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Alexis de Tocqueville born of aristocratic parents shortly after the French Revolution, was to become the first great European Liberal. At an early age, he distanced himself from the prejudices of his class and entered the Restoration government after the fall of Napoleon. His growing alarm at the dangers of the new tyranny - centralization - led him to travel to America to observe a federal society to evolution, and the result was his most famous work, Democracy in America. His energetic concern with the need of all citizens to participate in the organization of their lives - and the consequences for the overall moral tenor of the society - also led him to examine the roots of the French Revolution in The Ancient Regime (1856).
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