Democracy in America — Volume 1 Out of Alex de Tocqueville's travels through the U.S. in the 1830's came an insightful study of a young democracy and its institutions. This edition presents Tocqueville's original text. Footnotes, bibliography. In 1831, the then twenty-seven year old Alexis de Tocqueville, was sent with Gustave de Beaumont to America by the French Government to study and make a report on the American prison system. Over a period of nine months the two traveled all over America making notes not only on the prison systems but on all aspects of American society and government.