs to Lowell, Massachusetts, which the authors called “the American Manchester ... destined to be a manufacturing city.”25
Despite its age, Darby’s View provided Tocqueville with a treasure trove of information about American improvements. Throughout the volume Darby urged the improvement of rivers, bays, and lakes, and the construction of canals or any other project that would benefit American commerce. In short, the work introduced Tocqueville to a vigorous nationalistic outlook typical of what he would have discovered in the works of Mathew Carey. Darby, like Mathew Carey, Hezekiah Niles, or Henry Clay, was one of those Americans of the 1820s and 1830s eager for any undertaking that would increase American wealth and link Americans with one another. Darby, like the others, envisioned a continent crisscrossed by improvements and a nation united by commerce and prosperity. He almost certainly encouraged Tocqueville’s personal inclination to concentrate on commercial developments and to foresee a mercantile, rather than an industrial, future for the United States.26
Possibly in response to Darby’s enthusiasm, Tocqueville sent off requests for additional materials. While thinking of the American road and postal systems, for example, he wondered how French and American efforts compared, and reminded himself to ask “d’Aunay”27 and “N. (?) Roger of the Académie française”28 for information about the number of letters carried, distances covered, and revenues raised by the French system.
Poinsett’s “great constitutional question” also still disturbed him, so he badgered Edward Livingston and finally received the following note in March 1834: “Mr. Livingston agreeably to his promise sends to M. de Tocqueville the volume containing the President’s message in relation to the bill for internal improvements and will add to it some other documents on the same subject.”29
Still pursuing his curiosity about corporations and canals, Tocqueville wrote again to James Gore King for one report on New York City corporations, another on state corporations, and a third by the commissioners of the canal fund. Reports, statistics, and other information about America’s technological revolution continued to accumulate among the Frenchman’s papers.30
Despite his documentary searches, the drafts of the 1835 Democracy broke little new ground. They merely restated earlier insights about possible future influences of the startling transformation taking place in the United States. Of greatest importance, perhaps, was Tocqueville’s refusal to collect, organize, and devote to his ideas on this subject a separate chapter in his advancing work. Here was a possible significant addition to the Democracy that never materialized.
One striking and related idea did, however, appear for the first time in the early drafts of Tocqueville’s initial volumes: his fears about the influence of manufacturing on democratic liberty. Among some fragments labeled “Various and important notes.... Two or three new chapters which I do not know where to place,” Tocqueville listed “... 31 on the influence of manufacturing on democratic liberty.”32 And after discussing various kinds of égalité in another draft, he concluded: “Thus greater equality not only among all the peoples of European races, but also among all peoples, in all times.” Just one more statement underlining the march of equality? It would seem so, until he added a cautionary note: “however manufacturing.”33 In other words, equality moves irresistibly forward; however, manufacturing may affect it.
The idea survived even into the working manuscript of the 1835 Democracy, where in the margin of one page of the chapter entitled “Social State of the Anglo-Americans” the author wrote: “Here, I believe, put the inequality born out of the accumulation of personal wealth from industry.”34 Then, for some unknown reason, Tocqueville decided against developing and including this concept in the first part of his work; and only these tantalizing hints of what-might-have-been can be found in his drafts and his working manuscript. Not until 1840 would he finally complete his phrase “however manufacturing ...” by theorizing that manufacturing would accumulate wealth in the hands of a few and might, therefore, result in a new inequality more terrible in some ways than the former one.35
Tocqueville’s travel diaries noted no comment or experience from his American journey which hinted at such a danger. The only recorded conversation in the United States concerning the perils of manufacturing occurred on 27 October 1831, when Tocqueville spoke with Roberts Vaux of Philadelphia. The American voiced the familiar fear that industrialization might undermine democratic institutions by debasing the populace and warned of the poverty and public disorder which might result from the rise of manufacturing. But he did not suggest that manufacturing would result in a new and dangerous aristocracy of wealth.36 Nor did any of Tocqueville’s major sources on American internal improvements warn of a new manufacturing elite.
