Liberty leads the peopleAlexis de Tocqueville and Francis Lieber
Two European Perceptions of Democracy in the Age of Democratic Revolutions

Europeans were among the first analysts of the US American democratic system. Today Alexis de Tocqueville's Democracy in America is still referred to as one of the most seminal observations of the American system, while other works tend to be forgotten. One contemporary of de Tocqueville was the German Francis Lieber who wrote books about related topics in the 1850's. He met de Tocqueville twice during his stay in the United States and continued to correspond during the ensuing years, exchanging views.

This site is intended to provide insight into European preconceptions of democracy by juxtaposing the biographical and political backgrounds of de Tocqueville and Lieber. If one considers the political conditions in Europe during the first half of the 19th century, it is easier to gain an understanding of both their European point of view in general, and of the America as it was perceived by these two individual travelers.

Departing from the table of contents, you are invited to either join a guided tour of this site, or to choose specific topics of interest.

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This site was created by Stefan Pollklas.
This document was last updated on 02/26/98.