Date of Award

Spring 2007

Project Type


Program or Major

Political Science

Degree Name

Master of Arts

First Advisor

Warren R Brown


The American family in Tocqueville's Democracy in America presents a novel association to humankind; at its heart are natural bonds between generations, spouses and siblings that offer, through public recognition, new opportunities for both individual and civic improvement. Through an exposition of Democracy's American family, this paper addresses how the association helps remediate the greatest dangers of the age of equality: a tyrannical majority, materialism, individualism and ultimately, democratic despotism. It finds that the chief virtue of the American family comes from the natural, complementary gender differences that define marriage in American public opinion; in particular, the social recognition that American wives receive supports a level of morality---and political success---that is singular to the Americans and integral to the maintenance of democracy, generally.