Those who recognize the brilliance of Tocqueville’s insight on manufacturing usually assume that the young Frenchman’s voyages to England in 1833 and 1835 provided the germs of this thought. In 1833, however, he had stayed in England only a few weeks and had visited no industrial centers, and the 1835 visit occurred after his forebodings were written into the early drafts of the 1835 Democracy.
Perhaps the key source, for Tocqueville, was a three-volume work of political economy, published in Paris in 1834, written by Alban de Villeneuve-Bargemont, and read by Tocqueville when, in 1834, he prepared a memoir on pauperism.37 In the first volume of the study, Villeneuve-Bargemont included a chapter entitled “Concerning a New Feudalism” and wrote “a new feudalism formed, a thousand times harder than the feudalism of the Middle Ages. This feudalism was the aristocracy of money and of industry.”38 The economist was not offering a new idea. The concept of a possible new industrial aristocracy was fairly common in works of political economy written during the late 1820s and early 1830s.39 But a reading of Villeneuve-Bargemont’s treatise may have first sparked Tocqueville’s thoughts and engendered his hints about a manufacturing aristocracy.
The drafts of the Democracy offer a second surprise of a somewhat different sort. The part played by private associations in the American effort to transform the continent had long intrigued Tocqueville, but he refrained from devoting much space in his first two volumes to either civil associations or corporations. Instead, he dealt with political associations and promised to treat civil ones in the second part of his work.40 The 1840 text would make good his pledge, but the complex relationship between private associations and government would still receive very little attention.
Tocqueville did explore this relationship, however, in the drafts of the 1840 Democracy where a small as yet unpublished chapter entitled “On the Manner in Which the American Governments Act toward Associations” is to be found.41 In this chapter he compared the ways in which the English and American governments reacted to private groups wanting to undertake public works, and he suggested what he considered to be the most effective way to encourage private activity within a nation.
Even while writing this brief section, Tocqueville debated whether or not to include it. The title page recorded his doubts: “This chapter contains some good ideas and some good sentences. All the same I believe that it is useful to delete it.” Several reasons were given for his decision to delete. He feared it would be repetitious, “because it gets back into the order of ideas of the large political chapters at the end”; he noted that “it is obvious in any case that this chapter is too thin to stand alone. It must be either deleted or joined to another”; and he reminded himself to consult “L. et B.” So perhaps his two friends vetoed the chapter.
But the most intriguing reason was the one listed first. He thought he should eliminate the short essay “because it very briefly and very incompletely treats a very interesting42 subject which has been treated at length by others, among them Chevalier.”43
Tocqueville valued—perhaps wrongly—his lack of exposure to other recent writings on the United States and insisted that this isolation enabled him to know his own mind and to maintain his intellectual integrity and originality. But if the author made it a rule to avoid the reports of other travelers, how did he know what the writings of Michel Chevalier, Guillaume-Tell Poussin, and others contained?
On 3 December 1836 he wrote to Beaumont. “Blosseville44 sent me word the other day that Chevalier’s book had appeared.... You know that I am always on the alert where America is concerned. However I do not want to read Chevalier’s work; you know that that is a principle with me. Have you cast your eyes over it, and, in that case, what is your opinion of it? What is the spirit of it; where does it go? Finally what impact does it make in the world and how could it be prejudicial to the ouvrage philosophico-politique that I am preparing? If, without sidetracking yourself, you can answer these questions, I will be pleased.”45
Unfortunately, Beaumont’s response is lost. Possibly he told his former traveling companion about the content and purpose of Chevalier’s Lettres d’Amérique.46 But, in any case, as evidenced by the manuscript comments, the works of Chevalier and others apparently at least helped to discourage Tocqueville from including, in the 1840 Democracy, this short chapter on the relationship of governments to private associations.
Tocqueville’s letters, notebooks, and drafts thus demonstrate a surprising awareness of most facets of America’s technological metamorphosis. He failed to foresee the industrial future of the United States and projected instead a commercial destiny for the young nation. Yet he did devote considerable time and thought to the changes in communication and transportation which were taking place in the United States. Why, then, his failure adequately to discuss these transformations in the Democracy?
