Edmund Burke - the Man Who Was

Topics: French Revolution, Conservatism, Edmund Burke Pages: 2 (821 words) Published: December 12, 2012
Edmund Burkes – Reflections on the Revolution
The main document being summarized is Reflections on the Revolution written by Edmund Burke. The document was written in 1790, following the uprising of the French Revolution. This document is a primary source from the time period and is pertaining to the idea that the revolution is destroying Frances heritage. Edmund Burke was an Anglo-Irish Philosopher who lived from 1729 to 1797, just long enough to see the end of monarchism in France. Burke wrote the Reflections on the Revolution because he was asked about his opinion of the revolution from a French aristocrat. The following excerpt is in the beginning of Burkes work, and gives a clear understanding of what the rest of the work is going to be entailing. “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, 1) This excerpt in Burkes work is referencing the impending republic that France is turning into. Reflections on the Revolution was written one year after the tennis quote oath, which was trying to kill absolutism. Burke started realizing that hundreds of years of Stability and prosperity (although not 100% of the time) was going to be killed off by men who have not even lived one hundred years. Burke expresses this opinion in the following excerpt. “The science of government being therefore so practical in itself and intended for such practical purposes a matter which requires experience, and even more experience than any person can gain in his whole life.” (Burke, 5) Burke explains that men are being rash when they decide to eliminate old ways, and not try and improve them. Why would a man who has lived 70 years know how to change 300 years of knowledge and stability? The revolution also brings with it the notion that all men are equal by birth right, and that everyone should be equal under the law. Burke explains in the following...
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