Burke And The French Revolution Summary

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Burke’s view of history, which grounded himself in his classical conservative views, believed that continuing in the systems of old was the best way to keep a stable and functioning political climate. Burke’s differing reactions to the American and French Revolutions highlights this fact nicely. Burke, a supporter of the American Revolution, believed that their revolution was an attempt to preserve their old way of life from an increasingly involved British government. In his view, the revolution was perfectly justified as it did not attempt to supplant the ideas of old. Burke was vehemently opposed to the French Revolution, however, as it was an attempt to supplant not only their political system, but also their other institutions, including the church, scientific measuring system, and calendar. Burke’s Reflections on Revolution in France is dedicated to refuting the ideals of the French Revolution, writing, “All the pleasing illusions which …show more content…
For all these men, history teaches us how the future should, and in the cases of Machiavelli and Marx, will, happen. For Machiavelli and Burke, the past acted as a blueprint or a manual for the future, while for Marx it represented the clashes of classes throughout history as the present moved close to his utopian dream. For Burke, the record of human history should remain as static as possible, with little deviation from the traditions of the past as humanity moves into its future, and while people are able to change their current state, they should refrain from doing so in Burke’s philosophy. For Machiavelli, the past will continue to repeat itself. For Marx, the past holds the keys for a greater future for the lower class and a future communist utopia, and its march towards that vision is impossible to stop by any opponents of this future

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