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Edmund Burke (; 12 January NS.html"_;"title="New_Style.html"_;"title="/nowiki>New_Style">NS">New_Style.html"_;"title="/nowiki>New_Style">NS/nowiki>_1729_–_9_July_1797)_was_an_Anglo-Irish_Politician.html" "title="New_Style">NS.html" ;"title="New_Style.html" ;"title="/nowiki>New Style">NS">New_Style.html" ;"title="/nowiki>New Style">NS/nowiki> 1729 – 9 July 1797) was an Anglo-Irish Politician">statesman A statesman or stateswoman typically is a politician A politician is a person active in party politics A political party is an organization that coordinates candidate A candidate, or nominee, is the prospective recipient of an award or ho ...
, economist, and philosopher. Born in
Dublin Dublin (; , or ) is the capital and largest city of Ireland Ireland ( ; ga, Éire ; Ulster-Scots: ) is an island upright=1.15, Great_Britain.html"_;"title="Ireland_(left)_and_Great_Britain">Ireland_(left)_and_Great_Britain_ ...

Dublin
, Burke served as a member of parliament (MP) between 1766 and 1794 in the House of Commons of Great Britain with the Whig Party after moving to London in 1750. Burke was a proponent of underpinning virtues with manners in society and of the importance of religious institutions for the moral stability and good of the state. These views were expressed in his ''
A Vindication of Natural Society ''A Vindication of Natural Society: or, a View of the Miseries and Evils arising to Mankind from every Species of Artificial Society'' is a work by Edmund Burke Edmund Burke (; 12 January NS.html"_;"title="New_Style.html"_;"title="/nowiki>N ...
''. He criticised the actions of the British government towards the
American colonies#REDIRECT American colonies
{{Redirect category shell, {{R from ambiguous term {{R unprintworthy ...
, including its taxation policies. Burke also supported the rights of the colonists to resist metropolitan authority, although he opposed the attempt to achieve independence. He is remembered for his support for
Catholic emancipation Catholic emancipation or Catholic relief was a process in the kingdoms of Great Britain Great Britain is an island in the North Atlantic Ocean off the northwest coast of continental Europe. With an area of , it is the largest of the Brit ...
, the impeachment of
Warren Hastings Warren Hastings (6 December 1732 – 22 August 1818), an English statesman, was the first Governor of the Presidency of Fort William (Bengal), the head of the Supreme Council of Bengal, and thereby the first ''de facto'' Governor-General of Ben ...

Warren Hastings
from the
East India Company The East India Company (EIC), also known as the Honourable East India Company (HEIC), East India Trading Company (EITC), the English East India Company or (after Acts of Union 1707, 1707) the British East India Company, and informally known a ...
, and his staunch opposition to the
French Revolution The French Revolution ( ) was a period of radical political and societal change in France France (), officially the French Republic (french: link=no, République française), is a country primarily located in Western Europe, consi ...

French Revolution
. In his ''
Reflections on the Revolution in France ''Reflections on the Revolution in France'' is a political pamphlet written by the Irish statesman Edmund Burke and published in November 1790. It is fundamentally a contrast of the French Revolution to that time with the unwritten Constitution o ...
'', Burke asserted that the revolution was destroying the fabric of good society and traditional institutions of state and society and condemned the persecution of the
Catholic Church The Catholic Church, also known as the Roman Catholic Church, is the List of Christian denominations by number of members, largest Christian church, with 1.3 billion baptised Catholics Catholic Church by country, worldwide . As the wo ...

Catholic Church
that resulted from it. This led to his becoming the leading figure within the conservative faction of the Whig Party which he dubbed the
Old Whigs The Whigs were a political faction A political faction is a group of individuals that share a common political purpose but differs in some respect to the rest of the entity. A faction within a group or political party may include fragmente ...
as opposed to the pro–French Revolution New Whigs led by
Charles James Fox Charles James Fox (24 January 1749 – 13 September 1806), styled ''The Honourable'' from 1762, was a prominent British British Whig Party, Whig statesman whose parliamentary career spanned 38 years of the late 18th and early 19th centuries. H ...
. In the 19th century, Burke was praised by both
conservatives Conservatism is a political and social philosophy promoting traditional social institutions. The central tenets of conservatism may vary in relation to the traditional values or practices of the culture Culture () is an umbrella term w ...
and
liberals Liberal or liberalism may refer to: Politics *a supporter of liberalism, a political and moral philosophy **Liberalism by country *an adherent of a Liberal Party Arts, entertainment and media *''El Liberal'', a Spanish newspaper published betw ...

liberals
. Subsequently in the 20th century, he became widely regarded as the philosophical founder of
conservatism Conservatism is an aesthetic Aesthetics, or esthetics (), is a branch of philosophy Philosophy (from , ) is the study of general and fundamental questions, such as those about reason, Metaphysics, existence, Epistemology, kno ...
.


Early life

Burke was born in
Dublin Dublin (; , or ) is the capital and largest city of Ireland Ireland ( ; ga, Éire ; Ulster-Scots: ) is an island upright=1.15, Great_Britain.html"_;"title="Ireland_(left)_and_Great_Britain">Ireland_(left)_and_Great_Britain_ ...

Dublin
, Ireland. His mother Mary, ''née'' Nagle (c. 1702–1770), was a Roman Catholic who hailed from a déclassé
County Cork County Cork ( ga, Contae Chorcaí) is the largest and the southernmost county A county is a geographical region of a country used for administrative or other purposesChambers Dictionary The ''Chambers Dictionary'' (''TCD'') was first p ...
family and a cousin of the Catholic educator
Nano Nagle Honora "Nano" Nagle (1718 – 26 April 1784) was a pioneer of Catholic education in Kingdom of Ireland, Ireland despite legal prohibitions. She founded the Sisters of the Presentation of the Blessed Virgin Mary (PBVM), commonly known as the Pr ...

Nano Nagle
whereas his father Richard (died 1761), a successful solicitor, was a member of the
Church of Ireland The Church of Ireland ( ga, Eaglais na hÉireann, ; sco, label=Ulster-ScotsUlster Scots, also known as Scotch-Irish, may refer to: * Ulster Scots people The Ulster Scots (Ulster-Scots The Ulster Scots (Ulster Scots dialects, Ul ...
. It remains unclear whether this is the same Richard Burke who converted from Catholicism. The
Burke dynasty
Burke dynasty
descends from an
Anglo-NormanAnglo-Norman may refer to: *Anglo-Normans The Anglo-Normans ( nrf, Anglo-Normaunds, ang, Engel-Norðmandisca) were the medieval ruling class in England, composed mainly of a combination of ethnic Anglo-Saxons, Normans, Bretons, Flemish people, F ...
knight A knight is a person granted an honorary title of knighthood by a head of state (including the pope) or representative for service to the monarch, the christian denomination, church or the country, especially in a military capacity. Knighthoo ...

knight
surnamed de Burgh (Latinised as ''de Burgo''), who arrived in Ireland in 1185 following
Henry II of England Henry II (5 March 1133 – 6 July 1189), also known as Henry Curtmantle (french: Court-manteau), Henry FitzEmpress or Henry Plantagenet, was King of England This list of kings and queens of the begins with , who initially ruled , one of ...

Henry II of England
's 1171 invasion of Ireland and is among the chief Gall or
Old English Old English (, ), or Anglo-Saxon, is the earliest recorded form of the English language English is a West Germanic language of the Indo-European language family The Indo-European languages are a language family A language ...
families that assimilated into Gaelic society". Burke adhered to his father's faith and remained a practising
Anglican Anglicanism is a Western Christianity, Western Christian tradition that has developed from the practices, liturgy, and identity of the Church of England following the English Reformation. Adherents of Anglicanism are called ''Anglicans''; t ...

Anglican
throughout his life, unlike his sister Juliana who was brought up as and remained a Roman Catholic. Later, his political enemies repeatedly accused him of having been educated at the
Jesuit , image = Ihs-logo.svg , caption = Christogram A Christogram (Latin ') is a monogram or combination of letters that forms an abbreviation for the name of Jesus Christ, traditionally used as a Christian symbolism, ...
College of St. Omer, near
Calais Calais ( , , traditionally , ; pcd, Calés; vls, Kales) is a city A city is a large .Goodall, B. (1987) ''The Penguin Dictionary of Human Geography''. London: Penguin.Kuper, A. and Kuper, J., eds (1996) ''The Social Science Encyclopedia ...

Calais
, France; and of harbouring secret Catholic sympathies at a time when membership of the Catholic Church would disqualify him from public office per
Penal Laws in Ireland Penal is a town in south Trinidad, Trinidad and Tobago. It lies south of San Fernando, Trinidad and Tobago, San Fernando, Princes Town, and Debe, and north of Moruga, Morne Diablo Limestone, Morne Diablo and Siparia. It was originally a rice- and C ...
. As Burke told Frances Crewe:
Mr. Burke's Enemies often endeavoured to convince the World that he had been bred up in the Catholic Faith, & that his Family were of it, & that he himself had been educated at St. Omer—but this was false, as his father was a regular practitioner of the Law at Dublin, which he could not be unless of the Established Church: & it so happened that though Mr. B—was twice at Paris, he never happened to go through the Town of
St. Omer
St. Omer
.
After being elected to the
House of Commons The House of Commons is the name for the elected lower house A lower house is one of two chambers Chambers may refer to: Places Canada: *Chambers Township, Ontario United States: *Chambers County, Alabama *Chambers, Arizona, an unincorporat ...

House of Commons
, Burke was required to take the
oath of allegiance An oath of allegiance is an oath Traditionally an oath (from Anglo-Saxon The Anglo-Saxons were a cultural group who inhabited England England is a Countries of the United Kingdom, country that is part of the United Kingdom. It sha ...
and
abjuration Abjuration is the solemn repudiation, abandonment, or renunciation by or upon oath, often the renunciation of citizenship or some other right or Privilege (legal ethics), privilege. The term comes from the Latin ''abjurare'', "to forswear". Abju ...

abjuration
, the
oath of supremacy The Oath of Supremacy required any person taking public or church office in England England is a Countries of the United Kingdom, country that is part of the United Kingdom. It shares land borders with Wales to its west and Scotland to its ...
and declare against
transubstantiation Transubstantiation (Latin language, Latin: ''transsubstantiatio''; Greek language, Greek: μετουσίωσις ''metousiosis'') is, according to the teaching of the Catholic Church, "the change of the whole substance of bread into the substance ...
. Although never denying his Irishness, Burke often described himself as "an Englishman". As a child, Burke sometimes spent time away from the unhealthy air of Dublin with his mother's family near Killavullen in the
BlackwaterBlackwater or Black Water may refer to: Health and ecology * Blackwater (coal), liquid waste from coal preparation * Blackwater (waste), wastewater containing feces, urine, and flushwater from flush toilets * Blackwater fever, an acute kidney diseas ...
Valley in County Cork. He received his early education at a
Quaker Quakers are people who belong to a historically Protestant Christian Protestantism is a form of Christianity that originated with the 16th-century Reformation, a movement against what its followers perceived to be Criticism of the Catholi ...

Quaker
school in
Ballitore Ballitore () is a village in County Kildare County Kildare ( ga, Contae Chill Dara) is a county A county is a geographical region of a country used for administrative or other purposesChambers Dictionary, L. Brookes (ed.), 2005, Chambers H ...
, County Kildare, some from Dublin; and possibly like his cousin
Nano Nagle Honora "Nano" Nagle (1718 – 26 April 1784) was a pioneer of Catholic education in Kingdom of Ireland, Ireland despite legal prohibitions. She founded the Sisters of the Presentation of the Blessed Virgin Mary (PBVM), commonly known as the Pr ...

Nano Nagle
at a
Hedge school Hedge schools ( Irish names include '' scoil chois claí'', ''scoil ghairid'' and ''scoil scairte'') were small informal illegal schools, particularly in 18th- and 19th-century Ireland, designed to secretly provide the rudiments of primary educa ...
near Killavullen. He remained in correspondence with his schoolmate from there, Mary Leadbeater, the daughter of the school's owner, throughout his life. In 1744, Burke started at
Trinity College Dublin , name_Latin = Collegium Sanctae et Individuae Trinitatis Reginae Elizabethae juxta Dublin , motto = ''Perpetuis futuris temporibus duraturam'' (Latin Latin (, or , ) is a classical language belonging to the Ital ...

Trinity College Dublin
, a Protestant
establishment Establishment may refer to: * The Establishment, the dominant group or elite holding effective power or authority in a society * The Establishment (club), an English satire club of the 1960s * The Establishment (comics), ''The Establishment'' (com ...

establishment
which up until 1793 did not permit Catholics to take
degrees Degree may refer to: As a unit of measurement * Degree symbol (°), a notation used in science, engineering, and mathematics * Degree (angle), a unit of angle measurement * Degree (temperature), any of various units of temperature measurement ...
. In 1747, he set up a debating society Edmund Burke's Club which in 1770 merged with TCD's Historical Club to form the
College Historical Society The College Historical Society (CHS) – popularly referred to as The Hist – is one of the two debating societies at Trinity College Dublin. It was established within the college in 1770 and was inspired by the club formed by the philos ...
, the oldest undergraduate society in the world. The minutes of the meetings of Burke's Club remain in the collection of the Historical Society. Burke graduated from Trinity in 1748. Burke's father wanted him to read Law and with this in mind he went to London in 1750, where he entered the
Middle Temple The Honourable Society of the Middle Temple, commonly known simply as Middle Temple, is one of the four Inns of Court 300px, Combined arms of the four Inns of Court. Clockwise from top left: Lincoln's Inn, Middle Temple, Gray's Inn, Inner Te ...

Middle Temple
, before soon giving up legal study to travel in
Continental Europe Continental Europe or mainland Europe is the contiguous continent A continent is any of several large landmasses. Generally identified by convention (norm), convention rather than any strict criteria, up to seven geographical region ...

Continental Europe
. After eschewing the Law, he pursued a livelihood through writing.


