Democracy in America

Materialism and democratic life

Discuss and analyze Tocqueville's account of commercial and economic life in America and in democracy more generally. Why does he think that the “taste for [material] well-being forms the salient and indelible feature of democratic ages” (422)? Why is that the Americans are so restive in the midst of their considerable prosperity? What political dangers do this and other economic problems pose for the future, according to Tocqueville?

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