Edmund Burke

Statesman, Politician

1729 – 1797

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Who was Edmund Burke?

Edmund Burke PC was an Irish statesman, author, orator, political theorist and philosopher, who, after moving to England, served for many years in the House of Commons of Great Britain as a member of the Whig party.

He is mainly remembered for his support of the cause of the American Revolutionaries, and for his later opposition to the French Revolution. The latter led to his becoming the leading figure within the conservative faction of the Whig party, which he dubbed the "Old Whigs", in opposition to the pro–French Revolution "New Whigs", led by Charles James Fox.

Burke was praised by both conservatives and liberals in the 19th century. Since the 20th century, he has generally been viewed as the philosophical founder of modern conservatism, as well as a representative of classical liberalism.

Famous Quotes:

  • Passion for fame: A passion which is the instinct of all great souls.
  • By gnawing through a dike, even a rat may drown a nation.
  • But a good patriot, and a true politician, always considers how he shall make the most of the existing materials of his country. A disposition, to preserve, and an ability to improve, taken together, would be my standard of a statesman. Everything else is vulgar in the conception, perilous in the execution.
  • A disposition to preserve, and an ability to improve, taken together, would be my standard of a statesman.
  • The distinguishing part of our Constitution is its liberty. To preserve that liberty inviolate seems the particular duty and proper trust of a member of the House of Commons. But the liberty, the only liberty, I mean is a liberty connected with order: that not only exists along with order and virtue, but which cannot exist at all without them. It inheres in good and steady government, as in its substance and vital principle.
  • There is a courageous wisdom; there is also a false, reptile prudence, the result not of caution but of fear.
  • The tyranny of a multitude is a multiplied tyranny.
  • In doing good, we are generally cold, and languid, and sluggish; and of all things afraid of being too much in the right. But the works of malice and injustice are quite in another style. They are finished with a bold, masterly hand; touched as they are with the spirit of those vehement passions that call forth all our energies, whenever we oppress and persecute.
  • Applaud us when we run, Console us when we fall, Cheer us when we recover.
  • The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing.

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Born
Jan 12, 1729
Dublin
Children
Religion
  • Anglicanism
Ethnicity
  • Irish people in Great Britain
Nationality
  • United Kingdom
  • England
Profession
Education
  • Trinity College, Dublin
Lived in
  • County Dublin
Died
Jul 9, 1797
Beaconsfield

Submitted
on July 23, 2013

Citation

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"Edmund Burke." Biographies.net. STANDS4 LLC, 2022. Web. 4 Jul 2022. <https://www.biographies.net/people/en/edmund_burke>.

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