Early writing

The late
Lord Bolingbroke Image:St. John arms.svg, Arms of St John: ''Argent, on a chief gules two mullets or'' Henry St John, 1st Viscount Bolingbroke (; 16 September 1678 – 12 December 1751) was an English politician, government official and political philosopher ...

Lord Bolingbroke
's ''Letters on the Study and Use of History'' was published in 1752 and his collected works appeared in 1754. This provoked Burke into writing his first published work, '' A Vindication of Natural Society: A View of the Miseries and Evils Arising to Mankind'', appearing in Spring 1756. Burke imitated Bolingbroke's style and ideas in a ''
reductio ad absurdum In logic Logic is an interdisciplinary field which studies truth and reasoning. Informal logic seeks to characterize Validity (logic), valid arguments informally, for instance by listing varieties of fallacies. Formal logic represents sta ...
'' of his arguments for
atheistic Atheism, in the broadest sense, is an absence of belief A belief is an Attitude (psychology), attitude that something is the case, or that some proposition about the world is truth, true. In epistemology, philosophers use the term "bel ...
rationalism In philosophy Philosophy (from , ) is the study of general and fundamental questions, such as those about reason, Metaphysics, existence, Epistemology, knowledge, Ethics, values, Philosophy of mind, mind, and Philosophy of language, ...
in order to demonstrate their
absurdity An absurdity is a thing that is extremely unreasonable, so as to be foolish or not taken Seriousness, seriously, or the state of being so. "Absurd" is an adjective used to describe an absurdity, e.g., "Tyler and the boys laughed at the absurdity ...
.Prior, p. 45. Burke claimed that Bolingbroke's arguments against
revealed religion In religion Religion is a social system, social-cultural system of designated religious behaviour, behaviors and practices, morality, morals, beliefs, worldviews, religious text, texts, shrine, sanctified places, prophecy, prophecies, eth ...

revealed religion
could apply to all social and civil institutions as well.
Lord Chesterfield Philip Dormer Stanhope, 4th Earl of Chesterfield, (22 September 169424 March 1773) was a British statesman, diplomat, and man of letters, and an acclaimed wit of his time. Early life He was born in London to Philip Stanhope, 3rd Earl of Chest ...

Lord Chesterfield
and Bishop Warburton as well as others initially thought that the work was genuinely by Bolingbroke rather than a
satire Satire is a of the , , and s, usually in the form of and less frequently , in which vices, follies, abuses, and shortcomings are held up to ridicule, often with the intent of shaming or exposing the perceived flaws of individuals, corpora ...
. All the reviews of the work were positive, with critics especially appreciative of Burke's quality of writing. Some reviewers failed to notice the
ironic Irony (), in its broadest sense, is a rhetorical device In rhetoric Rhetoric () is the art Art is a diverse range of (products of) human activities involving creative imagination to express technical proficiency, beauty, emoti ...
nature of the book which led to Burke stating in the preface to the second edition (1757) that it was a satire.Lock, ''Burke. Vol. I'', p. 85. Richard Hurd believed that Burke's imitation was near-perfect and that this defeated his purpose, arguing that an ironist "should take care by a constant exaggeration to make the ''ridicule'' shine through the Imitation. Whereas this ''Vindication'' is everywhere enforc'd, not only in the language, and on the principles of L. Bol., but with so apparent, or rather so real an earnestness, that half his purpose is sacrificed to the other". A minority of scholars have taken the position that in fact Burke did write the ''Vindication'' in earnest, later disowning it only for political reasons. In 1757, Burke published a treatise on
aesthetics Aesthetics, or esthetics (), is a branch of philosophy Philosophy (from , ) is the study of general and fundamental questions, such as those about Metaphysics, existence, reason, Epistemology, knowledge, Ethics, values, Philosophy of m ...

aesthetics
titled ''
A Philosophical Enquiry into the Origin of Our Ideas of the Sublime and Beautiful ''A Philosophical Enquiry into the Origin of Our Ideas of the Sublime and Beautiful'' is a 1757 treatise on aesthetics written by Edmund Burke. It was the first complete philosophical exposition for separating the beautiful and the sublime into the ...
'' that attracted the attention of prominent Continental thinkers such as
Denis Diderot Denis Diderot (; ; 5 October 171331 July 1784) was a French philosopher, art critic An art critic is a person who is specialized in analyzing, interpreting, and evaluating art Art is a diverse range of (products of) human activities ...

Denis Diderot
and
Immanuel Kant Immanuel Kant (, , ; 22 April 1724 – 12 February 1804) was a German philosopher A philosopher is someone who practices philosophy Philosophy (from , ) is the study of general and fundamental questions, such as those about r ...

Immanuel Kant
. It was his only purely philosophical work and when asked by
Sir Joshua Reynolds Sir Joshua Reynolds (16 July 1723 – 23 February 1792) was an English painter, specialising in Portrait, portraits. John Russell (art critic), John Russell said he was one of the major European painters of the 18th century. He promoted the Gra ...
and
French Laurence French Laurence (3 April 1757 – 27 February 1809) was an English jurist and man of letters, a close associate of Edmund Burke Edmund Burke (; 12 January NS.html"_;"title="New_Style.html"_;"title="/nowiki>New_Style">NS">New_Style.html"_;" ...
to expand it thirty years later, Burke replied that he was no longer fit for abstract speculation (Burke had written it before he was nineteen years of age). On 25 February 1757, Burke signed a contract with
Robert Dodsley Robert Dodsley (13 February 1703 – 23 September 1764) was an England, English bookseller, publisher, poet, playwright, and miscellaneous writer. Life Dodsley was born near Mansfield, Nottinghamshire, where his father was master of the free sch ...
to write a "history of England from the time of Julius Caesar to the end of the reign of Queen Anne", its length being eighty quarto sheets (640 pages), nearly 400,000 words. It was to be submitted for publication by Christmas 1758. Burke completed the work to the year 1216 and stopped; it was not published until after Burke's death, in an 1812 collection of his works, ''An Essay Towards an Abridgement of the English History''. G. M. Young did not value Burke's history and claimed that it was "demonstrably a translation from the French". On commenting on the story that Burke stopped his history because
David Hume David Hume (; born David Home; 7 May 1711 NS (26 April 1711 OS) – 25 August 1776) Cranston, Maurice, and Thomas Edmund Jessop. 2020 999999 or triple nine most often refers to: * 999 (emergency telephone number) 250px, A sign on a beach ...

David Hume
published his,
Lord Acton John Emerich Edward Dalberg-Acton, 1st Baron Acton, 13th Marquess of Groppoli, (10 January 1834 – 19 June 1902), better known as Lord Acton, was an English Catholic The Catholic Church, often referred to as the Roman Catholic Church, ...

Lord Acton
said "it is ever to be regretted that the reverse did not occur". During the year following that contract, Burke founded with Dodsley the influential ''
Annual Register ''The Annual Register'' (originally subtitled "A View of the History, Politicks and Literature of the Year ...") is a long-established reference work, written and published each year, which records and analyses the year's major events, development ...
'', a publication in which various authors evaluated the international political events of the previous year. The extent to which Burke contributed to the ''Annual Register'' is unclear. In his biography of Burke, Robert Murray quotes the ''Register'' as evidence of Burke's opinions, yet Philip Magnus in his biography does not cite it directly as a reference.Copeland, p. 446. Burke remained the
chief editor An editor-in-chief, also known as lead editor or chief editor, is a publication's editorial leader who has final responsibility for its operations and policies. The highest-ranking editor of a publication may also be titled editor, managing edito ...
of the publication until at least 1789 and there is no evidence that any other writer contributed to it before 1766. On 12 March 1757, Burke married Jane Mary Nugent (1734–1812), daughter of Dr.
Christopher Nugent Sir Christopher Nugent, 6th (or 14th) Baron Delvin (1544–1602) was an Irish people, Irish nobleman and writer. He was arrested on suspicion of treason against Queen Elizabeth I of England, and died while in confinement before his trial had taken ...
, a Catholic physician who had provided him with medical treatment at
Bath Bath may refer to: * Bathing, immersion in a fluid ** Bathtub, a large open container for water, in which a person may wash their body ** Public bathing, a public place where people bathe * Thermae, ancient Roman public bathing facilities Plac ...
. Their son
Richard The first or given name Richard originates, via Old French Old French (, , ; French language, Modern French: ) was the language spoken in Northern France from the 8th century to the 14th century. Rather than a unified Dialect#Dialect or lan ...
was born on 9 February 1758 while an elder son, Christopher, died in infancy. Burke also helped raise a
ward Ward may refer to: Division or unit * Hospital#Departments or wards, Hospital ward, a hospital division, floor, or room set aside for a particular class or group of patients, for example the psychiatric ward * Prison ward, a division of a pen ...
, Edmund Nagle (later
Admiral Admiral is one of the highest ranks in some navy, navies, and in many navies is the highest rank. In the Commonwealth of Nations, Commonwealth nations and the United States, a "full" admiral is equivalent to a "full" general officer, general in ...

Admiral
Sir Edmund Nagle), the son of a maternal cousin orphaned in 1763.Nagle, Sir Edmund
''
Oxford Dictionary of National Biography The ''Dictionary of National Biography'' (''DNB'') is a standard work of reference on notable figures from History of the British Isles, British history, published since 1885. The updated ''Oxford Dictionary of National Biography'' (''ODNB'') ...
'', J. K. Laughton, (subscription required), Retrieved 22 April 2012
At about this same time, Burke was introduced to
William Gerard Hamilton William Gerard Hamilton (28 January 172916 July 1796), was an English statesman A statesman or stateswoman is usually a politician A politician is a person active in party politics Politics (from , ) is the set of activities that are ass ...
(known as "Single-speech Hamilton"). When Hamilton was appointed
Chief Secretary for Ireland The Chief Secretary for Ireland was a key political office in the British administration in Ireland. Nominally subordinate to the Lord Lieutenant A lord-lieutenant () is the British monarch's personal representative in each lieutenancy ...
, Burke accompanied him to Dublin as his
private secretary A private secretary (PS) is a civil servant The civil service is a collective term for a sector of government composed mainly of career civil servants hired on professional merit rather than appointed or elected, whose institutional tenure typ ...
, a position he held for three years. In 1765, Burke became
private secretary A private secretary (PS) is a civil servant The civil service is a collective term for a sector of government composed mainly of career civil servants hired on professional merit rather than appointed or elected, whose institutional tenure typ ...
to the liberal Whig politician Charles, Marquess of Rockingham, then
Prime Minister of Great Britain The prime minister of the United Kingdom is the head of government The head of government is either the highest or second-highest official in the executive Executive may refer to: Role, title, or function * Executive (government), b ...
, who remained Burke's close friend and associate until his untimely death in 1782. Rockingham also introduced Burke as a
Freemason Freemasonry or Masonry refers to Fraternity, fraternal organisations that trace their origins to the local guilds of Stonemasonry, stonemasons that, from the end of the 13th century, regulated the qualifications of stonemasons and their inte ...

Freemason
.


Member of Parliament

In December 1765, Burke entered the House of Commons of the
British Parliament The Parliament of the United Kingdom is the supreme legislative body A legislature is an assembly Assembly may refer to: Organisations and meetings * Deliberative assembly A deliberative assembly is a gathering of members (of any kin ...
as Member for
Wendover Wendover is a market town A market town is a European settlement that obtained by custom or royal charter, in the Middle Ages In the history of Europe The history of Europe concerns itself with the discovery and collection, ...
in
Buckinghamshire Buckinghamshire (), abbreviated Bucks, is a ceremonial county The counties and areas for the purposes of the lieutenancies, also referred to as the lieutenancy areas of England and informally known as ceremonial counties, are areas of Eng ...

Buckinghamshire
, a
pocket borough A rotten or pocket borough, also known as a nomination borough or proprietorial borough, was a parliamentary borough A borough is an administrative division in various English language, English-speaking countries. In principle, the term ''bor ...
in the gift of Lord Fermanagh, later 2nd Earl Verney and a close political ally of Rockingham. After Burke delivered his
maiden speech A maiden speech is the first speech given by a newly elected or appointed member of a legislature A legislature is an deliberative assembly, assembly with the authority to make laws for a Polity, political entity such as a Sovereign state, co ...
,
William Pitt the Elder William Pitt, 1st Earl of Chatham, (15 November 170811 May 1778) was a British statesman of the Whig Whig or Whigs may refer to: Parties and factions In the British Isles * A pejorative nickname for the Kirk Party The Kirk Party were ...
said he had "spoken in such a manner as to stop the mouths of all Europe" and that the Commons should congratulate itself on acquiring such a Member. The first great subject Burke addressed was the controversy with the American colonies which soon developed into
war War is an intense armed conflict between states State may refer to: Arts, entertainment, and media Literature * ''State Magazine'', a monthly magazine published by the U.S. Department of State * The State (newspaper), ''The State'' (new ...
and ultimate . In reply to the 1769
Grenvillite The Grenville Whigs (or Grenvillites) were a name given to several British political factions of the 18th and the early 19th centuries, all of which were associated with the important Grenville family of Buckinghamshire Buckinghamshire (), ...

Grenvillite
pamphlet A pamphlet is an unbound book A book is a medium for recording information Information is processed, organised and structured data Data (; ) are individual facts, statistics, or items of information, often numeric. In a more te ...

pamphlet
''The Present State of the Nation'', he published his own pamphlet titled ''Observations on a Late State of the Nation''. Surveying the finances of France, Burke predicts "some extraordinary convulsion in that whole system". During the same year, with mostly borrowed money, Burke purchased ''Gregories'', a estate near
Beaconsfield Beaconsfield ( ) is a market town and Civil parishes in England, civil parish within the unitary authority of Buckinghamshire, England, boxing the compass, WNW of central London and SSE of Aylesbury. Three towns are within five miles: Gerrards ...

