The Birth of Great Events

At the beginning of chapter 1, Alexis de Tocqueville states that major events like the February Revolution were based on accidental causes. “In common with all other great events of this sort, the February Revolution was born of general causes fertilized, if I may put so, by accidents” (page 62). While many sparks to revolutions or other “great events” may be spontaneous, it seems like a very bold statement to say that the revolution’s causes are made from accidents. In the paragraph following this quote, de Tocqueville talks about the industrial revolution. Do you think that the industrial revolution fits his category of a great event with causes made by accidents? What do you think his definition of a great event is? Do you agree that the February Revolution was based on causes made by accidents?

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