The American people are renowned for being free, they love to be and they are, but how do they understand liberty? How is it practiced? That is what I want to seek to say here. The subject is very large, and I am forced to divide it up. I am occupied here with political liberty, I want to speak of the law that the American possesses and exercises to take part in the governing of his country, his state, his county, his commune. This subject has also been well treated with such a great superiority and with such elaboration by Monsieur de Tocqueville that it would be rash to go there. The liberty of which I propose to speak is the object of political liberty: it is the buckler of liberty — alas! — a buckler as hard to handle as that borne by the mighty Ajax.
Chevalier, M. (1849). Liberty in the United States of America. (S. W. Rowan, Trans.).