One possibility is that the appearance of works by Chevalier, Poussin, and others dissuaded him from developing and publishing certain of his ideas: since the republic’s technological revolution had been examined so competently by others, perhaps he decided that he had better turn his mental energies toward other problems.
The more basic explanation, however, almost certainly concerns Tocqueville’s intention to write an “ouvrage philosophico-politique.” For him certain issues seemed more intriguing and more important than any technical or economic ones. But Tocqueville had searched out and digested much of the available information on the American effort to transform the continent. One can dispute his choices, but not his knowledge.
From these studies of Tocqueville’s thinking about physical causes and changes in America, we see that the majority of his ideas on these topics developed in uncomplicated ways from the accumulated lessons of his journey experiences or from his readings. Many of his most perceptive insights about the effects of the republic’s situation physique, for instance, even occurred during the very first weeks in the New World.
Some ideas, however, had more tangled histories. A few, the concept of géographie’s role in determining a nation’s destiny, for example, seemed at first destined to key places in Tocqueville’s thought, but ultimately filled more humble positions. The surprising revelation that the Americans themselves were the pioneers of civilization in the New World exemplified those ideas that were late but necessary corrections of erroneous European presuppositions. A few, like the de-emphasis of circonstances or the rejection of racial doctrines, arose in part out of Tocqueville’s own moral convictions. Some, the theory of a manufacturing aristocracy for instance, were at first buried in discarded early drafts, only to reappear mysteriously in 1840. Still others, because of the author’s personal preferences and his apparent concern to avoid twice-told tales, were cast permanently into oblivion. Tocqueville’s ideas on American technology, in particular, were more extensive and profound than has been recognized. But they, like the others, suffered strange fates.
Tocqueville and the Union: The Nature and Future of American Federalism
[1. ]Chevalier and Guillaume-Tell Poussin, among others, are frequently mentioned as travelers who recognized the American technological revolution and understood its implications for the republic. Among those commentators who have chastised Tocqueville for his oversight are René Rémond, Etats-Unis, 1:384–85, and John William Ward, who edited Michel Chevalier, Society, Manners, and Politics in the United States, pp. viii–xi. Pierson also conceded, perhaps too easily, to the arguments of Tocqueville’s critics on this point; consult Toc. and Bt., pp. 762–63, 764–65. (But also see pp. 174–75.)
[2. ]Only Beaumont described the Albany-Schenectady Railroad; Tocqueville, who presumably inspected the railroad with his companion, failed even to mention it in his letters home. References to railroads in Tocqueville’s travel diaries, letters and drafts are relatively few. I have found only one in his letters home, Toc. to Le Peletier d’Aunay (?), Philadelphia, 8 November 1831, Toc. letters, Yale, BIa2. Concerning Lowell, see Pierson, Toc. and Bt., p. 393. Again it was Beaumont who referred in his letters to the manufacturing city.
[3. ]In 1831 the first true American railroad was scarcely a year old, and the second was still under construction. For a fuller discussion, see George R. Taylor, The Transportation Revolution, 1815–1860, pp. 77–78.
[4. ]For details of these accidents, consult Pierson, Toc. and Bt., pp. 545–48, 574–77, 599–601, 619–20.
[5. ]In December 1831, as he headed down the Mississippi aboard the Louisville, Tocqueville questioned the captain about the expenses for building and maintaining such a steamboat; Notebook E, Mayer, Journey, p. 257. This conversation also introduced him to an American concept that he would mention in his 1840 text: planned obsolescence; Democracy (Mayer), pp. 453–54. In 1840 Tocqueville would also note several other significant features of American industry, including mass production (pp. 465–68), division of labor (pp. 555–56), periodic business cycles (p. 554), and a possible industrial aristocracy (pp. 555–58).
[6. ]Conversation with Mr. Howard, Baltimore, 4 November 1831, Pocket Notebook Number 3, Mayer, Journey, pp. 158–59. From Mr. Howard he learned about American efforts to join the Great Lakes to the Mississippi by canal.