Beaconsfield
. Although the
estate Estate or The Estate may refer to: Law * Estate (law), a term in common law for a person's property, entitlements and obligations * Estates of the realm, a broad social category in the histories of certain countries. ** The Estates, representative ...
included saleable assets such as
art work A work of art, artwork, art piece, piece of art or art object is an artistic creation of aesthetics, aesthetic value. Except for "work of art", which may be used of any work regarded as art in its widest sense, including works fr ...

art work
s by
Titian Tiziano Vecelli or Vecellio (; 27 August 1576), known in English as Titian ( ), was an Italian Italian may refer to: * Anything of, from, or related to the country and nation of Italy ** Italians, an ethnic group or simply a citizen of the Ita ...
, ''Gregories'' proved a heavy financial burden in the following decades and Burke was never able to repay its purchase price in full. His speeches and writings, having made him famous, led to the suggestion that he was the author of the ''
Letters of Junius ''Letters of Junius'' (or Junius: ''Stat nominis umbra'') is a collection of private and open letters critical of the government of George III of the United Kingdom, King George III from an anonymous polemicist (Junius (writer), Junius) claimed by s ...
''. At about this time, Burke joined the circle of leading intellectuals and artists in London of whom
Samuel Johnson Samuel Johnson (18 September 1709  – 13 December 1784), often called Dr Johnson, was an English writer who made lasting contributions as a poet, playwright, essayist, moralist, critic A critic is a person who communicates an asse ...
was the central luminary. This
circle A circle is a shape A shape or figure is the form of an object or its external boundary, outline, or external surface File:Water droplet lying on a damask.jpg, Water droplet lying on a damask. Surface tension is high enough to preven ...
also included
David Garrick David Garrick (19 February 1717 – 20 January 1779) was an English English usually refers to: * English language English is a West Germanic languages, West Germanic language first spoken in History of Anglo-Saxon England, early med ...
,
Oliver Goldsmith Oliver Goldsmith (10 November 1728 – 4 April 1774) was an Anglo-Irish Anglo-Irish () is a term which was more commonly used in the 19th and early 20th centuries to identify an ethnic group An ethnic group or ethnicity is a grouping o ...

Oliver Goldsmith
and
Joshua Reynolds Sir Joshua Reynolds (16 July 1723 – 23 February 1792) was an English painter, specialising in Portrait, portraits. John Russell (art critic), John Russell said he was one of the major European painters of the 18th century. He promoted the Gra ...

Joshua Reynolds
.
Edward Gibbon Edward Gibbon (; 8 May 173716 January 1794) was an English English usually refers to: * English language English is a West Germanic languages, West Germanic language first spoken in History of Anglo-Saxon England, early medieval En ...

Edward Gibbon
described Burke as "the most eloquent and rational madman that I ever knew". Although Johnson admired Burke's brilliance, he found him a dishonest politician. Burke took a leading role in the debate regarding the constitutional limits to the executive authority of the
King King is the title given to a male monarch in a variety of contexts. The female equivalent is queen regnant, queen, which title is also given to the queen consort, consort of a king. *In the context of prehistory, antiquity and contempora ...

King
. He argued strongly against unrestrained royal power and for the role of political parties in maintaining a principled opposition capable of preventing abuses, either by the monarch, or by specific factions within the government. His most important publication in this regard was his ''Thoughts on the Cause of the Present Discontents'' of 23 April 1770. Burke identified the "discontents" as stemming from the "secret influence" of a neo-Tory group he labelled as the "king's friends", whose system "comprehending the exterior and interior administrations, is commonly called, in the technical language of the Court, ''Double Cabinet''". Britain needed a party with "an unshaken adherence to principle, and attachment to connexion, against every allurement of interest". Party divisions, "whether operating for good or evil, are things inseparable from free government". During 1771, Burke wrote a bill that would have given
juries A jury is a sworn body of people (the jurors) convened to render an impartial Impartiality (also called evenhandedness or fair-mindedness) is a principle of justice holding that decisions should be based on objectivity (philosophy), objective ...

juries
the right to determine what was
libel Defamation (also known as calumny, vilification, libel, slander, or traducement) is the oral or written communication of a false statement about another that unjustly harms their reputation and usually constitutes a tort A tort, in jur ...

libel
, if passed. Burke spoke in favour of the bill, but it was opposed by some, including
Charles James Fox Charles James Fox (24 January 1749 – 13 September 1806), styled ''The Honourable'' from 1762, was a prominent British British Whig Party, Whig statesman whose parliamentary career spanned 38 years of the late 18th and early 19th centuries. H ...
, not becoming law. When introducing his own bill in 1791 in opposition, Fox repeated almost verbatim the text of Burke's bill without acknowledgement. Burke was prominent in securing the right to publish debates held in Parliament. Speaking in a parliamentary debate on the prohibition on the export of grain on 16 November 1770, Burke argued in favour of a
free market In economics Economics () is a social science Social science is the branch A branch ( or , ) or tree branch (sometimes referred to in botany Botany, also called , plant biology or phytology, is the science of pl ...
in corn: "There are no such things as a high, & a low price that is encouraging, & discouraging; there is nothing but a natural price, which grain brings at an universal market". In 1772, Burke was instrumental in the passing of the Repeal of Certain Laws Act 1772 which repealed various old laws against dealers and forestallers in corn. In the ''Annual Register'' for 1772 (published in July 1773), Burke condemned the
partition of Poland The Partitions of Poland were three partitions of the Polish–Lithuanian Commonwealth The Polish–Lithuanian Commonwealth, formally known as the Kingdom of Poland and the Grand Duchy of Lithuania, and, after 1791, the Commonwealth of Pol ...
. He saw it as "the first very great breach in the modern political system of Europe" and as upsetting the balance of power in Europe. On 3 November 1774, Burke was elected Member for
Bristol Bristol () is a city A city is a large human settlement.Goodall, B. (1987) ''The Penguin Dictionary of Human Geography''. London: Penguin.Kuper, A. and Kuper, J., eds (1996) ''The Social Science Encyclopedia''. 2nd edition. London: Routle ...
, at the time "England's second city" and a large constituency with a genuine electoral contest. At the conclusion of the poll, he made his ''Speech to the Electors of Bristol at the Conclusion of the Poll'', a remarkable disclaimer of the constituent-imperative form of democracy, for which he substituted his statement of the "representative mandate" form. He failed to win re-election for that seat in the subsequent 1780 general election. In May 1778, Burke supported a parliamentary motion revising restrictions on Irish trade. His constituents, citizens of the great trading city of Bristol, urged Burke to oppose
free trade Free trade is a trade policy A commercial policy (also referred to as a trade policy or international trade policy) is a government's policy governing international trade International trade is the exchange of capital, goods, and servic ...
with Ireland. Burke resisted their protestations and said: "If, from this conduct, I shall forfeit their suffrages at an ensuing election, it will stand on record an example to future representatives of the Commons of England, that one man at least had dared to resist the desires of his constituents when his judgment assured him they were wrong". Burke published ''Two Letters to Gentlemen of Bristol on the Bills relative to the Trade of Ireland'' in which he espoused "some of the chief principles of commerce; such as the advantage of free intercourse between all parts of the same kingdom, the evils attending restriction and monopoly, and that the gain of others is not necessarily our loss, but on the contrary an advantage by causing a greater demand for such wares as we have for sale". Burke also supported the attempts of Sir George Savile to repeal some of the
penal laws In the history of Ireland The first evidence of human presence in Ireland Ireland (; ga, Éire ; Ulster Scots dialect, Ulster-Scots: ) is an island in the North Atlantic Ocean, North Atlantic. It is separated from Great Britain to ...
against Catholics. Burke also called capital punishment "the Butchery which we call justice" in 1776 and in 1780 condemned the use of the
pillory The pillory is a device made of a wooden or metal framework erected on a post, with holes for securing the head and hands, formerly used for punishment Punishment, commonly, is the imposition of an undesirable or unpleasant outcome upon a ...

pillory
for two men convicted for attempting to practice
sodomy Sodomy () or buggery (British English British English (BrE) is the standard dialect of the English language English is a West Germanic languages, West Germanic language first spoken in History of Anglo-Saxon England, early medieval ...
. This support for unpopular causes, notably free trade with Ireland and
Catholic emancipation Catholic emancipation or Catholic relief was a process in the kingdoms of Great Britain Great Britain is an island in the North Atlantic Ocean off the northwest coast of continental Europe. With an area of , it is the largest of the Brit ...
, led to Burke losing his
seat SEAT S.A. (, ; ''Sociedad Española de Automóviles de Turismo'') is a Spanish car manufacturer, which sells its vehicles under the SEAT and Cupra brands. It was founded on 9 May 1950, by the Instituto Nacional de Industria Instituto Nacional d ...
in 1780. For the remainder of his parliamentary career, Burke represented Malton, another pocket borough under the
Marquess of Rockingham Marquess of Rockingham, in the County of Northampton, was a title in the Peerage of Great Britain The Peerage of Great Britain comprises all extant peerages created in the Kingdom of Great Britain after the Acts of Union 1707 but before th ...
's patronage.


American War of Independence

Burke expressed his support for the grievances of the American
Thirteen Colonies The Thirteen Colonies, also known as the Thirteen British Colonies or the Thirteen American Colonies, were a group of Kingdom of Great Britain, British colonies on the Atlantic coast of North America. Founded in the 17th and 18th centuries, th ...
under the government of
King George III George III (George William Frederick; 4 June 173829 January 1820) was King of Great Britain and of Monarchy of Ireland, Ireland from 25 October 1760 until Acts of Union 1800, the union of the two kingdoms on 1 January 1801, after which he wa ...

King George III
and his appointed representatives. On 19 April 1774, Burke made a speech, " On American Taxation" (published in January 1775), on a
motion Image:Leaving Yongsan Station.jpg, 300px, Motion involves a change in position In physics, motion is the phenomenon in which an object changes its position (mathematics), position over time. Motion is mathematically described in terms of Displacem ...
to repeal the tea duty:
Again and again, revert to your old principles—seek peace and ensue it; leave America, if she has taxable matter in her, to tax herself. I am not here going into the distinctions of rights, nor attempting to mark their boundaries. I do not enter into these metaphysical distinctions; I hate the very sound of them. Leave the Americans as they anciently stood, and these distinctions, born of our unhappy contest, will die along with it. Be content to bind America by laws of trade; you have always done it Do not burthen them with taxes But if intemperately, unwisely, fatally, you sophisticate and poison the very source of government by urging subtle deductions, and consequences odious to those you govern, from the unlimited and illimitable nature of supreme sovereignty, you will teach them by these means to call that sovereignty itself in question. If that sovereignty and their freedom cannot be reconciled, which will they take? They will cast your sovereignty in your face. No body of men will be argued into slavery.
On 22 March 1775, Burke delivered in the House of Common a speech (published during May 1775) on reconciliation with America. Burke appealed for peace as preferable to civil war and reminded the House of Commons of America's growing population, its industry and its wealth. He warned against the notion that the Americans would back down in the face of force since most Americans were of British descent:
e people of the colonies are descendants of Englishmen. They are therefore not only devoted to liberty, but to liberty according to English ideas and on English principles. The people are Protestants, a persuasion not only favourable to liberty, but built upon it. My hold of the colonies is in the close affection which grows from common names, from kindred blood, from similar privileges, and equal protection. These are ties which, though light as air, are as strong as links of iron. Let the colonies always keep the idea of their civil rights associated with your government—they will cling and grapple to you, and no force under heaven will be of power to tear them from their allegiance. But let it be once understood that your government may be one thing and their privileges another, that these two things may exist without any mutual relation—the cement is gone, the cohesion is loosened, and everything hastens to decay and dissolution. As long as you have the wisdom to keep the sovereign authority of this country as the sanctuary of liberty, the sacred temple consecrated to our common faith, wherever the chosen race and sons of England worship freedom, they will turn their faces towards you. The more they multiply, the more friends you will have; the more ardently they love liberty, the more perfect will be their obedience. Slavery they can have anywhere. It is a weed that grows in every soil. They may have it from Spain, they may have it from Prussia. But, until you become lost to all feeling of your true interest and your natural dignity, freedom they can have from none but you.
Burke prized peace with America above all else, pleading with the House of Commons to remember that the interest by way of money received from the American colonies was far more attractive than any sense of putting the
colonist A settler is a person who has migrated to an area and established a permanent residence there, often to colonize Colonization, or colonisation refers to large-scale population movements where the migrants maintain strong links with their or ...
s in their place:
The proposition is peace. Not peace through the medium of war, not peace to be hunted through the labyrinth of intricate and endless negotiations, not peace to arise out of universal discord. is simple peace, sought in its natural course and in its ordinary haunts. It is peace sought in the spirit of peace, and laid in principles purely pacific.
Burke was not merely presenting a
peace agreement A peace treaty is an agreement between two or more hostile parties, usually countries or government A government is the system or group of people governing an organized community, generally a State (polity), state. In the case of ...
to Parliament, but rather he stepped forward with four reasons against using force, carefully reasoned. He laid out his objections in an orderly manner, focusing on one before moving to the next. His first concern was that the use of force would have to be temporary and that the uprisings and objections to British governance in
Colonial America The colonial history of the United States covers the history of European colonization of North America from the early 17th century until the incorporation of the Thirteen Colonies into the United States of America, after the American Revolu ...

