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Entered according to Act of Congress, in the year 1841, by
In the Clerk's Office of the District Court of the United States, for the
District of New-York.

& C. Valentine- Stereotypes *0 Gold Street


The American publishers of M. De Tocqueville's "Democracy in America," have been frequently solicited to furnish the work in a form adapted to seminaries of learning, and at a price which would secure its more general circulation, and enable trustees of School District Libraries, and other libraries, to place it among their collections. Desirous to attain these objects, they have consulted several gentlemen, in whose judgment they confided, and particularly the editor of the American editions, to ascertain whether the work was capable of abridgment or condensation, so as to bring the expense of its publication within the necessary limits. They are advised that the nature of the work renders it impossible to condense it by omitting any remarks or illustrations of the author upon any subject discussed by him, even if common justice to him did not forbid any such attempt; and that the only mode of reducing its bulk, is to exclude wholly such subjects as are deemed not to be essential.

It will be recollected that the first volume was originally published separately, and was complete in itself. It treated of the influence of democracy upon the political institutions of the United States, and exhibited views of the nature of our government, and of their complicated machinery, so new, so striking, and so just, as to excite the admiration and even the wonder of our countrymen. It was universally admitted to be the best, if not the first systematic and philosophic view of the great principles of our constitutions which has been presented to the world. As a treatise upon the spirit of our governments, it was full and finished, and was deemed worthy of being introduced as a text-book in some of our Seminaries of ^Learning. The publication of the first volume alone would C'jjherefore seem to be sufficient to accomplish in the main the ,objects of the publishers above stated. . And upon a careful re-examination of the second volume, "This impression is confirmed. It is entirely independent of the ^^t^rst volume, and is in no way essential to a full understand j-^g of the principles and views contained in that volume. It discusses the effects of the democratic principle upon the tastes, feelings, habits, and manners of the Americans; and although deeply interesting and valuable, yet the observations of the author on these subjects are better calculated for foreign countries than for our own citizens. As he wrote for Europe they were necessary to his plan. They follow naturally and properly the profound views which had already been presented, and which they carry out and illustrate. But they furnish no new developments of those views, nor any facts that would be new to us.

The publishers were therefore advised that the printing of the first volume complete and entire, was the only mode of attaining the object they had in view. They have accordingly determined to adopt that course, intending, if the public sentiment should require it, hereafter to print the second volume in the same style, so that both may be had at the same moderate price.

A few notes, in addition to those contained in the former editions, have been made by the American editor, which upon a reperusal of the volume seemed useful if not necessary: and some statistical results of the census of 1840 have been added, in connection with similar results given by the author from returns previous to that year.

To prevent any misconception of the extent of the volume now published, and to indicate that the whole work is not given, the title has been restricted thus:

Democracy in America [in relation to Political Institutions].


The following work of M. De Tecqr/Bnixa has attracted great

attention throughout Europe, where it is universally regarded as a sound, philosophical, impartial, and remarkably clear and distinct view of our political institutions, and of our manners, opinions, and habits, as influencing or influenced by those institutions. Writers, reviewers, and statesmen of all parties, have united in the highest commendations of its ability and integrity. The people, described by a work of such a character, should not be the only one in Christendom unacquainted with its contents. At least, so thought many of our most distinguished men, who have urged the publishers of this edition to reprint the work, and present it to the American public. They have done so in the hope of promoting among their countrymen a more thorough knowledge of their frames of government, and a more just appreciation of the great principles on which they are founded.

But it seemed to them that a reprint in America of the views of an author so w>>H entitled to regard and confidence, without any correction of the few errors or mistakes that might be found, would be in effect to give authenticity to the whole work, and that foreign readers, especially, would consider silence, under such circumstances, as strong evidence of the accuracy of its statements. The preface to the English edition, too, was not adapted to this country, having been written, as it would seem, in reference to the political questions which agitate Great Britain. The publishers, therefore, applied to the writer of this, to furnish them with a short preface, and such notes upon the text as might appear necessary to correct any erroneous impressions. Having had the honor of a personal acquaintance with M. De Toco.ueVille while he was in this country; having discussed with him many of the topics treated of in this book; having entered deeply into the feelings and sentiments which guided and impelled him in his task, and having formed a high admiration of his character and of this production, the writer felt under some obligation to aid in procuring for one whom he ventures to call his friend, a hearing from those who were the subjects of his observations. These circumstances furnish to his own mind an apology for undertaking what no one seemed willing to attempt, notwithstanding his want of practice in literary composition, and notwithstanding the impediments of professional avocations, constantly recurring, and interrupting that strict and continued examination of the work, which became necessary, as well to detect any errors of the author, as any misunderstanding or misrepresentation of his meaning by his translator. If the same circumstances will atone in the least for the imperfections of what the editor has contributed to this edition, and will serve to mitigate the severity of judgment upon those contributions, it is all he can hope or ask.

The Notes are confined, with very few exceptions, to the correction of what appeared to be misapprehensions of the author in regard

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