Alexis de Tocqueville
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A New World

Broadway from the bowling green

Uncle Sam
Uncle Sam, anonymous; Département des Estampes © BNF

Broadway from the bowling green

The Young Women of New York
"Imagine the daughters of the leading families, sprightly and impeccably turned out at one o'clock in the afternoon, skipping down the streets of New York, scouring the shops, and riding horses without a father or mother, uncle or aunt, or even a servant in sight."
(Letter to his sister-in-law Emilie, June 9, 1831)
Broadway from the bowling green, 1828, anonymous, Département des Estampes © BNF

Arrangement in Gray and Black No. 1: Portrait of the Artist's Mother: Anna Matilda McNeil, James Whistler

Married Women
"When a woman marries, it is as though she entered a convent, except of course that no one objects if she has children, even a large number of children. Otherwise she leads a nun's life: no more balls, virtually no more society, a husband as cold as he is respectable for her only company, and so it goes until she departs for life everlasting."
(Letter to his sister-in-law Emilie, June 9, 1831)
Arrangement in Gray and Black No. 1: Portrait of the Artist's Mother: Anna Matilda McNeil, James Whistler; Paris, musée d'Orsay © RMN/Jean-Gilles Berizzi

Dance of the Quakers, anonymous

The Quakers
"When the prayer ended, the two groups lined up single file. Five men and an equal number of women pressed their backs to the wall and began to sing a lively, up-tempo hymn. On this signal, men and women, young and old, began to cavort breathlessly. This was not so much strange as pitiful to witness, as elderly men with white hair, tired and close to fainting from the heat, nevertheless frolicked to their heart's content. . Nothing resembles this dance quite so much as the carillon of Dunkirk."
(Letter to his mother, July 17, 1831)
Dance of the Quakers, anonymous, Département des Estampes © BNF

The Cotton Exchange or Portraits in an Office (New Orleans)

A Society Governed by Self-Interest
"Imagine if you can a society composed of all the nations of the world: English, French, German. . All these people have different languages, faiths, and opinions. In other words, imagine a society without roots, without memories, without prejudices, without routines, without common ideas, without a national character, and a hundred times happier than our own. More virtuous? I doubt it. That is the point of departure. What binds all these diverse elements together? What makes all this into a people? Self-interest."
(Letter to Ernest de Chabrol, June 9, 1831)
The Cotton Exchange or Portraits in an Office (New Orleans), Edgar Degas; Pau, musée des beaux-arts © RMN/Bellot/Coursaget