Title page from The Old Regime and the Revolution (1856)

The Old Regime and the Revolution (1856)

This is the first part of a planned history of the French Revolution. Tocqueville did not live to complete the work. Part one deals with the origins of the Revolution and the centralization of the French bureaucracy.

Key Quotes


I have often asked myself what was the source of that passion for political liberty which has inspired the greatest deeds of which mankind can boast. In what feelings does it take root? From whence does it derive nourishment? … It is the intrinsic attractions of freedom, its own peculiar charm—…

Colonies, Slavery & Abolition

The physiognomy of governments can be best detected in their colonies … (In Canada) One might fancy one’s self in the midst of modern centralization and in Algeria. Canada is, in fact, the true model of what has always been seen there. In both places the government numbers as many heads as the…