When is a revolution not a revolution?

December 12, 2016

An excerpt from an OUPblog article published on 6th December 2016, written by Professor P. J. Marshall, co-editor of The Writings and Speeches of Edmund Burke, Vol. IV:

Edmund Burke, painted by James Northcote
Edmund Burke (1729-1797) was an Irish statesman, author, and orator chiefly remembered for his championing of various causes such as Catholic emancipation, reform of the government of India, and preserving the balance of the British constitution. It is commonly assumed that Edmund Burke took up incongruous positions on the American and French Revolutions: that he was an enthusiastic supporter of the Americans, and a bitter opponent of the French.

Much ingenuity was expended by Burke’s contemporaries and others since, in seeking to explain this seemingly considerable change in his political beliefs — a shift to the right, from Whiggism towards a more conservative stance.Burke’s speeches provide an interesting window into this apparent volte-face, with Burke himself denying that there had been any such change...

Read the rest of this article on the OUPblog >

Image Credit: “Edmund Burke, painted by James Northcote" (1746-1831). Public Domain via Wikimedia Commons.


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