Critical Reading>Select an Answer
I have already observed that, from their origin, thesovereignty of the people was the fundamentalprinciple of the greater number of British colonies inAmerica…
At the present day the principle of the sovereignty of the people has acquired, in the UnitedStates, all the practical development which the imagination can conceive. It is unencumberedby those fictions which have been thrown over it in other countries, and it appears in everypossible form according to the exigency of the occasion. Sometimes the laws are made by thepeople in a body, as at Athens; and sometimes its representatives, chosen by universalsuffrage, transact business in its name, and almost under its immediate control.
In some countries a power exists which, though it is in a degree foreign to the social body, directs it, and forces it to pursue a certain track. In others the ruling force is divided, beingpartly within and partly without the ranks of the people. But nothing of the kind is to be seen inthe United States; there society governs itself for itself. All power centres in its bosom; andscarcely an individual is to be meet with who would venture to conceive, or, still less, toexpress, the idea of seeking it elsewhere. The nation participates in the making of its law by thechoice of its legistlators, and in the execution of them by the choice of the agents of theexecutive government; it may almost be said to govern itself, so feeble and so restricted isthe share left to the administration, so little do the authorities forget their popular origin andthe power from which they emanate.
Tocqueville suggests that the culture of self-government he witnesses in the UnitedStates derives in part from the country’s _____
D.division of powers.
Choice B is the best answer. In the first paragraph, Tocqueville comments that sovereignty has been afundamental principle in the United States sincethe country’s origin as British colonies. In otherwords, the culture of self-government has ties to the country’s colonial history.