For other people named Edmund Burke, see Edmund Burke (disambiguation).
Irish-born British statesman and political theorist (1729–1797)
The Right Honourable
Portrait by Joshua Reynolds, c. 1769
Rector of the University of Glasgow
In office 1783–1785
Paymaster of the Forces
In office 16 April 1783 – 8 January 1784
The Duke of Portland
William Pitt the Younger
In office 10 April 1782 – 1 August 1782
The Marquess of Rockingham
Member of Parliament for Malton
In office 18 October 1780 – 20 June 1794
Richard Burke Jr.
Member of Parliament for Bristol
In office 4 November 1774 – 6 September 1780
Serving with Henry Cruger
Member of Parliament for Wendover
In office December 1765 – 5 October 1774
(1729-01-12)12 January 1729 Dublin, Leinster, Kingdom of Ireland
9 July 1797(1797-07-09) (aged 68) Beaconsfield, England, Kingdom of Great Britain
Jane Mary Nugent
Richard Burke Jr.
Trinity College Dublin Middle Temple
Writer, politician, journalist, philosopher
A Vindication of Natural Society (1756)
On the Sublime and Beautiful (1757)
On American Taxation (1774)
Reflections on the Revolution in France (1790)
An Appeal from the New to the Old Whigs (1791)
Age of Enlightenment
Conservatism Liberalism Counter-Enlightenment
Literary Club (co-founder)
Edmund Burke (/ˈbɜːrk/; 12 January [NS] 1729 – 9 July 1797) was an Anglo-Irish statesman, economist, and philosopher. Born in Dublin, Burke served as a member of Parliament (MP) between 1766 and 1794 in the House of Commons of Great Britain with the Whig Party.
Burke was a proponent of underpinning virtues with manners in society and of the importance of religious institutions for the moral stability and good of the state. These views were expressed in his A Vindication of Natural Society. He criticised the actions of the British government towards the American colonies, including its taxation policies. Burke also supported the rights of the colonists to resist metropolitan authority, although he opposed the attempt to achieve independence. He is remembered for his support for Catholic emancipation, the impeachment of Warren Hastings from the East India Company, and his staunch opposition to the French Revolution.
In his Reflections on the Revolution in France, Burke asserted that the revolution was destroying the fabric of good society and traditional institutions of state and society and condemned the persecution of the Catholic Church that resulted from it. This led to his becoming the leading figure within the conservative faction of the Whig Party which he dubbed the Old Whigs as opposed to the pro–French Revolution New Whigs led by Charles James Fox.
In the 19th century, Burke was praised by both conservatives and liberals. Subsequently, in the 20th century, he became widely regarded, especially in the United States, as the philosophical founder of conservatism.
^"Edmund Burke". Library Ireland. Archived from the original on 20 October 2017.
^M. G. Jones, Hannah More (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1952), p. 135.
^Marshall, Peter Hugh (1991). Demanding the Impossible. HarperCollins. p. 134. ISBN 0-00-217855-9. When Burke became a Tory after the French Revolution and thundered against all improvement, he disowned his Vindication of Natural Society as a youthful folly. Most commentators have followed suit, suggesting that he was trying to parody the manner of Bolingbroke. But Godwin, while recognizing Burke's ironic intention, took him seriously. He acknowledged that most of his own arguments against political society in An Enquiry concerning Political Justice (1793) may be found in Burke's work – 'a treatise, in which the evils of the existing political institutions are displayed with incomparable force of reasoning and lustre of eloquence'.
^Dauer, M. J. (1953). "Review of John C. Calhoun: Sectionalist, 1840-1850.; The Political Theory of John C. Calhoun., by C. M. Wiltse & A. O. Spain". The Journal of Politics. 15 (1): 156–159. doi:10.2307/2126203. JSTOR 2126203.
^The exact year of his birth is the subject of a great deal of controversy; 1728, 1729, and 1730 have been proposed. The month and day of his birth also are subject to question, a problem compounded by the Julian–Gregorian changeover in 1752, during his lifetime. For a fuller treatment of the question, see F. P. Lock, Edmund Burke. Volume I: 1730–1784 (Clarendon Press, 1999), pp. 16–17. Conor Cruise O'Brien (2008; p. 14) questions Burke's birthplace as having been in Dublin, arguing in favour of Shanballymore, Co. Cork (in the house of his uncle, James Nagle).
^Richard Bourke, Empire and Revolution: The Political Life of Edmund Burke (Princeton University Press, 2015), pp. 220–221, passim.
^Burke lived before the terms "conservative" and "liberal" were used to describe political ideologies, cf. J. C. D. Clark, English Society, 1660–1832 (Cambridge University Press, 2000), pp. 5, 301.
^Dennis O'Keeffe; John Meadowcroft (2009). Edmund Burke. Continuum. p. 93. ISBN 978-0826429780.
^Andrew Heywood, Political Ideologies: An Introduction. Third Edition. (Palgrave Macmillan, 2003), p. 74.
^F. P. Lock, Edmund Burke. Volume II: 1784–1797 (Clarendon Press, 2006), p. 585.