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Tocqueville, Democracy, and ReligionChecks and Balances for Democratic Souls$
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Alan S. Kahan

Print publication date: 2015

Print ISBN-13: 9780199681150

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: August 2015

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199681150.001.0001

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Religion in France

Religion in France

(p.147) 7 Religion in France
Tocqueville, Democracy, and Religion

Alan S. Kahan

Oxford University Press

Tocqueville had to deal with a France divided between anticlericals on the left and Legitimist Catholics on the right. His attempt to form a consensus about religion in the center failed miserably in the 1843–4 controversies over education. This enduring cleavage was a prime reason for the failure of democracy in France to maintain freedom. Tocqueville analyzed the roots of this cleavage in The Old Regime and the Revolution, where he argued that it was due above all to the lack of separation of church and state, but he evinced fears in unpublished writings that it was due to more profound and incorrigible differences between Catholicism and democratic society.

Keywords:   Mirari Vos, M. Homais, freedom of education, French Revolution, separation of church and state, Le Commerce, Catholic Church, Napoleon III

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