Saturday, July 4

Democracy of American Towns

Unidentified Artist, 18th century. From Worcester Art Museum
"Americans love their towns for much the same reasons that highlanders love their mountains. In both cases the native land has emphatic and peculiar features; it has a more pronounce physiognomy [outward appearance] than is found elsewhere.

In general, New England townships lead a happy life. Their government is to their taste as well as to their choice. With profound peace and material prosperity prevailing in America, there are few storms in municipal life ... The government may have defects, and indeed they are easy to point out, but they do not catch the eye because the government really does emanate from the governed, and so long as it gets along somehow or other, a sort of parental pride protects it. So the sovereignty of the people in the township is not only ancient, by primordial."
- From Alexis de Tocqueville, Democracy in America.

Happy 4th of July.

1 comment:

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