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Alexis de Tocqueville made his entrance in political life in 1839.[1] At the outbreak of the Revolution of February he was in the prime of his age and in the maturity of his talent. He threw himself into the struggle, resolving to devote himself to the interests of the country and of society, and he was one of the first among those whole-hearted, single-minded men who endeavoured to keep the Republic within a wise and moderate course by steering clear of the two-fold perils of Cæsarism on the one hand and revolution on the Other. A dangerous and thankless enterprise, of which the difficulties were never hidden from a mind so clear-sighted as his, and of which he soon foresaw the ephemeral duration.

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