[7. ]Conversation with Mr. Chase, Cincinnati, 2 December 1831, Non-Alphabetic Notebooks 2 and 3, Mayer, Journey, p. 92. See also “Ohio—canals,” 2 December 1831, Notebook E, ibid., p. 265; also Tocqueville’s comments about the projected canal linking Pittsburgh with Erie, Pennsylvania, 20 July 1831, Pocket Notebook 2, and “A Fortnight in the Wilds,” ibid., pp. 133, 334.
[8. ]“Questions left by MM. Beaumont and Tocqueville,” 1 October 1831, from Correspondence and Relations with Americans, 1831–32, Yale Toc. Mss., BIc; hereafter cited as Relations with Americans, 1831–32, Yale, BIc.
[9. ]Letter from B. W. Richards to Beaumont, Philadelphia, 2 February 1832, Relations with Americans, 1831–32, Yale, BIc.
[10. ]See Tocqueville’s treatment of this question in the 1835 Democracy (Mayer), p. 387.
[11. ]Conversation with Mr. Poinsett, 13–15 January 1832, Pocket Notebooks 4 and 5, Mayer, Journey, p. 178.
[12. ]“Associations,” Notebook E, Mayer, Journey, p. 252.
[13. ]Notes on Kent and “Associations,” Notebook E, Mayer, Journey, pp. 232–33, 253. For further discussion of Kent, his work, and his influence on Tocqueville, see chapters 7 and 8 below.
[14. ]Kentucky-Tennessee, Notebook E, Mayer, Journey, p. 268.
[15. ]Means of Increasing Public Prosperity, Notebook E, Mayer, Journey, p. 270. Also consult Pierson’s discussion of Tocqueville, the post, and prosperity, Toc. and Bt., pp. 588–92.
[16. ]Means of Increasing Public Prosperity, Notebook E, Mayer, Journey, pp. 270–73. This long passage is also quoted in Pierson, Toc. and Bt., pp. 588–92.
[17. ]See several pages from the section entitled “What Are the Chances That the American Union Will Last? What Dangers Threaten It?” Democracy (Mayer), pp. 384–86.
[18. ]The 1816 edition of Pitkin contained no information on internal improvements and almost nothing on manufacturing. By the early 1830s, Pitkin realized the inadequacies of his work, and in 1835, when the first two volumes of the Democracy appeared, he published an enlarged and updated edition. This 1835 version, which was too late for Tocqueville to use, did include extensive information on internal improvements, manufacturing, and even the factories at Lowell.
[19. ]All of Tocqueville’s citations of Warden are from the first volume of Warden’s five.
[20. ]A partial list of Tocqueville’s sources on American transportation and communication, other than the volumes cited above, would include: various legislative and executive documents (see Drafts, Yale, CVh, Paquet 3, cahier 1, pp. 6–13); the American Almanac, 1831, 1832, 1834; the National Calendar, 1833; and Niles Weekly Register. Also consult Pierson’s extensive list of sources, Toc. and Bt., pp. 727–30 note.
[21. ]In 1836 Poussin also wrote Chemins de fer américains....
[22. ]Mathew Carey (1760–1839), author, publisher, nationalist, economist, and champion of industry and internal improvements, produced many articles and essays. Perhaps The Crisis (Philadelphia 1823) and a Brief View of the System of Internal Improvements of Pennsylvania (Philadelphia 1831) would have been of special interest to Tocqueville. Note that he did know and would cite Carey’s Letters on the Colonization Society (Philadelphia 1832); see Democracy (Mayer), pp. 353–54 note, 359 note.
[23. ]“Statistiques et généralités,” Reading Lists, Yale, CIIa.
[24. ]“Livres à demander à M. King,” Reading Lists, Yale, CIIa. James Gore King, prominent New York financier, had entertained the companions several times while they were in America.
[25. ]Darby and Dwight, A New Gazetteer, p. 257. (A second edition of the volume appeared in 1835.)
[26. ]Consult the next-to-last section of the 1835 Democracy, entitled “Some Considerations Concerning the Causes of the Commercial Greatness of the United States,” Democracy (Mayer), pp. 400–407.
