The founding fathers of the united states had serious concerns about the possibility of a tyranny of the majority and took several steps to limit its likelihood indeed, alexis de tocqueville, an early observer of the united states, wrote at length about the possibility of such a tyranny developing in the nascent country. Tyranny of the majority refers to an inherent weakness of direct democracy and majority rule in which the majority of an electorate can and does place its own interests above, and at the expense of, those in the minority this results in oppression of minority groups comparable to that of a tyrant or despot, argued john stuart. If ever freedom is lost in america, de tocqueville warned, that will be due to the majority driving minorities to desperation de tocqueville did identify certain elements at work in american democracy which checked the formation of a tyranny of the majority among these elements were the large number of independent. Alexis de tocqueville, democracy in america trans, george lawrence, ed, j p mayer (1966 new york: harperperennial, 1969) “rest assured my dear mill, that you have touched upon the great question, or so tocqueville's famous tyranny of the majority claim that in lieu of rigid social gradations codified in law and. It was alexis de tocqueville who defined the term “tyranny of the majority” and the author of this work took this term and its keywords: tyranny of majority, tyranny of minority, democracy, parliamentarism throughout 19th century) mill's ideas about political organization were based on the principle that “the main con. The main claim derived from this research problem is that american society was indeed subject to the tyranny of the majority during the mccarthy era tyranny of the majority reconsidered the journal of politics, 64(3), 741-763 https://doi org/101111/1468-250800148 mill, j s (1882) m de tocqueville on democracy. In its own ways, majority practices had so come to dominate us culture that de tocqueville thought the us form of democracy had created a form of majority tyranny as yet unseen in any despotic form of government us democratic theorists in the contemporary u s context, scholars such as schattschneider have also.
The phrase “tyranny of the majority,” first coined by french historian and political theorist alexis de tocqueville (1805–1859) in his seminal two-volume study democracy in america (1835–1840) and memorialized by john stuart mill (1806 –1873) in his classic 1859 treatise on liberty, represented to this generation the fear. To each of these men, democracy certainly possessed certain positive attributes, but at the same time, represented a potential threat to the individual freedoms of man, through a much feared 'tyranny of the majority' de tocqueville and mill both cite the possible oppression of minority groups as a significant. The notion of the tyranny of the majority was popularised by the 19th century political thinkers alexis de tocqueville (democracy in america) and john stuart mill (on liberty) it refers to a situation in which the majority enforces its will on a disadvantaged minority through the democratic process that is what.
Absolute sovereignty of the majority, and therefore oppression of the minority, is said to be a natural tendency of democracy john stuart mill, in his classic on liberty, noted that democracies tend to believe that “too much importance had been attached to the limitation of power itself that was a response. The phrase tyranny of the majority is used in discussing systems of democracy and majority rule it involves a scenario in which decisions made by a majori. The tyranny of the majority is a concept developed most famously in alexis de tocqueville's democracy in america the term was coined by tocqueville, and later adopted by john stuart mill in on liberty as more and more political communities turn to democratic forms, the problem of the potential for.
The chapter is a study of john stuart mill's views on the united states over a period of several decades, which begins with his reviews of alexis de tocqueville's democracy in america like tocqueville, he had serious criticisms about the nature of american democracy he admired its enterprise and free institutions but. Alexis de tocqueville, “tyranny of the majority,” chapter xv, book 1, democracy in america mill's “no harm principle” aims to prevent government from becoming a vehicle for the “tyranny of the majority,” which he viewed as not just a political but also a social tyranny that stifled minority voices and imposed regimentation. Democracy in america” by alexis de tocqueville is universally regarded as one of the most influential books ever written about america while historians have viewed “democracy” as a rich source about the age of andrew jackson, tocqueville was more of a political thinker than a historian. Europe even more than america in a democratic age - the tyranny of the majority de tocqueville believed he saw in america a paradoxi cal combination of individualism with the lack of original individuality, of freedom with an extraordinary conformity to majority-determined norms: he believed he saw the dead hand of.
Mill's account of the need to protect individual liberty from the tyranny of the majority has been highy influential--notably his defense of freedom of speech as a process of determining the truth being from the libertarian reader: alexis de tocqueville, what sort of despotism democratic nations have to fear (pp. Contents introduction textual introduction use and abuse of political terms 1832 rationale of representation 1835 de tocqueville on democracy in america [i] 1835 state of society in america 1836 civilization 1836 essays on government 1840 de tocqueville on. Until the time alexis de tocqueville wrote democracy in america, the problem of tyranny of the majority quent and penetrating analysis, majority tyranny did not become a major preoccupation of english political mill wrote, though a real evil, does not appear to be a formidable one in america the tyranny which we.
A consideration of democracy in america, by alexis de tocqueville the questions he asks remain our questions: “on what tempers the tyranny of the majority in the united states,” “why democratic peoples show a more ardent and more lasting love for equality than for freedom,” “how the americans understand the. Alexis de tocqueville, democracy in america (1835) tyranny of the majority i hold it to be an impious and detestable maxim that, politically speaking, the people have a right to do anything and yet i have asserted that all authority originates in the will of the majority am i, then, in contradiction with myself a general law.
J s mill's solutions to majority tyranny were proportional representation and extra votes for the rich and the well‐educated neither solution bears close examination proportional representation is a solution to a different problem if there is a majority, it is a majority, and proportional representation will not make it less so. The latter view was of great concern in the 19th century to english philosopher and economist john stuart mill and french historian and political scientist alexis de tocqueville, the latter of whom coined the phrase “tyranny of the majority” starting in the 18th century, majoritarianism began to acquire a positive connotation. These are the same american peculiarities that alexis de tocqueville noticed when he journeyed here in 1831, at the age of twenty-five was aware of the dangers of this kind of sleepless communitarianism he wrote forebodingly about stifling conformism, the tyranny of the majority, the soft despotism of.