-10. THE PURPOSE OF VISITING AMERICA
During 1831 and 1832 two Frenchmen, Alexis de Tocqueville and Gustave de Beaumont, toured the United States. After their visit, each wrote a book. Beaumont's volume is about slavery. Tocqueville's is the classic 'Democracy in America'. Publication of the books obscured the original purpose of their visit. The two men had been sent to the United States as delegates from the French government to inspect the American prison system. They were among many Europeans who visited the United States with the same intention, because the modern prison system for the confinement of convicted criminals was invented in the United States in the 1790s. Places of confinement were not new. London had its Tower and Paris its Bastille. These were for confining political prisoners, however, not for criminals in the ordinary sense. The common jail has existed since at least 1166, when England's King Henry II ordered jails built. Jails were then, as they are now, mainly for prisoners awaiting trial, but they also held petty offenders such as beggars and debtors. What was new about the American prison system was its purpose. It was designed more as a means of reforming the offender than as punishment for committing a crime.
It is clear that neither of the books mentioned in the passage ------ .
achieved considerable success in France
was based on the official work of its author in America
could explain the American prison system effectively
touched the slavery system then in operation in America
could be called reformist in a general sense
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