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Reflections on the Revolution in France

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ISBN-10: 0140432043

ISBN-13: 9780140432046

Edition: 2003

Authors: Edmund Burke, Conor Cruise O'Brien, Conor Cruise O'Brien

List price: $14.00
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This new and up-to-date edition of a book that has been central to political philosophy, history, and revolutionary thought for two hundred years offers readers a dire warning of the consequences that follow the mismanagement of change. Written for a generation presented with challenges of terrible proportions--the Industrial, American, and French Revolutions, to name the most obvious--Burke's Reflections of the Revolution in France displays an acute awareness of how high political stakes can be, as well as a keen ability to set contemporary problems within a wider context of political theory.
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Book details

List price: $14.00
Copyright year: 2003
Publisher: Penguin Publishing Group
Publication date: 12/16/1982
Binding: Paperback
Pages: 416
Size: 5.12" wide x 7.68" long x 0.75" tall
Weight: 0.770
Language: English

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…    

Writer and diplomat Conor Cruise O'Brien was born in Dublin, Ireland on November 3, 1917. He studied history at Trinity College and found a job in the civil service. While working as a civil servant, he wrote two books Maria Cross (1952) and Parnell and His Party (1957). As a diplomat, he focused on creating an independent position for Ireland in the United Nations and played a critical role in the United Nations intervention in Congo in 1961. In 1969, he won a seat in Ireland's Parliament. He also was editor in chief of The Observer and was a frequent contributor to The New York Review of Books, The Atlantic, and The Irish Independent. He wrote numerous books throughout his lifetime…    

Chronological table
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
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]
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