Tour Tocqueville’s 1831 America

July 15th, 2016 by ClickSchooling Leave a reply »

 

It’s Friday, July 15, 2016, and time for a Virtual Field Trip at ClickSchooling!

 

Recommended Website:

Democracy in America

(xroads.virginia.edu/~HYPER/DETOC/)

Age Range: 11-18 (Grades 6-12, with parental supervision)

 

Today’s website provides the full text (that you can read online or print out to read offline) of Democracy in America by Alexis de Tocqueville – one of the most influential works on the politics and culture of America in 1831-1832.

As the website introduction explains:

What he saw there, who he talked with, what he read and overheard, became the stuff of his analysis of our nation’s essential nature and probable destiny. And almost everything he saw and heard has, of course, simply vanished…. Cincinnati is no longer a frontier boom town and the trackless wilderness of Tennessee has been comfortably suburbanized and malled along with the rest of the country….

And so we’re attempting to construct a virtual American ca. 1831-32…. based on Tocqueville’s itinerary, on his and his friend Beaumont’s letters and journals, on contemporaneous accounts of other foreign visitors, and on a variety of examples of material culture of the period, mostly paintings and engravings. It also holds explorations of Women’s Place at the time, of attitudes toward race and color, towards religion, and towards everyday life.

Democracy in America gives keen insight to life in the United States in the early/mid-19th century.

In addition to the text, the site offers an interesting VIRTUAL TOUR of Tocqueville’s America in 1831, through featured textual excerpts, illustrations, pictures, and more. It’s a great way to preview the book and get a peek at American culture over 150 years ago. The virtual tour alone provides an interesting social studies lesson.

When you get to the site you will see a map in the center of the screen. Above it is a link to the full text of the book and an introduction to the website.

A menu surrounds the map. The Virtual Tour is the first link on the menu on the left-hand side of your screen. It is followed by links to various other highlights based on the book including: 

  • Red, Black & White: Race in 1831
  • Everyday Life in 1831
  • American Religion in 1831
  • American Women: 1820-1842
  • and much more.

This is a fascinating historical account of life in America that sheds light on our past while illuminating the stark contrasts to present day America. After exploring the site, you can’t help but speculate what the future will bring.

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