Alexis de Tocqueville was said to have detested America at first sight. The frenetic pace of New York City, where his boat had docked in May of 1831, overawed his senses. Never having set foot outside Europe, the bustling city streets appeared to him as garish and chaotic. There was none of the usual order or mannerisms which he, a French aristocrat, was accustomed to at home in Versailles. America was part of the New World. It was also a democracy.