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Alexis de Tocqueville on the Tyranny of the Majority

Instructors of US history, civics, or social studies may be interested in this set of three lesson plans from EDSITEment, the National Endowment for the Humanities' online collection of free teaching resources. These standards-aligned lessons focus on Chapter 7 in Volume 1, Part 2 of Alexis de Tocqueville's influential tome Democracy in America, in which Tocqueville lays out his arguments about the dangers of the "tyranny of the majority." Since Tocqueville can be a challenging author, these lessons are designed "to encourage both teachers and students to work through Tocqueville's argument by breaking it down into its component parts." Each lesson takes place over one class period, with the first introducing Tocqueville's claims about the "omnipotent" power of the majority, then the second lesson examines Tocqueville's reasoning about the dangers of unchecked power, while the third lesson concludes the unit by weighing Tocqueville's argument that "there is no freedom of mind in America," in comparison to Europe. Worksheets with excerpted passages from Democracy in America are included, as are links to the full text, suggestions for assignments, and other resources. This lesson unit is intended for high school classrooms, but anyone interested in considering Tocqueville's work may also find it a helpful reading guide.
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Date of Scout Publication
September 27th, 2019
Date Of Record Creation
September 17th, 2019 at 10:26am
Date Of Record Release
September 23rd, 2019 at 10:14am
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