Archive | Frances Trollope

Fanny Trollope Disapproves Again

One of the first things that de Tocqueville noticed on his arrival in America was the extraordinarily high level of religious activity.  On interrogating American clergymen of various denominations about this phenomenon, he was surprised to find that “all attributed the peaceful domination that religion exercises in their country principally to the complete separation of […]

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Everything Changes: Newspapers and Democracy

“It would diminish the importance of [American  newspapers],” wrote Alexis de Tocqueville in 1840, “to believe that they serve only to guarantee freedom; they maintain civilization.” In the four decades before these words were published, there had been an explosion of newspapers throughout America, from the great cities to the tiniest towns.  In 1810 there […]

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Fanny Trollope Disapproves

Frances Trollope, an English novelist and the mother of a more famous one, had only just arrived at the mouth of the Mississippi in November of 1827, and already she disapproved.  Looking around her, all she could see was “desolation,” “degradation,”  “mud banks, monstrous bulrushes, and now and then a huge crocodile luxuriating in the […]

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