Colonial America
would not be. Second, Burke worried about the uncertainty surrounding whether Britain would win a conflict in America. "An armament", Burke said, "is not a victory". Third, Burke brought up the issue of impairment, stating that it would do the British government no good to engage in a scorched earth war and have the object they desired (America) become damaged or even useless. The American colonists could always retreat into the mountains, but the land they left behind would most likely be unusable, whether by accident or design. The fourth and final reason to avoid the use of force was experience as the British had never attempted to rein in an unruly colony by force and they did not know if it could be done, let alone accomplished thousands of miles away from home. Not only were all of these concerns reasonable, but some turned out to be prophetic—the American colonists did not surrender, even when things looked extremely bleak and the British were ultimately unsuccessful in their attempts to win a war fought on American soil. It was not temporary force, uncertainty, impairment, or even experience that Burke cited as the number one reason for avoiding war with the American colonies. Rather, it was the character of the American people themselves: "In this character of Americans, a love of freedom is the predominating feature which marks and distinguishes the whole. is fierce spirit of liberty is stronger in the English colonies, probably, than in any other people of the earth. men acute, inquisitive, dextrous, prompt in attack, ready in defence, full of resources". Burke concludes with another plea for peace and a prayer that Britain might avoid actions which in Burke's words "may bring on the destruction of this Empire". Burke proposed six resolutions to settle the American conflict peacefully: # Allow the American colonists to elect their own representatives, settling the dispute about taxation without representation. # Acknowledge this wrongdoing and apologise for grievances caused. # Procure an efficient manner of choosing and sending these delegates. # Set up a General Assembly in America itself, with powers to regulate taxes. # Stop gathering taxes by imposition (or law) and start gathering them only when they are needed. # Grant needed aid to the colonies. Had they been passed, the effect of these resolutions can never be known. Unfortunately, Burke delivered this speech just less than a month before the explosive conflict at Concord and Lexington. As these resolutions were not enacted, little was done that would help to dissuade conflict. Among the reasons this speech was so greatly admired was its passage on
Lord Bathurst Earl Bathurst, of Bathurst in the County of Sussex, is a title in the Peerage of Great Britain. The medieval English word was Botehurst, thought to date at least from 13th century. Bote is the origination of Battle, although the family may have ...
(1684–1775) in which Burke describes an angel in 1704 prophesying to Bathurst the future greatness of England and also of America: "Young man, There is America—which at this day serves little more than to amuse you with stories of savage men, and uncouth manners; yet shall, before you taste of death, shew itself equal to the whole of that commerce which now attracts the envy of the world".Lock, ''Burke. Vol. I'', p. 384.
Samuel Johnson Samuel Johnson (18 September 1709  – 13 December 1784), often called Dr Johnson, was an English writer who made lasting contributions as a poet, playwright, essayist, moralist, critic A critic is a person who communicates an asse ...
was so irritated at hearing it continually praised that he made a parody of it, where the devil appears to a young Whig and predicts that in short time
Whiggism Whiggism (in North America sometimes spelled Whigism) is a political philosophy that grew out of the Roundhead, Parliamentarian faction in the Wars of the Three Kingdoms (1639–1651). The Whigs' key policy positions were the Parliamentary sover ...
will poison even the paradise of America. The administration of
Lord North Frederick North, 2nd Earl of Guilford (13 April 17325 August 1792), better known by his courtesy title Courtesy (from the word ''courteis'', from the 12th century) is gentle politeness and courtly manners. In the Middle Ages I ...
(1770–1782) tried to defeat the colonist rebellion by military force. British and American forces clashed in 1775 and in 1776 came the
American Declaration of Independence The United States Declaration of Independence is the pronouncement adopted by the Second Continental Congress The Second Continental Congress was a meeting of delegates from the Thirteen Colonies The Thirteen Colonies, also known a ...
. Burke was appalled by celebrations in Britain of the defeat of the Americans at New York and Pennsylvania. He claimed the English national character was being changed by this authoritarianism. Burke wrote: "As to the good people of England, they seem to partake every day more and more of the Character of that administration which they have been induced to tolerate. I am satisfied, that within a few years there has been a great Change in the National Character. We seem no longer that eager, inquisitive, jealous, fiery people, which we have been formerly". In Burke's view, the British government was fighting "the American English" ("our English Brethren in the Colonies"), with a
Germanic king Germanic kingship is a thesis regarding the role of king King is the title given to a male monarch in a variety of contexts. The female equivalent is queen regnant, queen, which title is also given to the queen consort, consort of a ki ...
employing "the hireling sword of German boors and vassals" to destroy the English liberties of the colonists. On
American independence The American Revolution was an ideological and political revolution which occurred in colonial North America between 1765 and 1783. The Americans in the Thirteen Colonies The Thirteen Colonies, also known as the Thirteen British Colo ...
, Burke wrote: "I do not know how to wish success to those whose Victory is to separate from us a large and noble part of our Empire. Still less do I wish success to injustice, oppression and absurdity". During the
Gordon Riots The Gordon Riots of 1780 were several days of rioting in London motivated by anti-Catholic sentiment. They began with a large and orderly protest against the Papists Act 1778, Papists Act of 1778, which was intended to reduce official Anti-Catholic ...
in 1780, Burke became a target of hostility and his home was placed under armed guard by the military.


Paymaster of the Forces

The fall of North led to Rockingham being recalled to power in March 1782. Burke was appointed
Paymaster of the Forces The Paymaster of the Forces was a position in the British government. The office was established in 1661, one year after the Restoration (1660), Restoration of the Monarchy to King Charles II, and was responsible for part of the financing of the ...
and a
Privy Counsellor The Privy Council of the United Kingdom, officially Her Majesty's Most Honourable Privy Council, or known simply as the Privy Council, is a privy council, formal body of advisers to the British monarchy, sovereign of the United Kingdom. Its ...
, but without a seat in Cabinet. Rockingham's unexpected death in July 1782 and replacement with Shelburne as Prime Minister put an end to his administration after only a few months, but Burke did manage to introduce two Acts. The Paymaster General Act 1782 ended the post as a lucrative sinecure. Previously, Paymasters had been able to draw on money from HM Treasury at their discretion. Instead, now they were required to put the money they had requested to withdraw from the Treasury into the Bank of England, from where it was to be withdrawn for specific purposes. The Treasury would receive monthly statements of the Paymaster's balance at the Bank. This Act was repealed by Shelburne's administration, but the Act that replaced it repeated verbatim almost the whole text of the Burke Act. The
Civil List and Secret Service Money Act 1782 The Civil List and Secret Service Money Act 1782 (22 Geo. III, c. 82) was an Act of Parliament, Act of the Parliament of Great Britain. The power over the expenditure in the King's household was transferred to the HM Treasury, Treasury, and branche ...
was a watered-down version of Burke's original intentions as outlined in his famous ''Speech on Economical Reform'' of 11 February 1780. However, he managed to abolish 134 offices in the royal household and civil administration. The third Secretary of State and the
Board of Trade The Board of Trade is a British government body concerned with commerce and industry, currently within the Department for International Trade The Department for International Trade (DIT) is a United Kingdom government department responsible f ...
were abolished and pensions were limited and regulated. The Act was anticipated to save £72,368 a year. In February 1783, Burke resumed the post of Paymaster of the Forces when Shelburne's government fell and was replaced by a coalition headed by North that included Charles James Fox. That coalition fell in 1783 and was succeeded by the long Tory administration of
William Pitt the Younger William Pitt the Younger (28 May 175923 January 1806) was a prominent Tory A Tory () is a person who holds a political philosophy Political philosophy or political theory is the philosophical Philosophy (from , ) is the st ...

William Pitt the Younger
which lasted until 1801. Accordingly, having supported Fox and North, Burke was in opposition for the remainder of his political life.


Representative Democracy

In 1774, Burke's ''Speech to the Electors at Bristol at the Conclusion of the Poll'' was noted for its defence of the principles of
representative Representative may refer to: Politics *Representative democracy, type of democracy in which elected officials represent a group of people *House of Representatives, legislative body in various countries or sub-national entities *Legislator, someone ...
government against the notion that those elected to assemblies like Parliament are, or should be, merely delegates:
Certainly, Gentlemen, it ought to be the happiness and glory of a Representative, to live in the strictest union, the closest correspondence, and the most unreserved communication with his constituents. Their wishes ought to have great weight with him; their opinion, high respect; their business, unremitted attention. It is his duty to sacrifice his repose, his pleasures, his satisfactions, to theirs; and above all, ever, and in all cases, to prefer their interest to his own. But his unbiassed opinion, his mature judgment, his enlightened conscience, he ought not to sacrifice to you, to any man, or to any sett of men living. These he does not derive from your pleasure; no, nor from the Law and the Constitution. They are a trust from Providence, for the abuse of which he is deeply answerable. Your Representative owes you, not his industry only, but his judgment; and he betrays, instead of serving you, if he sacrifices it to your opinion.
My worthy Colleague says, his Will ought to be subservient to yours. If that be all, the thing is innocent. If Government were a matter of Will upon any side, yours, without question, ought to be superior. But Government and Legislation are matters of reason and judgement, and not of inclination; and, what sort of reason is that, in which the determination precedes the discussion; in which one sett of men deliberate, and another decide; and where those who form the conclusion are perhaps three hundred miles distant from those who hear the arguments?
To deliver an opinion is the right of all men; that of constituents is a weighty and respectable opinion which a Representative ought always to rejoice to hear; and which he ought always most seriously to consider. But ''authoritative'' instructions; ''mandates'' issued, which the member is bound blindly and implicitly to obey, to vote, and to argue for, though contrary to the clearest conviction of his judgment and conscience; these are things utterly unknown to the laws of this land, and which arise from a fundamental mistake of the whole order and tenour of our constitution.
Parliament is not a ''congress'' of ambassadors from different and hostile interests; which interests each must maintain, as an agent and advocate, against other agents and advocates; but Parliament is a ''deliberative'' assembly of ''one'' nation, with ''one'' interest, that of the whole; where, not local purposes, not local prejudices ought to guide, but the general good, resulting from the general reason of the whole. You choose a member, indeed; but when you have chosen him, he is not a member of Bristol, but he is a member of ''Parliament''.
It is often forgotten in this connection that Burke, as detailed below, was an opponent of slavery, and therefore his conscience was refusing to support a trade in which many of his Bristol electors were lucratively involved. Political scientist
Hanna Pitkin Hanna Fenichel Pitkin (born July 17, 1931)''Contemporary Authors Online'', s.v. "Hanna Fenichel Pitkin." Accessed March 5, 2008. is an American political theorist. She is a Professor Emerita of Political Science at the University of California, B ...
points out that Burke linked the interest of the district with the proper behaviour of its elected official, explaining: "Burke conceives of broad, relatively fixed interest, few in number and clearly defined, of which any group or locality has just one. These interests are largely economic or associated with particular localities whose livelihood they characterize, in his over-all prosperity they involve". Burke was a leading sceptic with respect to democracy. While admitting that theoretically in some cases it might be desirable, he insisted a democratic government in Britain in his day would not only be inept, but also oppressive. He opposed democracy for three basic reasons. First, government required a degree of intelligence and breadth of knowledge of the sort that occurred rarely among the common people. Second, he thought that if they had the vote, common people had dangerous and angry passions that could be aroused easily by demagogues, fearing that the authoritarian impulses that could be empowered by these passions would undermine cherished traditions and established religion, leading to violence and confiscation of property. Third, Burke warned that democracy would create a tyranny over unpopular minorities, who needed the protection of the upper classes.


Opposition to the slave trade

Burke proposed a bill to ban slaveholders from being able to sit in the House of Commons, claiming they were a danger incompatible with traditional notions of British liberty. While Burke did believe that Africans were "barbaric" and needed to be "civilised" by Christianity, Gregory Collins argues that this was not an unusual attitude amongst abolitionists at the time. Furthermore, Burke seemed to believe that Christianity would provide a civilising benefit to any group of people, as he believed Christianity had "tamed" European civilisation and regarded
Southern Europe Southern Europe is the southern region In geography Geography (from Greek: , ''geographia'', literally "earth description") is a field of science devoted to the study of the lands, features, inhabitants, and phenomena of the Earth a ...

Southern Europe
an peoples as equally savage and barbarous. Collins also suggests that Burke viewed the "uncivilised" behaviour of African slaves as being partially caused by slavery itself, as he believed that making someone a slave stripped them of any virtues and rendered them mentally deficient, regardless of race. Burke proposed a gradual program of emancipation called '' Sketch of a Negro Code'', which Collins argues was quite detailed for the time. Collins concludes that Burke's "gradualist" position on the emancipation of slaves, while perhaps seeming ridiculous to some modern-day readers, was nonetheless sincere.


India and the impeachment of Warren Hastings

For years, Burke pursued impeachment efforts against
Warren Hastings Warren Hastings (6 December 1732 – 22 August 1818), an English statesman, was the first Governor of the Presidency of Fort William (Bengal), the head of the Supreme Council of Bengal, and thereby the first ''de facto'' Governor-General of Ben ...

