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THE present publication is identical with Wolume I. of the “Democracy in America.” It is issued in its present style to furnish the most valuable portion of the work in a cheaper and more popular form, and with especial reference
to its use as a text-book.
* TO THE TWELFTH EDITION,+
- OWEVER sudden and momentous the events
which we have just beheld so swiftly accomplished, the author of this book has a right to say that they have not taken him by surprise.} His work was written fifteen years ago, with a mind constantly occupied by a single thought, — that the advent of democracy as a governing power in the world's affairs, universal and irresistible, was at hand. Let it be read over again, and there will be found on every page a solemn warning, that society changes its forms, humanity its condition, and that new destinies are impending. It was stated in the very Introduction of the work, that “the gradual development of the principle of Equality is a providential fact. It has all the chief characteristics of such a fact; it is universal, it is durable, it constantly eludes all human
* The twelfth edition of this work appeared at Paris in 1850, and this Advertisement was prefixed to it by De Tocqueville in reference to the French Revolution of 1848. — AM. ED.
t The writer here alludes to a speech which he made in the Chamber of Deputies, on the 27th of January, 1848, just one month before the Revolution was accomplished. He annexed a report of this speech to the twelfth edition of his work. — AM. ED.