Impact Of Edmund Burke's Attitude To The French Revolution

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Edmund Burke was an English politician who disagreed with the principles of the French Revolution, taking then part on the British debate "Revolution Controversy" (1789-1795). One of the main reasons for this attitude is his criticism to those who insisted on implementing a regime of “liberty”, a term that involved different meaning for Burke considered. He was horrified by the anti-religious attitude in France and the triumph of atheism (Hampsher-Monk, 1996, p. 323 et ss). Moreover, he opposed to the influence by the Enlightenment movement on the French Revolution. Roland H. Stromberg (1990) emphasized that Burke considered the revolutionary ideas as philosophes’ mistakes. Political rationalists whose method was unrealistic, and plenty of abstraction (p. 36). Therefore, Burke not only adopted a counter-revolutionary attitude, but a counter-enlightenment one. The contrast between Burke’s favourable attitude to the American Revolution and his direct rejection of the French Revolution is unusual. That is why there is a desire to understand the reason behind this radical change. And the first arises: how should Burke be regarded, as a liberal or conservative? CB Macpherson (1984) discussed that "his work was valued by the moderate reformist Whigs as a support ... Then came a new role, as a scourge of egalitarian liberal ideas engendered by the French Revolution, as the great defender of the hierarchical society against traditional theory "(p. 15). ** Indeed, the detailed
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