Warren Hastings
, formerly Governor-General of Bengal, that resulted in the trial during 1786. His interaction with the British dominion of India began well before Hastings' impeachment trial. For two decades prior to the impeachment, Parliament had dealt with the Indian issue. This trial was the pinnacle of years of unrest and deliberation. In 1781, Burke was first able to delve into the issues surrounding the
East India Company The East India Company (EIC), also known as the Honourable East India Company (HEIC), East India Trading Company (EITC), the English East India Company or (after Acts of Union 1707, 1707) the British East India Company, and informally known a ...
when he was appointed Chairman of the Commons Select Committee on East Indian Affairs—from that point until the end of the trial, India was Burke's primary concern. This committee was charged "to investigate alleged injustices in Bengal, the war with Hyder Ali, and other Indian difficulties". While Burke and the committee focused their attention on these matters, a second secret committee was formed to assess the same issues. Both committee reports were written by Burke. Among other purposes, the reports conveyed to the
Indian princes Indian or Indians refers to people or things related to India, or to the indigenous people of the Americas, or Aboriginal Australians until the 19th century. People South Asia * Indian people, people of Indian nationality, or people who come ...
that Britain would not wage war on them, along with demanding that the East India Company should recall Hastings. This was Burke's first call for substantive change regarding imperial practices. When addressing the whole House of Commons regarding the committee report, Burke described the Indian issue as one that "began 'in commerce' but 'ended in empire'". On 28 February 1785, Burke delivered a now-famous speech, ''The
Nabob of Arcot The Nawabs of the Carnatic (also referred to as the Nawabs of Arcot) were the nawabs who ruled the Carnatic region of South India between about 1690 and 1855. The Carnatic was a dependency of Hyderabad State, Hyderabad Deccan, and was under the ...
's Debts'', wherein he condemned the damage to India by the East India Company. In the province of the Carnatic, the Indians had constructed a system of reservoirs to make the soil fertile in a naturally dry region, and centred their society on the husbandry of water:
These are the monuments of real kings, who were the fathers of their people; testators to a posterity which they embraced as their own. These are the grand sepulchres built by ambition; but by the ambition of an insatiable benevolence, which, not contented with reigning in the dispensation of happiness during the contracted term of human life, had strained, with all the reachings and graspings of a vivacious mind, to extend the dominion of their bounty beyond the limits of nature, and to perpetuate themselves through generations of generations, the guardians, the protectors, the nourishers of mankind.
Burke claimed that the advent of East India Company domination in India had eroded much that was good in these traditions and that as a consequence of this and the lack of new customs to replace them the Indian populace under Company rule was needlessly suffering. He set about establishing a set of imperial expectations, whose moral foundation would in his opinion warrant an overseas empire. On 4 April 1786, Burke presented the House of Commons with the ''Article of Charge of
High Crimes and Misdemeanors The charge of high crimes and misdemeanors covers allegations of misconduct by officials. Offenses by officials also include ordinary crimes, but perhaps with different standards of proof and punishment than for non-officials, on the grounds th ...
'' against Hastings. The
impeachment Impeachment is the process by which a legislative body A legislature is an assembly Assembly may refer to: Organisations and meetings * Deliberative assembly A deliberative assembly is a gathering of members (of any kind of collective) ...
in Westminster Hall which did not begin until 14 February 1788 would be the "first major public discursive event of its kind in England", bringing the morality of
imperialism Imperialism is a policy or ideology of extending rule over peoples and other countries, for extending political and economic access, power and control, often through employing hard power Hard power is the use of military and economics, economi ...

imperialism
to the forefront of public perception. Burke was already known for his eloquent rhetorical skills and his involvement in the trial only enhanced its popularity and significance. Burke's indictment, fuelled by emotional indignation, branded Hastings a "captain-general of iniquity" who never dined without "creating a famine", whose heart was "gangrened to the core" and who resembled both a "spider of Hell" and a "ravenous vulture devouring the carcasses of the dead". The House of Commons eventually impeached Hastings, but subsequently the
House of Lords The House of Lords, formally The Right Honourable the Lords Spiritual and Temporal of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland in Parliament assembled, is the of the . Membership is by , or . Like the , it meets in the . ar ...

House of Lords
acquitted him of all charges.


French Revolution: 1688 versus 1789

Initially, Burke did not condemn the
French Revolution The French Revolution ( ) was a period of radical political and societal change in France France (), officially the French Republic (french: link=no, République française), is a country primarily located in Western Europe, consi ...

French Revolution
. In a letter of 9 August 1789, he wrote: "England gazing with astonishment at a French struggle for Liberty and not knowing whether to blame or to applaud! The thing indeed, though I thought I saw something like it in progress for several years, has still something in it paradoxical and Mysterious. The spirit it is impossible not to admire; but the old Parisian ferocity has broken out in a shocking manner". The events of 5–6 October 1789, when to compel
King Louis XVI Louis XVI (Louis-Auguste; ; 23 August 175421 January 1793) was the last king of France The monarchs of the Kingdom of France The Kingdom of France ( fro, Reaume de France, frm, Royaulme de France, french: link=no, Royaume de France) wa ...

King Louis XVI
to return to Paris, turned Burke against it. In a letter to his son Richard Burke dated 10 October, he said: "This day I heard from Laurence who has sent me papers confirming the portentous state of France—where the Elements which compose Human Society seem all to be dissolved, and a world of Monsters to be produced in the place of it—where Mirabeau presides as the Grand Anarch; and the late Grand Monarch makes a figure as ridiculous as pitiable". On 4 November, Charles-Jean-François Depont wrote to Burke, requesting that he endorse the Revolution. Burke replied that any critical language of it by him should be taken "as no more than the expression of doubt", but he added: "You may have subverted Monarchy, but not recover'd freedom". In the same month, he described France as "a country undone". Burke's first public condemnation of the Revolution occurred on the debate in Parliament on the army estimates on 9 February 1790 provoked by praise of the Revolution by Pitt and Fox:
Since the House had been prorogued in the summer much work was done in France. The French had shewn themselves the ablest architects of ruin that had hitherto existed in the world. In that very short space of time they had completely pulled down to the ground, their monarchy; their church; their nobility; their law; their revenue; their army; their navy; their commerce; their arts; and their manufactures. here was a danger ofan imitation of the excesses of an irrational, unprincipled, proscribing, confiscating, plundering, ferocious, bloody and tyrannical democracy. n religionthe danger of their example is no longer from intolerance, but from Atheism; a foul, unnatural vice, foe to all the dignity and consolation of mankind; which seems in France, for a long time, to have been embodied into a faction, accredited, and almost avowed.
In January 1790, Burke read
Richard Price Richard Price (23 February 1723 – 19 April 1791) was a Welsh moral philosopher Ethics or moral philosophy is a branch of philosophy that "involves systematizing, defending, and recommending concepts of right and wrong action (philosophy), ...

Richard Price
's sermon of 4 November 1789 entitled '' A Discourse on the Love of Our Country'' to the Revolution Society. That society had been founded to commemorate the
Glorious Revolution The Glorious Revolution of November 1688 ( ga, An Réabhlóid Ghlórmhar; gd, Rèabhlaid Ghlòrmhor; cy, Chwyldro Gogoneddus), the invasion also known as the ''Glorieuze Overtocht'' or Glorious Crossing by the Dutch, was the deposition of ...
of 1688. In this sermon, Price espoused the philosophy of universal " Rights of Men". Price argued that love of our country "does not imply any conviction of the superior value of it to other countries, or any particular preference of its laws and constitution of government". Instead, Price asserted that Englishmen should see themselves "more as citizens of the world than as members of any particular community". A debate between Price and Burke ensued that was "the classic moment at which two fundamentally different conceptions of national identity were presented to the English public". Price claimed that the principles of the
Glorious Revolution The Glorious Revolution of November 1688 ( ga, An Réabhlóid Ghlórmhar; gd, Rèabhlaid Ghlòrmhor; cy, Chwyldro Gogoneddus), the invasion also known as the ''Glorieuze Overtocht'' or Glorious Crossing by the Dutch, was the deposition of ...
included "the right to choose our own governors, to cashier them for misconduct, and to frame a government for ourselves". Immediately after reading Price's sermon, Burke wrote a draft of what eventually became ''
Reflections on the Revolution in France ''Reflections on the Revolution in France'' is a political pamphlet written by the Irish statesman Edmund Burke and published in November 1790. It is fundamentally a contrast of the French Revolution to that time with the unwritten Constitution o ...
''. On 13 February 1790, a notice in the press said that shortly Burke would publish a pamphlet on the Revolution and its British supporters, but he spent the year revising and expanding it. On 1 November, he finally published the ''Reflections'' and it was an immediate best-seller. Priced at five shillings, it was more expensive than most political pamphlets, but by the end of 1790 it had gone through ten printings and sold approximately 17,500 copies. A French translation appeared on 29 November and on 30 November the translator Pierre-Gaëton Dupont wrote to Burke saying 2,500 copies had already been sold. The French translation ran to ten printings by June 1791. What the Glorious Revolution had meant was as important to Burke and his contemporaries as it had been for the last one hundred years in British politics. In the ''Reflections'', Burke argued against Price's interpretation of the Glorious Revolution and instead, gave a classic Whig defence of it. Burke argued against the idea of abstract, metaphysical rights of humans and instead advocated national tradition:
The Revolution was made to preserve our ''antient'' indisputable laws and liberties, and that ''antient'' constitution of government which is our only security for law and liberty The very idea of the fabrication of a new government, is enough to fill us with disgust and horror. We wished at the period of the Revolution, and do now wish, to derive all we possess as ''an inheritance from our forefathers''. Upon that body and stock of inheritance we have taken care not to inoculate any cyon cionalien to the nature of the original plant. Our oldest reformation is that of Magna Carta, Magna Charta. You will see that Sir Edward Coke, that great oracle of our law, and indeed all the great men who follow him, to William Blackstone, Blackstone, are industrious to prove the pedigree of our liberties. They endeavour to prove that the ancient charter were nothing more than a re-affirmance of the still more ancient standing law of the kingdom. In the famous law called the ''Petition of Right'', the parliament says to the king, "Your subjects have ''inherited'' this freedom", claiming their franchises not on abstract principles "as the rights of men", but as the rights of Englishmen, and as a patrimony derived from their forefathers.
Burke said: "We fear God, we look up with awe to kings; with affection to parliaments; with duty to magistrates; with reverence to priests; and with respect to nobility. Why? Because when such ideas are brought before our minds, it is ''natural'' to be so affected". Burke defended this prejudice on the grounds that it is "the general bank and capital of nations, and of ages" and superior to individual reason, which is small in comparison. "Prejudice", Burke claimed, "is of ready application in the emergency; it previously engages the mind in a steady course of wisdom and virtue, and does not leave the man hesitating in the moment of decision, sceptical, puzzled, and unresolved. Prejudice renders a man's virtue his habit". Burke criticised social contract theory by claiming that society is indeed a contract, although it is "a partnership not only between those who are living, but between those who are living, those who are dead, and those who are to be born". The most famous passage in Burke's ''Reflections'' was his description of the events of 5–6 October 1789 and the part of Marie-Antoinette in them. Burke's account differs little from modern historians who have used primary sources. His use of flowery language to describe it provoked both praise and criticism. Philip Francis (politician), Philip Francis wrote to Burke saying that what he wrote of Marie-Antoinette was "pure foppery".
Edward Gibbon Edward Gibbon (; 8 May 173716 January 1794) was an English English usually refers to: * English language English is a West Germanic languages, West Germanic language first spoken in History of Anglo-Saxon England, early medieval En ...

Edward Gibbon
reacted differently: "I adore his chivalry". Burke was informed by an Englishman who had talked with the Armand Louis de Gontaut, Duchesse de Biron that when Marie-Antoinette was reading the passage she burst into tears and took considerable time to finish reading it. Price had rejoiced that the French king had been "led in triumph" during the October Days, but to Burke this symbolised the opposing revolutionary sentiment of the Jacobins and the natural sentiments of those who shared his own view with horror—that the ungallant assault on Marie-Antoinette was a cowardly attack on a defenceless woman. Louis XVI translated the ''Reflections'' "from end to end" into French. Fellow Whig MPs Richard Brinsley Sheridan, Richard Sheridan and
Charles James Fox Charles James Fox (24 January 1749 – 13 September 1806), styled ''The Honourable'' from 1762, was a prominent British British Whig Party, Whig statesman whose parliamentary career spanned 38 years of the late 18th and early 19th centuries. H ...
disagreed with Burke and split with him. Fox thought the ''Reflections'' to be "in very bad taste" and "favouring Tory principles". Other Whigs such as the William Cavendish-Bentinck, 3rd Duke of Portland, Duke of Portland and William FitzWilliam, 4th Earl FitzWilliam, Earl Fitzwilliam privately agreed with Burke, but they did not wish for a public breach with their Whig colleagues. Burke wrote on 29 November 1790: "I have received from the Duke of Portland, Earl Fitzwilliam, Lord Fitzwilliam, the William Cavendish, 5th Duke of Devonshire, Duke of Devonshire, Lord John Cavendish, Montagu (Frederick Montagu MP), and a long et cetera of the old Stamina of the Whiggs a most full approbation of the principles of that work and a kind indulgence to the execution". The Duke of Portland said in 1791 that when anyone criticised the ''Reflections'' to him, he informed them that he had recommended the book to his sons as containing the true Whig creed. In the opinion of Paul Langford, Burke crossing the Rubicon, crossed something of a Rubicon when he attended a levee on 3 February 1791 to meet the King, later described by Jane Burke as follows:
On his coming to Town for the Winter, as he generally does, he went to the Levee with the Duke of ''Portland'', who went with Lord William Bentinck, Lord William to Kissing hands, kiss hands on his going into the Coldstream Guards, Guards—while Lord William was kissing hands, The King was talking to The Duke, but his Eyes were fixed on [Burke] who was standing in the Crowd, and when He said His say to The Duke, without waiting for [Burke]'s coming up in his turn, The King went up to him, and, after the usual questions of how long have you been in Town and the weather, He said you have been very much employed of late, and very much confined. [Burke] said, no, Sir, not more than usual—You have and very well employed too, but there are none so deaf as those that w'ont hear, and none so blind as those that w'ont see—[Burke] made a low bow, Sir, I certainly now understand you, but was afraid my vanity or presumption might have led me to imagine what Your Majesty has said referred to what I have done—You cannot be vain—You have been of ''use to us all'', it is a general opinion, is it not so John Dalrymple, 6th Earl of Stair, Lord Stair? who was standing near. It is said Lord Stair;—Your Majesty's adopting it, Sir, will make the opinion general, said [Burke]—I know it is the general opinion, and I know that there is no Man who calls himself a Gentleman that must not think himself obliged to you, for you have supported the cause of the Gentlemen—You know the tone at Court is a whisper, but The King said all this loud, so as to be heard by every one at Court.
Burke's ''Reflections'' sparked a Revolution Controversy, pamphlet war. Mary Wollstonecraft was one of the first into print, publishing ''A Vindication of the Rights of Men'' a few weeks after Burke. Thomas Paine followed with the ''Rights of Man'' in 1791. James Mackintosh, who wrote ''Vindiciae Gallicae'', was the first to see the ''Reflections'' as "the manifesto of a Counter Revolution". Mackintosh later agreed with Burke's views, remarking in December 1796 after meeting him that Burke was "minutely and accurately informed, to a wonderful exactness, with respect to every fact relating to the French Revolution". Mackintosh later said: "Burke was one of the first thinkers as well as one of the greatest orators of his time. He is without parallel in any age, excepting perhaps Lord Bacon and Cicero; and his works contain an ampler store of political and moral wisdom than can be found in any other writer whatever". In November 1790, François-Louis-Thibault de Menonville, a member of the National Assembly of France, wrote to Burke, praising ''Reflections'' and requesting more "very refreshing mental food" that he could publish. This Burke did in April 1791 when he published ''A Letter to a Member of the National Assembly''. Burke called for external forces to reverse the Revolution and included an attack on the late French philosopher Jean-Jacques Rousseau as being the subject of a personality cult that had developed in revolutionary France. Although Burke conceded that Rousseau sometimes showed "a considerable insight into human nature", he mostly was critical. Although he did not meet Rousseau on his visit to Britain in 1766–1767, Burke was a friend of
David Hume David Hume (; born David Home; 7 May 1711 NS (26 April 1711 OS) – 25 August 1776) Cranston, Maurice, and Thomas Edmund Jessop. 2020 999999 or triple nine most often refers to: * 999 (emergency telephone number) 250px, A sign on a beach ...

