By Sheldon Gellar (auth.)

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Studies of the transition to democracy in Africa usually begin with independence or colonial rule. Tocqueville knew better than to start his study of democracy in America with the American Revolution. To understand the march toward democracy in France, he did not begin with the period immediately leading up to the French Revolution. He went back seven hundred years in French history. Physical Configuration of Senegal Senegal’s physical configuration had a great influence in shaping its historical development.

However, slaves and foreigners who comprised the majority of the population were not considered as part of the people. As used by Tocqueville, democracy could either refer to social equality or to a political system based on the doctrine of the sovereignty of the people. Contemporary political scientists generally call regimes that have free, competitive multiparty elections democracies. 23 Before the demise of communism and the end of the Cold War, communist regimes referred to themselves as people’s democracies and claimed that Tocquevillian Analytics in Africa 11 they placed greater emphasis on economic rights and eliminating economic inequality than bourgeois democracies where the ruling classes used the façade of political equality and civil rights to cloud the people’s awareness of the vast economic inequalities between capitalists and workers.

Some rulers received a modicum of Islamic education. Nobles from royal lineages who had aspirations to the crown attempted to build up large entourages to enhance their prestige and support their claims to power and develop alliances with other noble families through intermarriage. Social State and Mores of Senegal’s Aristocratic Societies Prior to the rise of the monarchies and the development of castes and orders, African societies in Senegal were primarily small-scale, agrarian societies organized into self-governing communities.

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