[27. ]Le Peletier d’Aunay, a cousin to Tocqueville, was an influential political figure during the July Monarchy.
[28. ]M. le Comte [Edouard] Roger [du Nord] (1802–1881), political figure and close associate of Thiers, was a deputy (or representative) under the July Monarchy, the Second Republic, and even the Third Republic.
[29. ]Livingston to Toc., Paris, 24 March 1834, Relations with Americans, 1832–40, Yale, CId. (Edward Livingston, Senator, Jackson’s Secretary of State, and Minister to Paris, 1833–35, was of great aid to Tocqueville both in America and in France.) In the margin of the working manuscript, next to his discussion of the constitutional dispute over internal improvements (see Democracy [Mayer], p. 387), Tocqueville wrote: “Examine here the series of Messages of the various Presidents who have successively held office during the past forty years”; Original Working Ms., Yale, CVIa, tome 2.
[30. ]“Livres à demander à M. King,” Reading Lists, Yale, CIIa. On the subject of corporations, Tocqueville also read various collections of state laws. He copied, in particular, from Revised Statutes of New York; see Drafts, Yale, CVh, Paquet 3, cahier 1, p. 103. Even after the publication of the 1835 Democracy, Tocqueville watched for information about internal improvements in the New World. See, for example, Drafts, Yale, CVa, Paquet 8, pp. 15–22.
[31. ]One word is illegible; comment by the copyist, Bonnel.
[32. ]Drafts, Yale, CVh, Paquet 3, cahier 1, p. 1.
[33. ]Emphasis added. Ibid., pp. 7–8.
[34. ]In the manuscript, this sentence is crossed out. Original Working Ms., Yale, CVIa, tome 1. “Here” refers to Democracy (Mayer), pp. 54–55.
[35. ]“How an Aristocracy May Be Created by Industry,” Democracy (Mayer), pp. 555–58. Beaumont advanced this thesis, in brief form, in his Marie (1835); see Marie (Chapman), p. 106.
[36. ]Consult the discussion with Vaux, 27 October 1831, Non-Alphabetic Notebooks 2 and 3, Mayer, Journey, pp. 68–69.
[37. ]Alban de Villeneuve-Bargemont, Economie politique chrétienne. Seymour Drescher first demonstrated Tocqueville’s use of this multivolume work, but apparently did not realize the full possible importance of Villeneuve-Bargemont’s influence. Drescher also did not know that Tocqueville’s ideas about a manufacturing aristocracy had originally appeared in pre-1835 drafts. Consequently he overemphasized the effect of the English voyages on this matter. Consult Drescher, Toc. and England, pp. 66 and 136; and Drescher, Social Reform, p. 3.
[38. ]Villeneuve-Bargemont, Economie politique chrétienne, 1:389.
[39. ]Consult Albert Schatz, L’Individualisme économique et social: ses origines—son évolution—ses formes contemporaines, pp. 304–5.
[40. ]Democracy (Mayer), pp. 189–90.
[41. ]Original Working Ms., Yale, CVIa, tome 3. Another copy appears in the Drafts, Yale, CVg, “Rubish,” tome 4. It should be noted that this small chapter is not one of those concerning associations which do appear in the 1840 volumes; Democracy (Mayer), pp. 513–24.
[42. ]The reading of “interesting” is uncertain.
[43. ]Title page of the deleted chapter on civil associations; Drafts, Yale, CVg, “Rubish,” tome 4.
[44. ]Ernest de Blosseville, friend of both Tocqueville and Beaumont.
[45. ]Toc. to Bt., Baugy, 4 November [3 December] 1836, O.C. (Mayer), Jardin, 8:1, p. 176. Another letter also implied that Beaumont kept his friend informed about recent writings by travelers to America; see Bt. to Toc., Dublin, 2 July 1836, wherein he described Harriet Martineau’s book; ibid., pp. 202–3.
[46. ]In the summer of 1838, Beaumont even met Michel Chevalier. See Bt. to Toc., Paris, 10 June 1838, ibid., pp. 301–2.