Compare And Contrast Burke And Thomas Paine

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The Intellectual movement known as the Enlightenment occupies an important position in the growth of Western civilization. How it totally affected society, especially French society is a subject of debate, from the beginning of the Revolution to today. In fact, two schools of interpretation are involved. The first school is the conservative school, Edmund Burke is the best example. The second is the liberal school of which Thomas Paine represents. Both were supporters of the American Revolution for varied reasons, however, when the French Revolution happened, Burke blamed the Enlightenment and the French philosophers for the problems and mistakes. Paine supported the French revolutionary cause and defended the Enlightenment and the French…show more content…
The only signs which appeared of the spirit of liberty during those periods are to be found in the writings of the French philosophers... All those writings and many others had their weight; and by the different manner in which they treated the subject of government, Montesquieu by his judgment and knowledge of laws, Voltaire by his wit, Rousseau and Raynal by their animation, and Queenay and Turgot by their moral maxims and systems of economy, readers of every class met with something to their taste, and a spirit of political inquiry began to diffuse itself through the nation at the time the dispute between England and the then colonies of America broke out. Burkes entire argument revolves around the English experience of the glorious revolution and the fact that the glorious revolution had a basis on precedent and the framework of law. He used examples of the British constitution to condemn the French Revolutionaries for their doing away with the French precedents of change. He considered the blame to be squarely on the shoulders of the Enlightenment philosophers, Voltaire and Rousseau to him were the chief instigators of the violence and
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