The Enlightenment Period

Counter-Enlightenment Figures

What were Edmund Burke’s political background and beliefs?

Edmund Burke (1729–1797) was a member of the British House of Commons from 1765 to 1794. In his early career, which was more literary than philosophical, he propounded a romantic view of art. As a statesman, he resisted political and social change based on ideals and abstract ideas, although he supported political change that would reestablish proven rights or customs. For example, while he was opposed to the French Revolution for its ideals of “liberty, equality, fraternity,” he was in favor of the Irish movement for independence and the American Revolution.


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