On APRIL APRIL 16, 1859, French historian Alexis de Tocqueville died.
After nine months of traveling the United States, he wrote Democracy in America in 1835, which has been described as
"the most comprehensive...analysis of character and society in America ever written."
Alexis de Tocqueville wrote:
"Upon my arrival in the United States the religious aspect of the country was the first thing that struck my attention...
France I had almost always seen the spirit of religion and the spirit
of freedom marching in opposite directions. But in America I found they
were intimately united and that they reigned in common over the same
De Tocqueville continued:
Americans combine the notions of Christianity and of liberty so
intimately in their minds, that it is impossible to make them conceive
the one without the other...
They brought with them into the New
World a form of Christianity which I cannot better describe than by
styling it a democratic and republican religion."
In Book Two of Democracy in America, de Tocqueville wrote:
"Christianity has therefore retained a strong hold on the public mind in America...
the United States...Christianity itself is a fact so irresistibly
established, that no one undertakes either to attack or to defend it."
In the 1840's. Alexis de Tocqueville traveled twice to Algeria. He wrote to Arthur de Gobineau, October 22, 1843 (Tocqueville Reader, p. 229):
studied the Koran a great deal. I came away from that study with the
conviction there have been few religions in the world as deadly to men
as that of Mohammed.
So far as I can see, it is the principle cause of the decadence so visible today in the Muslim world
and, though less absurd than the polytheism of old, its social and political tendencies are in my opinion to be feared,
and I therefore regard it as a form of decadence rather than a form of progress in relation to paganism itself."
Alexis de Tocqueville stated in Travail sur l'Algerie in uvres completes, 1841:
"I came back from Africa with the pathetic notion that at present in our way of waging war...
If our sole aim is to equal the Turks, in fact we shall be in a far lower position than theirs: barbarians for barbarians,
the Turks will always outdo us because they are Muslim barbarians."
In Democracy in America, 1840, Vol. II, Book 1, Chapter V, Alexis de Tocqueville wrote:
brought down from heaven and put into the Koran not religious doctrines
only, but political maxims, criminal and civil laws, and scientific
The Gospels, on the other hand, deal only with the
general relations between man and God and between man and man. Beyond
that, they teach nothing and do not oblige people to believe anything.
That alone, among a thousand reasons, is enough to show that
Islam will not be able to hold its power long in an age of enlightenment
and democracy, while Christianity is destined to reign in such age, as
in all others."
In Democracy in America, Alexis de Tocqueville wrote:
"In the United States the sovereign authority is religious...
is no country in the whole world where the Christian religion retains a
greater influence over the souls of men than in America,
there can be no greater proof of its utility and of its conformity to
human nature than that its influence is powerfully felt over the most
enlightened and free nation of the earth."
In 1895, Josiah Hotchkiss Gilbert compiled The Dictionary of Burning Words of Brilliant Writers, which included the statement from Alexis de Tocqueville:
"Christianity is the companion of liberty in all its conflicts - the
cradle of its infancy, and the divine source of its claims."