Burke

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One More Thing To Fight About

During the time of the French Revolution, there was significant political and social turmoil between the Conservatives and Liberals. The controversy between these two opposing sides resulted in an intellectual and analytical war in France. Two citizens in particular, Edmund Burke and Mary Wollstonecraft, used the press as a means of spreading their ideas. Burke decided to write an essay called Reflections on the Revolution in France, which discussed his conservative views. Within a month of Burke’s essay being published, Mary Wollstonecraft decided to fight back and defend her liberalistic position by writing, A Vindication of the Right of Men. Throughout these two essays there are several key points in reference to inheritance of wealth, social class, equal rights, and enlightenment. Burke’s and Wollstonecraft’s pieces of literature refute each others views and beliefs by supporting and opposing France’s traditional conservative customs in its’ society.

Edmund Burke, a believer in conservatism, is someone who “...averses to change or innovation and holding traditional ideas and values, especially with regard to social political issues” (OED). Simply, Burke believes in tradition and the current structure of society. He emphasized the concepts of heredity and inheritance as a natural and a beneficial attribute to a country’s well being. “We have an inheritable crown; an inheritable peerage; and a house of commons and a people inheriting privileges, franchises, and liberties, from a long line of ancestors” (Burke, 153). He supports primogeniture, and an aristocratic hierarchy and transmission of wealth and property through the family line. Burke states that entailed inheritance has been a uniform policy of their constitution from the Magna Carta to the Declaration of Independence. Burke views a hierarchical, class-oriented society as the only truly civil society. Therefore, the only sensible concept of a man’s “rights” is...
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