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Tocqueville’s Nightmare – The Administrative State Emerges in America, 1900-1940 - Oxford Scholarship Online
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Tocqueville’s Nightmare: The Administrative State Emerges in America, 1900-1940

Daniel R. Ernst


The French aristocrat Alexis de Tocqueville once wrote that “insufferable despotism” would prevail if America ever acquired a national administrative state. Today’s Tea Partiers evidently believe that Tocqueville’s nightmare has come true. Between 1900 and 1940, it seems, radicals, seduced by alien ideologies, created vast bureaucracies that continue to trample on individual freedom. Tocqueville’s Nightmare shows, to the contrary, that the nation’s best corporate lawyers were among the creators of “commission government”; that supporters were more interested in purging government of corruption ... More

Keywords: administrative state, bureaucracy, commission government, due process, judicial review, Rechtsstaat, rule of law, statebuilding

Bibliographic Information

Print publication date: 2014 Print ISBN-13: 9780199920860
Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: June 2014 DOI:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199920860.001.0001


Affiliations are at time of print publication.

Daniel R. Ernst, author
Georgetown University

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