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"Did Edmund Burke Support the American Revolution?" Topic

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Tango01 Supporting Member of TMP30 Jan 2023 8:39 p.m. PST

""Burke broke his agentship and went publicly silent on the American cause once war broke out," Robert Nisbet claimed in his most definitive analysis of Edmund Burke, written and published in 1985. His fellow great conservative of the era, Russell Kirk, argued something similar, though 30 years earlier. "But it is a confusion of ideas to say that Burke was in favor of the American Revolution. Burke never was in favor of any revolution," Kirk wrote.

Kirk, especially, must be identified with Burke when looking at the history of Burke in the 20th century. "If conservatives would know what they defend, Burke is their touchstone; and if radicals wish to test the temper of their opposition, they should turn to Burke," Kirk famously wrote. He "was the first conservative of our time of troubles. He labored to safeguard the permanent things, which have converted the brute into the civil social man."…"

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doc mcb31 Jan 2023 4:16 a.m. PST

Deep water, Tango. But the author makes his point well. Burke was supportive of the American cause, and Kirk was wrong. (It happens to the best of us.)

doc mcb31 Jan 2023 4:23 a.m. PST

If indeed Burke supported the American Revolution, while holding the French Revolution in some mixture of dismay and contempt, it does point up the distance and difference between the two events.

Brechtel198 Supporting Member of TMP31 Jan 2023 5:11 a.m. PST

France did not belong to Great Britain, though George III did hold the title of 'King of France.'

The American colonists were part of England and their loss to England was a grievous blow to both the King and the country, especially as France had supported the Americans and helped them, in men and material, in their fight against England.

doc mcb31 Jan 2023 6:20 a.m. PST

The loss of his head was a grievous blow to the king of France. (And thousands of others.)

Grattan54 Supporting Member of TMP31 Jan 2023 11:09 a.m. PST

Prior to the start of the Revolution Burke did defend the colonial arguments and supported their position. Not sure how much he supported the revolution once it started.

doc mcb31 Jan 2023 12:54 p.m. PST

Grattan, the piece Tango posted addresses that.

Tango01 Supporting Member of TMP31 Jan 2023 3:26 p.m. PST



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