David Hume
, with whom Rousseau had stayed. Burke said Rousseau "entertained no principle either to influence of his heart, or to guide his understanding—but ''vanity''"—which he "was possessed to a degree little short of madness". He also cited Rousseau's ''Confessions (Jean-Jacques Rousseau), Confessions'' as evidence that Rousseau had a life of "obscure and vulgar vices" that was not "chequered, or spotted here and there, with virtues, or even distinguished by a single good action". Burke contrasted Rousseau's theory of universal benevolence and his having sent his children to a foundling hospital, stating that he was "a lover of his kind, but a hater of his kindred". These events and the disagreements that arose from them within the Whig Party (British political party), Whig Party led to its break-up and to the rupture of Burke's friendship with Fox. In debate in Parliament on Britain's relations with Russia, Fox praised the principles of the Revolution, although Burke was not able to reply at this time as he was "overpowered by continued cries of question from his own side of the House". When Parliament was debating the Quebec Bill for a constitution for Canada, Fox praised the Revolution and criticised some of Burke's arguments such as hereditary power. On 6 May 1791, Burke used the opportunity to answer Fox during another debate in Parliament on the Quebec Bill and condemn the new French Constitution of 1791, French Constitution and "the horrible consequences flowing from the French idea of the Declaration of the Rights of Man and of the Citizen, Rights of Man".McCue, p. 23. Burke asserted that those ideas were the antithesis of both the Constitution of the United Kingdom, British and the Constitution of the United States, American constitutions. Burke was interrupted and Fox intervened, saying that Burke should be allowed to carry on with his speech. However, a vote of censure was moved against Burke for noticing the affairs of France which was moved by John Baker-Holroyd, 1st Earl of Sheffield, Lord Sheffield and seconded by Fox. Pitt made a speech praising Burke and Fox made a speech—both rebuking and complimenting Burke. He questioned the sincerity of Burke, who seemed to have forgotten the lessons he had learned from him, quoting from Burke's own speeches of fourteen and fifteen years before. Burke's response was as follows:
It certainly was indiscreet at any period, but especially at his time of life, to parade enemies, or give his friends occasion to desert him; yet if his firm and steady adherence to the British constitution placed him in such a dilemma, he would risk all, and, as public duty and public experience taught him, with his last words exclaim, "Fly from the French Constitution".
At this point, Fox whispered that there was "no loss of friendship". "I regret to say there is", Burke replied, "I have indeed made a great sacrifice; I have done my duty though I have lost my friend. There is something in the detested French constitution that envenoms every thing it touches".Prior, p. 329. This provoked a reply from Fox, yet he was unable to give his speech for some time since he was overcome with tears and emotion. Fox appealed to Burke to remember their inalienable friendship, but he also repeated his criticisms of Burke and uttered "unusually bitter sarcasms". This only aggravated the rupture between the two men. Burke demonstrated his separation from the party on 5 June 1791 by writing to Fitzwilliam, declining money from him.O'Gorman, p. 75. Burke was dismayed that some Whigs, instead of reaffirming the principles of the Whig Party he laid out in the ''Reflections'', had rejected them in favour of "French principles" and that they criticised Burke for abandoning Whig principles. Burke wanted to demonstrate his fidelity to Whig principles and feared that acquiescence to Fox and his followers would allow the Whig Party to become a vehicle for Jacobinism. Burke knew that many members of the Whig Party did not share Fox's views and he wanted to provoke them into condemning the French Revolution. Burke wrote that he wanted to represent the whole Whig Party "as tolerating, and by a toleration, countenancing those proceedings" so that he could "stimulate them to a public declaration of what every one of their acquaintance privately knows to be their sentiments". On 3 August 1791, Burke published his ''Appeal from the New to the Old Whigs'' in which he renewed his criticism of the radical revolutionary programmes inspired by the French Revolution and attacked the Whigs who supported them as holding principles contrary to those traditionally held by the Whig Party. Burke owned two copies of what has been called "that practical compendium of Whig political theory", namely ''The Tryal of Dr. Henry Sacheverell'' (1710).Clark, p. 40. Burke wrote of the trial: "It rarely happens to a party to have the opportunity of a clear, authentic, recorded, declaration of their political tenets upon the subject of a great constitutional event like that of the [Glorious] Revolution". Writing in the third person, Burke asserted in his ''Appeal'':
foundations laid down by the Commons, on the trial of Doctor Sacheverel, for justifying the revolution of 1688, are the very same laid down in Mr. Burke's Reflections; that is to say,—a breach of the ''original contract'', implied and expressed in the constitution of this country, as a scheme of government fundamentally and inviolably fixed in King, Lords and Commons.—That the fundamental subversion of this antient constitution, by one of its parts, having been attempted, and in effect accomplished, justified the Revolution. That it was justified ''only'' upon the ''necessity'' of the case; as the ''only'' means left for the recovery of that ''antient'' constitution, formed by the ''original contract'' of the British state; as well as for the future preservation of the ''same'' government. These are the points to be proved.
Burke then provided quotations from Paine's ''Rights of Man'' to demonstrate what the New Whigs believed. Burke's belief that Foxite principles corresponded to Paine's was genuine. Finally, Burke denied that a majority of "the people" had, or ought to have, the final say in politics and alter society at their pleasure. People had rights, but also duties and these duties were not voluntary. According to Burke, the people could not overthrow morality derived from God. Although Whig grandees such as Portland and Fitzwilliam privately agreed with Burke's ''Appeal'', they wished he had used more moderate language. Fitzwilliam saw the ''Appeal'' as containing "the doctrines I have sworn by, long and long since".Lock, ''Burke. Vol. II'', p. 386. Francis Basset, 1st Baron de Dunstanville and Basset, Francis Basset, a backbench Whig MP, wrote to Burke that "though for reasons which I will not now detail I did not then deliver my sentiments, I most perfectly differ from Mr. Fox & from the great Body of opposition on the French Revolution". Burke sent a copy of the ''Appeal'' to the King and the King requested a friend to communicate to Burke that he had read it "with great Satisfaction". Burke wrote of its reception: "Not one word from one of our party. They are secretly galled. They agree with me to a title; but they dare not speak out for fear of hurting Fox. They leave me to myself; they see that I can do myself justice". Charles Burney viewed it as "a most admirable book—the best & most useful on political subjects that I have ever seen", but he believed the differences in the Whig Party between Burke and Fox should not be aired publicly. Eventually, most of the Whigs sided with Burke and gave their support to
William Pitt the Younger William Pitt the Younger (28 May 175923 January 1806) was a prominent Tory A Tory () is a person who holds a political philosophy Political philosophy or political theory is the philosophical Philosophy (from , ) is the st ...

William Pitt the Younger
's Tories (British political party), Tory government which in response to France's declaration of war against Britain declared war on France's Revolutionary Government in 1793. In December 1791, Burke sent government ministers his ''Thoughts on French Affairs'' where he put forward three main points, namely that no counter-revolution in France would come about by purely domestic causes; that the longer the Revolutionary Government exists, the stronger it becomes; and that the Revolutionary Government's interest and aim is to disturb all of the other governments of Europe. As a Whig, Burke did not wish to see an absolute monarchy again in France after the extirpation of Jacobinism. Writing to an ''émigré'' in 1791, Burke expressed his views against a restoration of the ''Ancien Régime'':
When such a complete convulsion has shaken the State, and hardly left any thing whatsoever, either in civil arrangements, or in the Characters and disposition of men's minds, exactly where it was, whatever shall be settled although in the former persons and upon old forms, will be in some measure a new thing and will labour under something of the weakness as well as other inconveniences of a Change. My poor opinion is that you mean to establish what you call 'L'ancien Régime,' If any one means that system of Court Intrigue miscalled a Government as it stood, at Versailles before the present confusions as the thing to be established, that I believe will be found absolutely impossible; and if you consider the Nature, as well of persons, as of affairs, I flatter myself you must be of my opinion. That was tho' not so violent a State of Anarchy as well as the present. If it were even possible to lay things down exactly as they stood, before the series of experimental politicks began, I am quite sure that they could not long continue in that situation. In one Sense of L'Ancien Régime I am clear that nothing else can reasonably be done.
Burke delivered a speech on the debate of the Aliens Act 1793, Aliens Bill on 28 December 1792. He supported the Bill as it would exclude "murderous atheists, who would pull down Church and state; religion and God; morality and happiness".Lock, ''Burke. Vol. II'', p. 439. The peroration included a reference to a French order for 3,000 daggers. Burke revealed a dagger he had concealed in his coat and threw it to the floor: "This is what you are to gain by an alliance with France". Burke picked up the dagger and continued:
When they smile, I see blood trickling down their faces; I see their insidious purposes; I see that the object of all their cajoling is—blood! I now warn my countrymen to beware of these execrable philosophers, whose only object it is to destroy every thing that is good here, and to establish immorality and murder by precept and example—'Hic niger est hunc tu Romane caveto' ['Such a man is evil; beware of him, Roman'. Horace, ''Satires'' I. 4. 85.].
Burke supported the war against Revolutionary France, seeing Britain as fighting on the side of the royalists and ''émigres'' in a civil war, rather than fighting against the whole nation of France.Lock, ''Burke. Vol. II'', p. 453. Burke also supported the War in the Vendée, royalist uprising in Vendée, La Vendée, describing it on 4 November 1793 in a letter to William Windham as "the sole affair I have much heart in". Burke wrote to Henry Dundas, 1st Viscount Melville, Henry Dundas on 7 October urging him to send reinforcements there as he viewed it as the only theatre in the war that might lead to a march on Paris, but Dundas did not follow Burke's advice. Burke believed the Government of the United Kingdom, British government was not taking the uprising seriously enough, a view reinforced by a letter he had received from the Charles X of France, Prince Charles of France (''S.A.R. le comte d'Artois''), dated 23 October, requesting that he intercede on behalf of the royalists to the government. Burke was forced to reply on 6 November: "I am not in His Majesty's Service; or at all consulted in his Affairs". Burke published his ''Remarks on the Policy of the Allies with Respect to France'', begun in October, where he said: "I am sure every thing has shewn us that in this war with France, one Frenchman is worth twenty foreigners. La Vendée is a proof of this". On 20 June 1794, Burke received a vote of thanks from the House of Commons for his services in the Hastings Trial and he immediately resigned his seat, being replaced by his son Richard. A tragic blow fell upon Burke with the loss of Richard in August 1794, to whom he was tenderly attached and in whom he saw signs of promise which were not patent to others and which in fact appear to have been non-existent, although this view may have rather reflected the fact that his son Richard had worked successfully in the early battle for
Catholic emancipation Catholic emancipation or Catholic relief was a process in the kingdoms of Great Britain Great Britain is an island in the North Atlantic Ocean off the northwest coast of continental Europe. With an area of , it is the largest of the Brit ...
.
King George III George III (George William Frederick; 4 June 173829 January 1820) was King of Great Britain and of Monarchy of Ireland, Ireland from 25 October 1760 until Acts of Union 1800, the union of the two kingdoms on 1 January 1801, after which he wa ...

King George III
, whose favour he had gained by his attitude on the French Revolution, wished to create him Earl of Beaconsfield, but the death of his son deprived the opportunity of such an honour and all its attractions, so the only award he would accept was a pension of £2,500. Even this modest reward was attacked by the John Russell, 6th Duke of Bedford, Duke of Bedford and the James Maitland, 8th Earl of Lauderdale, Earl of Lauderdale, to whom Burke replied in his ''Letter to a Noble Lord'' (1796): "It cannot at this time be too often repeated; line upon line; precept upon precept; until it comes into the currency of a proverb, ''To innovate is not to reform''". He argued that he was rewarded on merit, but the Duke of Bedford received his rewards from inheritance alone, his ancestor being the original pensioner: "Mine was from a mild and benevolent sovereign; his from Henry the Eighth". Burke also hinted at what would happen to such people if their revolutionary ideas were implemented and included a description of the British Constitution:
But as to ''our'' country and ''our'' race, as long as the well compacted structure of our church and state, the sanctuary, the holy of holies of that ancient law, defended by reverence, defended by power, a fortress at once and a temple, shall stand inviolate on the brow of the British Sion—as long as the British Monarchy, not more limited than fenced by the orders of the State, shall, like the proud Keep of Windsor, rising in the majesty of proportion, and girt with the double belt of its kindred and coeval towers, as long as this awful structure shall oversee and guard the subjected land—so long as the mounds and dykes of the low, fat, Bedford level will have nothing to fear from all the pickaxes of all the levellers of France.
Burke's last publications were the ''Letters on a Regicide Peace'' (October 1796), called forth by negotiations for peace with France by the Pitt government. Burke regarded this as appeasement, injurious to national dignity and honour. In his ''Second Letter'', Burke wrote of the French Revolutionary government: "Individuality is left out of their scheme of government. The State is all in all. Everything is referred to the production of force; afterwards, everything is trusted to the use of it. It is military in its principle, in its maxims, in its spirit, and in all its movements. The State has dominion and conquest for its sole objects—dominion over minds by proselytism, over bodies by arms". This is held to be the first explanation of the modern concept of totalitarianism, totalitarian state. Burke regarded the war with France as ideological, against an "armed doctrine". He wished that France would not be partitioned due to the effect this would have on the balance of power in Europe and that the war was not against France, but against the revolutionaries governing her. Burke said: "It is not France extending a foreign empire over other nations: it is a sect aiming at universal empire, and beginning with the conquest of France".


