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General History/Alexis De Tocqueville


What led to American individualism?

Hi Lauren,
I know very little about De Tocqueville, but here's my take on American individualism. Many early colonists to America came here because they felt left out of European society in one way or another. Europe was very established by the 1600 and 1700s, and the way to get ahead was by cooperating with those in power. Not everyone who wanted to better themselves could access those in power. Frustration can lead to conflict, and in this case, people who could not get ahead through cooperation became less inclined to cooperate and struck out on their own.

Once in America, colonists found themselves without much of the supporting infrastructure they were used to in Europe. The government was less established and less capable in the colonies, and people learned to solve their problems by themselves. Once in the habit of making one's own decisions, a person is not likely to give up that freedom and accept being told what to do.

Hope this answers your question,   C.M.

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C.M. Aaron


My interests are pretty diverse: military history, technology, and social trends for most historical eras, general U.S. history, European history, especially Roman and early medieval history but also the 18th, 19th and 20th centuries, European colonialism in Africa, a little bit of Asian history, especially as it relates to European and American imperialism. I'm also pretty good with presidential history.


I've read hundreds of history books on various subjects. I've also been writing historical fiction for about twenty years. Story development drives my research. I am also a tour guide at a local museum.

Bachelor's degree in history and geography.

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