Reflections on the Revolution in France

ISBN-10: 0879754117
ISBN-13: 9780879754112
Edition: Unabridged 
Authors: Edmund Burke
List price: $13.99
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Description: Published in 1790, two years before the start of the Terror, this work offered a remarkably prescient view of the chaos that lay ahead. A classic of political science and a cornerstone of modern conservative thought, it articulates a defense of  More...

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Book details

List price: $13.99
Publisher: Prometheus Books, Publishers
Publication date: 4/1/1987
Binding: Paperback
Pages: 253
Size: 5.50" wide x 8.75" long x 0.75" tall
Weight: 0.792
Language: English

Published in 1790, two years before the start of the Terror, this work offered a remarkably prescient view of the chaos that lay ahead. A classic of political science and a cornerstone of modern conservative thought, it articulates a defense of property, religion, and traditional values that resonates with modern readers.

Born in Ireland in 1729, Edmund Burke was an English statesman, author, and orator who is best remembered as a formidable advocate for those who were victims of injustice. He was the son of a Dublin lawyer and had also trained to practice law. In the 1760s, Burke was elected to the House of Commons from the Whig party. Burke spent most of his career in Parliament as a member of the Royal Opposition, who was not afraid of controversy, as shown by his support for the American Revolution and for Irish/Catholic rights. His best-known work is Reflections on the French Revolution (1790). Some other notable works are On Conciliation with the American Colonies (1775) and Impeachment of Warren Hastings (1788). Edmund Burke died in 1797.

Preface
Abbreviations
Chronological table
Introduction
The identity of Edmund Burke
The Revolution of 1688
Burke's knowledge of France
The genesis of the Reflections
Burke's theory of the French Revolution
The political theory of the Reflections
Burke's crusade against the Revolution
Burke's later influence
A note on the text
Biographical guide
Bibliography
Reflections on the Revolution in France
Preface [iii-iv]
The English constitution and the Revolution of 1688
Origins of the work [1]
The Society for Constitution Information and the Revolution Society [3]
Burke on liberty and prudence [7]
Astonishing nature of French revolution [11]
Richard Price's sermon; Nonconformity [12]
Price misrepresents the constitution [16]
Price's general interpretation of 1688 reviewed [20]
Right to choose governors denied; hereditary principle reasserted [22]
Right to cashier governors for misconduct denied [37]
Right 'to form a government for ourselves' denied [44]
Liberties as an inheritance [45]
The French Revolution
France might have repaired ancient constitution [50]
Intrinsic evils of French Revolution, [54]
Explained by composition of National Assembly [58]
Its Third Estate: predominance of lawyers [60]
Its First Estate: predominance of minor clergy [67]
Its Second Estate: role of discontented nobility [68]
Qualifications for government: virtue, wisdom, property [72]
Consequent flaws in future French constitution [77]
Price's threat to extend French principles to England [79]
Destructive consequences of natural rights claims [85]
Contrasting Whig theory of formation of civil society and rights of men within it [87]
Effects of false claims of rights: 'speculative designs', 'desperate strokes' [92]
Price's sermon implicitly condones massacre; Price compared to Hugh Peters [96]
Horrors of 5-6 October 1789 [99]
National Assembly overawed by Paris mob [100]
Events of 5-6 October [105]
Eulogy of the Queen [111]
Chivalry and 'manners' compared with 'this barbarous philosophy' [113]
Why Burke reacts differently from Price [119]
Defence of Louis XVI [122]
English society
Different conduct of the English; cause of this [124]
French philosophes compared with English Deists [132]
Religion as the basis of civil society [134]
Defence of 'our church establishment': [136]
Moral restraints on the people [138]
Obligations between generations [141]
Divine origin of civil society [146]
Religion and education [148]
Independent endowment of the Church [149]
Importance of religion to rich and poor [151]
Property rights of the Church [155]
Contrasting principles of the French Revolution
Confiscation of property [156]
Betrayal of national faith [160]
Role of 'monied interest' [163]
Role of 'political Men of Letters' [165]
Alliance of these against 'property, law and religion' [168]
French society before the Revolution
Its finances reformable; Necker [174]
Previous taxes on nobility and clergy [178]
The 'project of confiscation' [179]
A 'third option' between monarchy and democracy [184]
Nature of the French monarchy [188]
Flourishing population disproves tyranny [189]
As does France's wealth; Necker [192]
Both reduced by the Revolution [196]
Nobility and clergy had supported reform [199]
Characteristics of the French nobility [202]
Value of nobility as such [205]
Characteristics of French clergy [206]
Wrongly blamed for past offences [207]
Qualities of present clergy [212]
The expropriation of the French Church
Consequences of reform of the church: 'abolition ... of the Christian religion' [217]
Contrasting policy in England [221]
Consequences of French 'atheistical fanaticism' [225]
Its 'spirit of proselytism' across Europe [226]
Injustice of French confiscations [230]
Wisdom of moderate reform [231]
Practial bad consequences of confiscations of church property [235]
The proceedings of the National Assembly
Burke's further thoughts on the actions of the Assembly [241]
National Assembly's lack of authority [242]
Its members' lack of political wisdom [245]
Their actions regarding
The constitution of the legislature: [253]
Not to be formed on theories [253]
Basis of territory [254]
Basis of population [256]
Basis of contribution [258]
Contradictions of this scheme [259]
Its electoral consequences [262]
Its divisive consequences [265]
Contrasting electoral system in Britain [269]
General purpose of elections [271]
Superiority of ancient republics [272]
'Cementing principles': (i) confiscation [276]
Social consequences of paper currency [277]
'Cementing principles': (ii) superiority of Paris [284]
Loss of local identity [285]
Absolute power of National Assembly [286]
The constitution of the executive power: [288]
Monarch no longer the fountain of justice [289]
Monarch now powerless to execute laws [290]
Executive magistracy depends on veneration [291]
Position of king's ministers [293]
'Fictitious' position of executive [295]
The constitution of judicature: [298]
Importance of parlements [298]
Judges now subordinate to National Assembly [301]
['Cementing principles': (iii) the army] [304]
The constitution of the army: [304]
Account of war minister [305]
Collapse of discipline and loyalty [307]
Army subverted by revolutionary ideas [309]
Reimposition of discipline unlikely [311]
Constitutional errors are interlinked [313]
Relation of army to crown [315]
Relation of army to National Assembly [317]
Elective principle in army [318]
Assembly must rule by the army; [320]
Since peasantry now claim land on revolutionary principle [322]
The 'municipal army' is merely democratic [327]
The system of finance: [328]
High expectations of reform, [328]
Contrasted with report of M. Vernier [331]
Financial mistakes of National Assembly: [332]
Voluntary benevolences [333]
Patriotic donations [334]
Paper currency [336]
Failure to reduce expenditure [337]
Collapse of credit [337]
Resort to assignats as sole remedy [338]
Difficulty of securing paper credit on land [340]
Mismanagement of expropriation of the Church [342]
Effects of first issue of assignats [345]
Analogy with Law's Mississippi Company [346]
Speeches of M. Bailly [349]
General effects of financial 'dilapidation' [350]
Conclusion
Liberty requires wisdom and virtue [352]
Difficulty of forming a free government [353]
Commends example of the British constitution [354]
Burke's lifelong struggle for liberty of others [356]
Textual variations in subsequent editions
Richard Price's reply to Burke
Index

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