Later life

In November 1795, there was a debate in Parliament on the high price of corn and Burke wrote a memorandum to Pitt on the subject. In December, Samuel Whitbread (1764–1815), Samuel Whitbread MP introduced a bill giving magistrates the power to fix minimum wages and Fox said he would vote for it. This debate probably led Burke to editing his memorandum as there appeared a notice that Burke would soon publish a letter on the subject to the Secretary of the Board of Agriculture (1793–1822), Board of Agriculture Arthur Young (writer), Arthur Young, but he failed to complete it. These fragments were inserted into the memorandum after his death and published posthumously in 1800 as ''Thoughts and Details on Scarcity''. In it, Burke expounded "some of the doctrines of political economists bearing upon agriculture as a trade". Burke criticised policies such as maximum prices and state regulation of wages and set out what the limits of government should be:
That the State ought to confine itself to what regards the State, or the creatures of the State, namely, the exterior establishment of its religion; its magistracy; its revenue; its military force by sea and land; the corporations that owe their existence to its fiat; in a word, to every thing that is ''truly and properly'' public, to the public peace, to the public safety, to the public order, to the public prosperity.
The economist Adam Smith remarked that Burke was "the only man I ever knew who thinks on economic subjects exactly as I do, without any previous communications having passed between us". Writing to a friend in May 1795, Burke surveyed the causes of discontent: "I think I can hardly overrate the malignity of the principles of Protestant ascendency, as they affect Ireland; or of Indianism [i.e. corporate tyranny, as practiced by the British East Indies Company], as they affect these countries, and as they affect Asia; or of Jacobinism, as they affect all Europe, and the state of human society itself. The last is the greatest evil". By March 1796, Burke had changed his mind: "Our Government and our Laws are beset by two different Enemies, which are sapping its foundations, Indianism, and Jacobinism. In some Cases they act separately, in some they act in conjunction: But of this I am sure; that the first is the worst by far, and the hardest to deal with; and for this amongst other reasons, that it weakens discredits, and ruins that force, which ought to be employed with the greatest Credit and Energy against the other; and that it furnishes Jacobinism with its strongest arms against all ''formal'' Government". For more than a year prior to his death, Burke knew that his stomach was "irrecoverably ruind". After hearing that Burke was nearing death, Fox wrote to Mrs. Burke enquiring after him. Fox received the reply the next day:
Mrs. Burke presents her compliments to Mr. Fox, and thanks him for his obliging inquiries. Mrs. Burke communicated his letter to Mr. Burke, and by his desire has to inform Mr. Fox that it has cost Mr. Burke the most heart-felt pain to obey the stern voice of his duty in rending asunder a long friendship, but that he deemed this sacrifice necessary; that his principles continue the same; and that in whatever of life may yet remain to him, he conceives that he must live for others and not for himself. Mr. Burke is convinced that the principles which he has endeavoured to maintain are necessary to the welfare and dignity of his country, and that these principles can be enforced only by the general persuasion of his sincerity.
Burke died in
Beaconsfield Beaconsfield ( ) is a market town and Civil parishes in England, civil parish within the unitary authority of Buckinghamshire, England, boxing the compass, WNW of central London and SSE of Aylesbury. Three towns are within five miles: Gerrards ...

Beaconsfield
, Buckinghamshire, on 9 July 1797 and was buried there alongside his son and brother.


Legacy

Burke is regarded by most Political history, political historians in the English-speaking world as a liberal conservativeLakoff, Sandoff (1998). "Tocqueville, Burke, and the Origins of Liberal Conservatism". ''The Review of Politics''. 60(3): 435–464. and the father of modern Conservatism in the United Kingdom, British conservatism. Burke was utilitarian and empirical in his arguments while Joseph de Maistre, a fellow conservative from the Continent, was more providentialist and Sociological theory, sociological and deployed a more confrontational tone in his arguments. Burke believed that property was essential to human life. Because of his conviction that people desire to be ruled and controlled, the division of property formed the basis for social structure, helping develop control within a property-based hierarchy. He viewed the social changes brought on by property as the natural order of events which should be taking place as the human race progressed. With the division of property and the class system, he also believed that it kept the monarch in check to the needs of the classes beneath the monarch. Since property largely aligned or defined divisions of social class, class too was seen as natural—part of a social agreement that the setting of persons into different classes, is the mutual benefit of all subjects. Concern for property is not Burke's only influence. Christopher Hitchens summarises as follows: "If modern conservatism can be held to derive from Burke, it is not just because he appealed to property owners in behalf of stability but also because he appealed to an everyday interest in the preservation of the ancestral and the immemorial". Burke's support for the causes of the "oppressed majorities", such as Irish Catholics and Indians, led him to be at the receiving end of hostile criticism from Tories; while his opposition to the spread of the French Republic (and its Radicalism (historical), radical ideals) across Europe led to similar charges from Whigs. As a consequence, Burke often became isolated in Parliament. In the 19th century, Burke was praised by both
liberals Liberal or liberalism may refer to: Politics *a supporter of liberalism, a political and moral philosophy **Liberalism by country *an adherent of a Liberal Party Arts, entertainment and media *''El Liberal'', a Spanish newspaper published betw ...

liberals
and
conservatives Conservatism is a political and social philosophy promoting traditional social institutions. The central tenets of conservatism may vary in relation to the traditional values or practices of the culture Culture () is an umbrella term w ...
. Burke's friend Philip Francis wrote that Burke "was a man who truly & prophetically foresaw all the consequences which would rise from the adoption of the French principles", but because Burke wrote with so much passion, people were doubtful of his arguments. William Windham spoke from the same bench in the House of Commons as Burke had when he had separated from Fox and an observer said Windham spoke "like the ghost of Burke" when he made a speech against peace with France in 1801. William Hazlitt, a political opponent of Burke, regarded him as amongst his three favourite writers (the others being Junius and Rousseau) and made it "a test of the sense and candour of any one belonging to the opposite party, whether he allowed Burke to be a great man". William Wordsworth was originally a supporter of the French Revolution and attacked Burke in ''A Letter to the Bishop of Llandaff'' (1793), but by the early 19th century he had changed his mind and came to admire Burke. In his ''Two Addresses to the Freeholders of Westmorland'', Wordsworth called Burke "the most sagacious Politician of his age", whose predictions "time has verified".Lock, ''Burke's Reflections'', p. 173. He later revised his poem ''The Prelude'' to include praise of Burke ("Genius of Burke! forgive the pen seduced/By specious wonders") and portrayed him as an old oak. Samuel Taylor Coleridge came to have a similar conversion as he had criticised Burke in ''The Watchman (periodical), The Watchman'', but in his ''Friend'' (1809–1810) had defended Burke from charges of inconsistency. Later in his ''Biographia Literaria'' (1817), Coleridge hails Burke as a prophet and praises Burke for referring "habitually to ''principles''. He was a ''scientific'' statesman; and therefore a ''seer''". Henry Brougham, 1st Baron Brougham and Vaux, Henry Brougham wrote of Burke that "all his predictions, save one momentary expression, had been more than fulfilled: anarchy and bloodshed had borne sway in France; conquest and convulsion had desolated Europe. e providence of mortals is not often able to penetrate so far as this into futurity".Claeys, p. 50. George Canning believed that Burke's ''Reflections'' "has been justified by the course of subsequent events; and almost every prophecy has been strictly fulfilled". In 1823, Canning wrote that he took Burke's "last works and words [as] the manual of my politics". The Conservative Party (UK), Conservative Prime Minister of the United Kingdom, Prime Minister Benjamin Disraeli "was deeply penetrated with the spirit and sentiment of Burke's later writings". The 19th-century Liberal Party (UK), Liberal Prime Minister William Gladstone considered Burke "a magazine of wisdom on Ireland and America" and in his diary recorded: "Made many extracts from Burke—''sometimes almost divine''". The Radicals (UK), Radical MP and anti-Corn Law activist Richard Cobden often praised Burke's ''Thoughts and Details on Scarcity''. The Liberal historian John Dalberg-Acton, 1st Baron Acton, Lord Acton considered Burke one of the three greatest Liberals, along with Gladstone and Thomas Babington Macaulay, 1st Baron Macaulay, Thomas Babington Macaulay. Lord Macaulay recorded in his diary: "I have now finished reading again most of Burke's works. Admirable! The greatest man since John Milton, Milton". The Gladstonian Liberal MP John Morley published two books on Burke (including a biography) and was influenced by Burke, including his views on prejudice. The Cobdenite Radical Francis Wrigley Hirst, Francis Hirst thought Burke deserved "a place among English libertarians, even though of all lovers of liberty and of all reformers he was the most conservative, the least abstract, always anxious to preserve and renovate rather than to innovate. In politics he resembled the modern architect who would restore an old house instead of pulling it down to construct a new one on the site". Burke's ''
Reflections on the Revolution in France ''Reflections on the Revolution in France'' is a political pamphlet written by the Irish statesman Edmund Burke and published in November 1790. It is fundamentally a contrast of the French Revolution to that time with the unwritten Constitution o ...
'' was controversial at the time of its publication, but after his death it was to become his best known and most influential work and a manifesto for Conservative thinking. Two contrasting assessments of Burke also were offered long after his death by Karl Marx and Winston Churchill. In a footnote to Volume One of ''Das Kapital'', Marx wrote:
The sycophant—who in the pay of the English oligarchy played the romantic ''laudator temporis acti'' against the French Revolution just as, in the pay of the North American colonies at the beginning of the American troubles, he had played the liberal against the English oligarchy—was an out-and-out vulgar bourgeois. "The laws of commerce are the laws of Nature, and therefore the laws of God." (E. Burke, l.c., pp. 31, 32) No wonder that, true to the laws of God and Nature, he always sold himself in the best market.
In ''Consistency in Politics'', Churchill wrote:
On the one hand [Burke] is revealed as a foremost apostle of Liberty, on the other as the redoubtable champion of Authority. But a charge of political inconsistency applied to this life appears a mean and petty thing. History easily discerns the reasons and forces which actuated him, and the immense changes in the problems he was facing which evoked from the same profound mind and sincere spirit these entirely contrary manifestations. His soul revolted against tyranny, whether it appeared in the aspect of a domineering Monarch and a corrupt Court and Parliamentary system, or whether, mouthing the watch-words of a non-existent liberty, it towered up against him in the dictation of a brutal mob and wicked sect. No one can read the Burke of Liberty and the Burke of Authority without feeling that here was the same man pursuing the same ends, seeking the same ideals of society and Government, and defending them from assaults, now from one extreme, now from the other.
The historian Piers Brendon asserts that Burke laid the moral foundations for the British Empire, epitomised in the trial of
Warren Hastings Warren Hastings (6 December 1732 – 22 August 1818), an English statesman, was the first Governor of the Presidency of Fort William (Bengal), the head of the Supreme Council of Bengal, and thereby the first ''de facto'' Governor-General of Ben ...

Warren Hastings
, that was ultimately to be its undoing. When Burke stated that "[t]he British Empire must be governed on a plan of freedom, for it will be governed by no other", this was "an ideological bacillus that would prove fatal. This was Edmund Burke's paternalistic doctrine that colonial government was a trust. It was to be so exercised for the benefit of subject people that they would eventually attain their birthright—freedom". As a consequence of these opinions, Burke objected to the History of opium in China, opium trade which he called a "smuggling adventure" and condemned "the great Disgrace of the British character in India". A Royal Society of Arts blue plaque commemorates Burke at Gerrard Street, London, 37 Gerrard Street now in Chinatown, London, London's Chinatown. Edmund Burke (Thomas), Statues of Burke are in Bristol, Bristol, England,
Trinity College Dublin , name_Latin = Collegium Sanctae et Individuae Trinitatis Reginae Elizabethae juxta Dublin , motto = ''Perpetuis futuris temporibus duraturam'' (Latin Latin (, or , ) is a classical language belonging to the Ital ...

Trinity College Dublin
and Washington, D.C. Burke is also the namesake of a private college preparatory school in Washington, Edmund Burke School. Burke Avenue, in The Bronx, New York, is named for him.


Criticism

One of Burke's largest and most developed critics was the American political theorist Leo Strauss. In his book ''Natural Right and History'', Strauss makes a series of points in which he somewhat harshly evaluates Burke's writings. One of the topics that he first addresses is the fact that Burke creates a definitive separation between happiness and virtue and explains that "Burke, therefore, seeks the foundation of government 'in a conformity to our duties' and not in 'imaginary rights of man" Strauss views Burke as believing that government should focus solely on the duties that a man should have in society as opposed to trying to address any additional needs or desires. Government is simply a practicality to Burke and not necessarily meant to function as a tool to help individuals live their best lives. Strauss also argues that in a sense Burke's theory could be seen as opposing the very idea of forming such philosophies. Burke expresses the view that theory cannot adequately predict future occurrences and therefore men need to have instincts that cannot be practised or derived from ideology. This leads to an overarching criticism that Strauss holds regarding Burke which is his rejection of the use of logic. Burke dismisses a widely held view amongst theorists that reason should be the primary tool in the forming of a constitution or contract. Burke instead believes that constitutions should be made based on natural processes as opposed to rational planning for the future. However, Strauss points out that criticising rationality actually works against Burke's original stance of returning to traditional ways because some amount human reason is inherent and therefore is in part grounded in tradition. In regards to this formation of legitimate social order, Strauss does not necessarily support Burke's opinion—that order cannot be established by individual wise people, but exclusively by a culmination of individuals with historical knowledge of past functions to use as a foundation. Strauss notes that Burke would oppose more newly formed republics due to this thought, although Lenzner adds the fact that he did seem to believe that America's constitution could be justified given the specific circumstances. On the other hand, France's constitution was much too radical as it relied too heavily on enlightened reasoning as opposed to traditional methods and values.


