USA and Russia: historical injustice from the times of Tocqueville

USA and Russia:
historical injustice from the times of Tocqueville

Savoysky A.G.,

Cand. Sci. (Pol. Sci.), Doctorate School, Peoples Friendship University of Russia, «Sail of Hope», Interregional Public Charitable Organization (Moscow) in Special Consultative Status with ECOSOC in the UN, Representative to the UN (New York),

DOI: 10.17976/jpps/2015.01.14
Rubric: Version

For citation:

Savoysky A.G. USA and Russia: historical injustice from the times of Tocqueville. – Polis. Political Studies. 2015. No. 1. P. 165-172. (In Russ.).


Historical justice is now to be reestablished in what concerns the interpretations by the French philosopher Alexis de Tocqueville of the USA and Russia. For Americans, in his opinion, freedom was above all; for Russians, it was commitment, duty, service to the Fatherland and certainly not slavery, as translations and quotes testify. The time has come to rehabilitate the reputation of Tocqueville’s works as well as the Russian people from the charges fabricated in the 1st third of the XIX century against Russia for inclination towards slavery and despotism. This politico-linguistic research testifies that the individual interest and a choice of actions without restriction of force are routine in America. This, in particular, still serves as an explanation of some essential features of the American mentality and the free access to weapons. The concept of slavery has always been peripheral for the Russian people. The error of translation and quotation occurred because of negligence of authors to the meaning of nuances of the French word servitude. In the original Tocqueville’s text, there is no term slavery as well as no direct indications of slavery in the Russian Empire. For Russians, the service to their Fatherland, liability to the Homeland, the obligation, responsibility, but not slavery, remained the core and constant cultural attributes through centuries.


Russia; USA; Tocqueville; freedom; slavery; obligation; responsibility; service.

Content No. 1, 2015

See also:

Gutorov V.A.,
Alexis de Tocqueville VS Astolphe de Custine: Scientific Discovery or Trivial Aberration?. – Polis. Political Studies. 2015. No4

Graham T.,
China-Russia-US Relations and Strategic Triangles. – Polis. Political Studies. 2020. No6

Shaklein V.V.,
Does Washington Have Any Real Strategy Towards Russia? (Thoughts on the Monograph “Russia and the United States in the Evolving World Order”). – Polis. Political Studies. 2019. No2

Mitropolitski S.,
Interpretative Approach Towards Voting Behavior. Evidence from Russia. – Polis. Political Studies. 2016. No4

Nisnevich Yu.A.,
Post-Soviet Russia: twenty years after. – Polis. Political Studies. 2013. No1



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