Tocqueville, The Man Who Understood Democracy
October 4, 2023
French-American Histories, one story, two narratives | Washington, DC is a program of curatorial talks proposed by Villa Albertine. Each episode reveals a different facet of the vibrant French-American tapestry, through interviews with leading scholars, experts, and practitioners conducted by Dr. Iris de Rode, an expert in the history of French-American relation. The interviews will be recorded monthly at the French Embassy or other locations in the United States.
240 years ago, fighting side by side for American independence, France was the first ally of the newly formed United States of America. Since then, the two countries have stood firm as “Sister Republics”, championing shared principles of democracy, freedom, and equality. The durable partnership has been characterized by a shared ambition and a common necessity for cooperation in a wide variety of fields in an increasingly globalized world. These encounters, spanning more than two centuries and ranging from the military to economic policy, agriculture, trade, philosophy, art, science and technology, have resulted in dynamic, fruitful and inspirational cross-exchanges that have shaped the destiny of both countries.
The two countries have numerous similarities but also separate histories, cultures, and institutions, making the relation dynamic and creative, but also at times contentious. Over the years, comparable concepts that have been implemented in the distinct French and American cultures have flourished, but also encountered alteration, adaptation or even opposition, requiring hurdles to be overcome and compromises to be found. France and the United States have frequently expressed their conviction in a single, unifying story, yet they needed two narratives to tell their peoples: One Story, Two Narratives.