Thursday, February 13, 2020

What is the importance of custom, prejudice and tradition in Burkes Outline

What is the importance of custom, prejudice and tradition in Burkes philosophy - Outline Example To add on this, they always insisted on the total and rash implementation of those abstract rights. The French revolution was intended at bringing wholesale and instantaneous political and social transformation of the French society based on abstract and rationalist principles. He therefore saw this revolution as a direct threat to the British way of life and constitution. According to Burke, revolution could be progressive and he appraises the creation of the Glorious Revolution of 1688 and the Magna Carta as good examples of progressive revolutions. In the two cases, the ancient constitution had been restored and finally set back on its true and desired path of gradual evolution (Harington 1). Burke therefore called for the enactment of particular concrete rights and liberties as means of achieving protection against possible governmental oppression. Burke’s affinity for already established traditions and customs is also evidenced his 1791 Letter to a Member of the National Assembly. In this letter, Burke claimed that, for a long time, the various parts of the British constitution had gradually and almost insensibly accommodated themselves, their common purpose as well as to their separate purposes (Burke 333). He believed that this process adaptation could not be achieved through the effect of instantaneous regulation in France or elsewhere else. Holding to this view, Burke viewed the French revolution as a phenomenon so unprecedented and dangerous, negating the desired nature of historical progress shown by the evolution of the British constitution. A comparison between the reaction of Burke to the American Revolution and his reaction to the French Revolution reveals the grounds of his opposition to the French revolution and his philosophy on the same. Burke had seen and loved how the Americans resolved their crisis.

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