Tocqueville will sit in the Assembly until 1851. There he defended his anti-slavery and free-trade positions; he wondered about colonization, especially in Algeria, following a trip he made there in May 1841.
He was upset by the brutality of the French military under the leadership of General Bugeaud:
“What can be the future of a country left to such men… Not only are the officers violent, but they profess the soldier’s fiery and stupid hatred of the civilian! Where can this cascade of violence and injustices end up, if not the revolt of the natives and the ruin of Europeans ?… It is on the side of the Arabs that civilization is for the moment. »
In 1842, he was elected General Councilor of Manche Department, in the canton of Sainte Mère Eglise. On 6 August 1849, he was elected, in the second round of voting by 24 votes out of 44 voters, Chairman of the General Council, a position he held until 1852.
In January 1848, he gave a prescient speech announcing the revolution. After the fall of the July Monarchy, he was elected to the 1848 Constituent Assembly. He was a member of the Commission responsible for drafting the French 1848 constitution. Above all, he defends liberal institutions, bicameralism, the election of the President of the Republic by universal suffrage, and decentralization. He was elected to the Legislative Assembly in 1849, of which he became vice-president.
Hostile to the candidacy of Louis Napoleon Bonaparte for the presidency of the republic, preferring him Cavaignac, he nevertheless accepted the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and, in June 2 nd join the second government of Odilon Barrot.
He has a statesman’s temperament. Within a few months, he help solving several situations, all of which could have engaged France into wars.
On October 31, 1849, Louis Napoleon Bonaparte changed his government. After the ministers, make place for the accomplices. Tocqueville fears a coup d’etat by the president:
“The crow is increasingly trying to imitate the eagle!”
After a health alert, he rests in Tocqueville where he decides to write his memoirs.
He still sit on the General Council, advocate for the construction of the Paris-Cherbourg railway, especially when Louis Napoleon came to Cherbourg.
During a few months trip to Italy, near Naples, he decides to write what would become “The Old Regime and the Revolution”.
The coup d’etat occurred on December 2, 1851, the anniversary of the coronation of Napoleon 1st and Austerlitz victory. Tocqueville is one of 220 parliamentarians who meet at the town hall of the 10th district and vote to oust the President of the Republic. He has been incarcerated in Vincennes and then released; he left politics.