Courting Racial Justice

President Harry Truman skirts Congress and uses the Justice Department ...


Alexis de Tocqueville

Alexis de Tocqueville was just short of twenty-six years old when he arrived in America in May 1831 with Gustave de Beaumont, his traveling companion. These two young, liberal-minded French noblemen had come on an official mission—to study the American prison system for the new French government of Louis Philippe, successor to the Bourbon dynasty which had fallen in the 1830 revolution. De Tocqueville, though, had larger aims in mind. He had in recent years turned from the study of law to a broader interest in politics and a fascination with democracy. Might it, he wondered, be employed to create a more stable political order in France? To be able to observe a democratic system in action in America became his obsession.