Reflections of the French Revolution

Topics: Conservatism, French Revolution, Edmund Burke Pages: 2 (388 words) Published: October 14, 2013
Reflections of the French Revolution
Edmund Burke was very critical of the French Revolution. Burke was critical because he essentially was a traditionalist. He says, “By adhering in this manner and on those principles to our forefathers, we are guided not by the superstition of antiquarians, but by the spirit of philosophic analogy.” Burke doesn’t have any issues with the French wanting a revolution, he just believed they were going about it in the wrong way. Burke believed the French should change their government by working with the foundations of the current constitution and not by a violent overthrow of the government.

I tend to agree with Burke’s claim. Having strong institutions can help maintain stability. He wanted to French to follow his countries example and how they reformed their constitution in a civil way. He believed their constitution was already good enough and they just needed to work on it. He says, “Your constitution, it is true, whilst you were out of possession, suffered waste and dilapidation; but you possessed in some parts the walls, and, in all, the foundations, of a noble venerable castle. You might have repaired those walls; you might have built on those old foundations. Your constitution was suspended before it was perfected.”

He also believed by working with the current constitution that it allows everyone to be heard and not just over powered by the chaos. He says,” They render deliberation a matter not of choice, but of necessity; they make changes a subject of compromise, which naturally begets moderation; they produce temperaments preventing the sore evil of harsh, crude, unqualified reformations; and rendering all the headlong exertions of arbitrary power, in the few or in the many for ever impracticable.” He is absolutely right on this point, everyone should be able to exchange ideas and work together to improve the government if you want it to survive in the long run. To conclude, I do agree with his beliefs about...

Bibliography: Burke, E. (1790). Reflections on the French Revolution.
Burton, S., & Dworkin, D. (2007). Trails of Modernity, "Europe in the World". Boston: Pearson Custom Publishing.
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