Tocqueville's Law: Integrative Jurisprudence in the American Context
American Journal of Jurisprudence, Vol. 39, 1994
28 Pages Posted: 31 Aug 2009 Last revised: 28 Oct 2009
Date Written: 1994
This article examines the jurisprudence of nineteenth century scholar and magistrate Alexis de Tocqueville. Best known for his analysis of American democratic society, Tocqueville brought to his work a lawyer’s eye for legal rules and structures, and their impact on public life. Tocqueville’s jurisprudence, integrating moral, political, and historical practices and influences, enabled him to explain the role of law and lawyers in maintaining stability in a society permeated by egalitarian and individualist impulses. Central to this stabilization, according to Tocqueville, were the legalistic norms inculcated through administrative decentralization and the jury system in a society that accorded high status to legal practitioners.
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