Although the desire of acquiring the good things of this world is the prevailing passion of the American people, certain momentary outbreaks occur when their souls seem suddenly to burst the bonds of matter by which they are restrained and to soar impetuously toward heaven.

Alexis de Tocqueville

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Alexis Charles Henri Clérel, Viscount de Tocqueville (; French: [alɛgzi ʃaʁl ɑ̃ʁi kleʁɛl də tɔkvil]; 29 July 1805 – 16 April 1859) was a French diplomat, political scientist, and historian. He was best known for his works Democracy in America (appearing in two volumes: 1835 and 1840) and The Old Regime and the Revolution (1856). In both he analyzed the improved living standards and social conditions of individuals, as well as their relationship to the market and state in Western societies. Democracy in America was published after Tocqueville's travels in the United States and is today considered an early work of sociology and political science.

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