Religious thought

Burke's religious writing comprises published works and commentary on the subject of religion. Burke's religious thought was grounded in the belief that religion is the foundation of civil society. He sharply criticised deism and atheism and emphasised Christianity as a vehicle of social progress. Born in Ireland to a Catholic mother and a Protestant father, Burke vigorously defended the Anglican Church, but he also demonstrated sensitivity to Catholic concerns. He linked the conservation of a state-established religion with the preservation of citizens' constitutional liberties and highlighted Christianity's benefit not only to the believer's soul, but also to political arrangements.Harris, 98.


False quotations


"When good men do nothing"

The statement that "The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing" is often attributed to Burke despite the debated origin of this quote. In 1770, it is known that Burke wrote in "Thoughts on the Cause of the Present Discontents": In 1867, John Stuart Mill made a similar statement in an inaugural address delivered before the University of St. Andrews:


Timeline

ImageSize = width:450 height:500 PlotArea = left:50 right:0 bottom:10 top:10 DateFormat = yyyy Period = from:1725 till:1800 TimeAxis = orientation:vertical ScaleMajor = unit:year increment:5 start:1725 ScaleMinor = unit:year increment:1 start:1725 PlotData = color: red mark:(line,black) align: left fontsize:S shift:(25,0) # shift text to right side of bar # there is no automatic collision detection, fontsize:XS # so shift texts up or down manually to avoid overlap shift:(25,-10) at:1729 text:(1729) Born in Dublin at:1743 text:(1743) Enters Trinity College at:1750 text:Enters Middle Temple at:1756 text:Publishes treatise On the Sublime and Beautiful at:1765 shift:(15,-5) text:Employed as Secretary to Rockingham at:1766 text:Enters House of Commons at:1775 text:Delivers on Conciliation with America at:1782 text:Paymaster of Forces and P.C.; ~ joined coalition of Fox and North from:1787 till:1794 shift:(25,6) text:Leads in prosecution of W. Hastings at:1790 text:Publishes Reflections on French Revolution; ~ breaks with Fox party at:1794 text:Retires from House of Commons at:1796 text:Publishes Letter on a Regicide Peace at:1797 shift:(25,5) text:Dies


Bibliography

* ''
A Vindication of Natural Society ''A Vindication of Natural Society: or, a View of the Miseries and Evils arising to Mankind from every Species of Artificial Society'' is a work by Edmund Burke Edmund Burke (; 12 January NS.html"_;"title="New_Style.html"_;"title="/nowiki>N ...
'' (1756) * ''
A Philosophical Enquiry into the Origin of Our Ideas of the Sublime and Beautiful ''A Philosophical Enquiry into the Origin of Our Ideas of the Sublime and Beautiful'' is a 1757 treatise on aesthetics written by Edmund Burke. It was the first complete philosophical exposition for separating the beautiful and the sublime into the ...
'' (1757) * ''An Account of the European Settlement in America'' (1757) * ''The Abridgement of the History of England'' (1757) * ''Annual Register'' editor for some 30 years (1758) * ''Tracts on the Popery Laws'' (Early 1760s) * ''On the Present State of the Nation'' (1769) * ''Thoughts on the Cause of the Present Discontents'' (1770) * '' On American Taxation'' (1774) * ''Conciliation with the Colonies'' (1775) * ''A Letter to the Sheriffs of Bristol'' (1777) * ''Reform of the Representation in the House of Commons'' (1782) * ''
Reflections on the Revolution in France ''Reflections on the Revolution in France'' is a political pamphlet written by the Irish statesman Edmund Burke and published in November 1790. It is fundamentally a contrast of the French Revolution to that time with the unwritten Constitution o ...
'' (1790) * ''Letter to a Member of the National Assembly'' (1791) * ''An Appeal from the New to the Old Whigs'' (1791) * ''Thoughts on French Affairs'' (1791) * ''Remarks on the Policy of the Allies'' (1793) * ''Thoughts and Details on Scarcity'' (1795) * ''Letters on a Regicide Peace'' (1795–97) * ''Letter to a Noble Lord'' (1796)


In popular media

Actor T. P. McKenna was cast as Edmund Burke in the TV series, ''Longitude (TV serial), Longitude'' in 2000.


See also

* House of Burke, Burke family * Conservative Party (UK), Conservative Party * List of abolitionist forerunners


References


Citations


Sources

* * Blakemore, Steven (ed.), ''Burke and the French Revolution. Bicentennial Essays'' (The University of Georgia Press, 1992). * Richard Bourke (academic), Bourke, Richard, ''Empire and Revolution: The Political Life of Edmund Burke'' (Princeton University Press, 2015). * David Bromwich, Bromwich, David, ''The Intellectual Life of Edmund Burke: From the Sublime and Beautiful to American Independence'' (Cambridge, MA: Belknap Press, 2014). A review:
Freedom fighter
', The Economist, 5 July 2014 * J. C. D. Clark, Clark, J. C. D. (ed.), ''Reflections on the Revolution in France: A Critical Edition'' (Stanford University Press: 2001). * Cone, Carl B. ''Burke and the Nature of Politics'' (2 vols, 1957, 1964), a detailed modern biography of Burke; somewhat uncritical and sometimes superficial regarding politics * Thomas Wellsted Copeland, 'Edmund Burke and the Book Reviews in Dodsley's Annual Register', ''Publications of the Modern Language Association'', Vol. 57, No. 2. (Jun. 1942), pp. 446–68. * Courtenay, C.P. ''Montesquieu and Burke'' (1963), good introduction * Crowe, Ian, ed. ''The Enduring Edmund Burke: Bicentennial Essays'' (1997) essays by American conservative
online edition
* Crowe, Ian, ed. ''An Imaginative Whig: Reassessing the Life and Thought of Edmund Burke.'' (2005). 247 pp. essays by scholars * Ian Crowe, 'The career and political thought of Edmund Burke', ''Journal of Liberal History'', Issue 40, Autumn 2003. * Frederick Dreyer, 'The Genesis of Burke's Reflections', ''The Journal of Modern History'', Vol. 50, No. 3. (Sep. 1978), pp. 462–79. * Robert Eccleshall, ''English Conservatism since the Restoration'' (London: Unwin Hyman, 1990). * Gibbons, Luke. ''Edmund Burke and Ireland: Aesthetics, Politics, and the Colonial Sublime.'' (2003). 304 pp. * * Russell Kirk, ''The Conservative Mind: From Burke to Eliot'' (7th ed. 1992). * Kirk, Russell. ''Edmund Burke: A Genius Reconsidered'' (1997
online edition
* Kramnick, Isaac. ''The Rage of Edmund Burke: Portrait of an Ambivalent Conservative'' (1977
online edition
* Lock, F. P. ''Burke's Reflections on the Revolution in France'' (London: Allen & Unwin, 1985). * Lock, F. P. ''Edmund Burke. Volume I: 1730–1784'' (Clarendon Press, 1999). * Lock, F. P. ''Edmund Burke. Volume II: 1784–1797'' (Clarendon Press, 2006). * Yuval Levin, Levin, Yuval. ''The Great Debate: Edmund Burke, Thomas Paine, and the Birth of Right and Left'' (Basic Books; 2013) 275 pages; their debate regarding the French Revolution. * Lucas, Paul. "On Edmund Burke's Doctrine of Prescription; Or, An Appeal from the New to the Old Lawyers", ''Historical Journal,'' 11 (1968) opens the way towards an effective synthesis of Burke's ideas of History, Change and Prescription. * Jim McCue, ''Edmund Burke and Our Present Discontents'' (The Claridge Press, 1997). * Magnus, Philip. ''Edmund Burke: A Life'' (1939), older biography * Marshall, P. J. ''The Impeachment of Warren Hastings'' (1965), the standard history of the trial and Burke's role * Conor Cruise O'Brien, O'Brien, Conor Cruise, ''The Great Melody. A Thematic Biography of Edmund Burke'' (1992). . * O'Gorman, Frank. ''Edmund Burke: Edmund Burke: His Political Philosophy'' (2004) 153p
online edition
* Parkin, Charles. ''The Moral Basis of Burke's Political Thought'' (1956) * Pocock, J.G.A. "Burke and the Ancient Constitution", ''Historical Journal,'' 3 (1960), 125–43; shows Burke's debt to the Common Law tradition of the seventeenth centur
in JSTOR
* Raeder, Linda C. "Edmund Burke: Old Whig". ''Political Science Reviewer'' 2006 35: 115–31. Fulltext: Ebsco, argues Burke's ideas closely resemble those of conservative philosopher Friedrich August von Hayek (1899–1992). * J. J. Sack, 'The Memory of Burke and the Memory of Pitt: English Conservatism Confronts Its Past, 1806–1829', ''The Historical Journal'', Vol. 30, No. 3. (Sep. 1987), pp. 623–40. * J. J. Sack, ''From Jacobite to Conservative. Reaction and orthodoxy in Britain, c. 1760–1832'' (Cambridge University Press, 2004). * Spinner, Jeff. "Constructing Communities: Edmund Burke on Revolution", ''Polity,'' Vol. 23, No. 3 (Spring, 1991), pp. 395–42
in JSTOR
* Stanlis, Peter. ''Edmund Burke and the Natural Law'' (1958) * Vermeir, Koen and Funk Deckard, Michael (ed.) ''The Science of Sensibility: Reading Burke's Philosophical Enquiry'' (International Archives of the History of Ideas, Vol. 206) (Springer, 2012) * John Whale (ed.), ''Edmund Burke's Reflections on the Revolution in France. New interdisciplinary essays'' (Manchester University Press, 2000). * Whelan, Frederick G. ''Edmund Burke and India: Political Morality and Empire'' (1996) * O'Connor Power, J. 'Edmund Burke and His Abiding Influence', ''The North'' ''American Review'', vol. 165 issue 493, December 1897, 666–81.


Main sources

* J. C. D. Clark, Clark, J. C. D., ed. (2001). ''Reflections on the Revolution in France. A Critical Edition''. Stanford University Press. * Hoffman, R.; Levack, P. (eds.) (1949). ''Burke's Politics''. Alfred A. Knopf. * Burke, Edmund. ''The Writings and Speeches of Edmund Burke'' (9 vol 1981– ) vol 1 online; vol 2 online; vol 6 ''India: The Launching of the Hastings Impeachment, 1786–1788'' online; vol 8 online; vol 9 online.


Further reading

* Bourke, Richard (2015). ''Empire and Revolution: The Political Life of Edmund Burke''. Princeton University Press. * Bromwich, David (2014). ''The Intellectual Life of Edmund Burke: From the Sublime and Beautiful to American Independence''. Harvard University Press. * Doran, Robert (2015). "Burke: Sublime Individualism". ''The Theory of the Sublime from Longinus to Kant''. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. * Lock, F. P. (1999). ''Edmund Burke. Volume I: 1730–1784''. Clarendon Press. * Lock, F. P. (2006). ''Edmund Burke. Volume II: 1784–1797''. Clarendon Press. * Marshall, P. J. (2019) ''Edmund Burke and the British Empire in the West Indies: Wealth, Power, and Slavery'' (Oxford University Press, 2019
online review
* Jesse Norman, Norman, Jesse (2014)
''Edmund Burke: The Visionary who Invented Modern Politics''
William Collins. * O'Brien, Conor Cruise (1992). ''The Great Melody. A Thematic Biography of Edmund Burke''. University of Chicago Press * * Jenny Uglow, Uglow, Jenny (23 May 2019). "Big Talkers" (review of Leo Damrosch, ''The Club (book), The Club: Johnson, Boswell, and the Friends Who Shaped an Age'', Yale University Press, 473 pp.). ''The New York Review of Books''. LXVI (9): 26–28. * Whelan, Frederick G. (1996). ''Edmund Burke and India: Political Morality and Empire''. University of Pittsburgh Press


External links


Edmund Burke Society at Columbia University
*
Burke's works at The Online Library of Liberty

Burke's "Reflections on the Revolution in France", lightly modified for easier reading
* * * *
Burke according to Dr Jesse Norman MP at www.bbc.co.uk
*
"Edmund Burke for a Postmodern Age"
William F. Byrne,
Berfrois
', 29 June 2011 * *

* {{DEFAULTSORT:Burke, Edmund Edmund Burke, 1729 births 1797 deaths 18th-century Anglo-Irish people 18th-century Irish philosophers 18th-century Irish writers 18th-century Irish male writers 18th-century philosophers Alumni of Trinity College Dublin Anglican philosophers Articles which contain graphical timelines British MPs 1761–1768 British MPs 1768–1774 British MPs 1774–1780 British MPs 1780–1784 British MPs 1784–1790 British MPs 1790–1796 British political philosophers British social commentators Conservatism Critics of atheism Critics of deism Cultural critics English people of Irish descent Historians of the French Revolution House of Burke, Edmund Irish Anglicans Irish emigrants to Great Britain Irish Freemasons Irish medievalists Irish political philosophers Irish social commentators Liberal conservatism Members of the Parliament of Great Britain for English constituencies Members of the Privy Council of Great Britain MPs for rotten boroughs Paymasters of the Forces Philosophers of art Philosophers of culture Philosophers of economics Philosophers of education Philosophers of history Philosophers of religion Writers from Dublin (city) Political philosophers Politics of Bristol Rectors of the University of Glasgow Social critics Social philosophers Streathamites Whig (British political party) MPs for English constituencies Counter-Enlightenment