The french revolution as a cultural revolution

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Edmund Burke, a supporter of the American struggle for liberty, was a precocious and ferocious critic of the French Revolution. Tis behavior was criticized by his friends and his contemporaries and viewed as an inexplicable thing. However, if one peruses carefully the Refections on the Revolution in France, and the hundreds of pages he wrote after criticizing the French Revolution, from the Toughts on French Afairs to Te Letters on a Regicide Peace, one cannot fail to admire his clairvoyant, almost prophetic vision, about the events of the Revolution. In fact, Burke applied to the analysis of this historical phenomenon - which he reputed the most extraordinary of his time and the most curious to speculate upon – an acute vision on human nature, showing an extraordinary ability to read those events, their motivations and their principles, and to deduce from all that the adequate consequences to society and to civilization. Burke saw in the French Revolution much more than a closed event: for him this revolution was distinct from all the others known until then, and a forerunner of a profound cultural change in Europe and perhaps in the whole world. Te aim of this article is to present the main aspects Burke identifed as the signs of a cultural revolution started by the French Revolution, and their contrast with the vision Burke had of society and tradition.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationImages of europe past, present, future
Subtitle of host publicationISSEI 2014 - Conference Proceedings Porto, Portugal
EditorsYolanda Espiña
PublisherUniversidade Católica Editora - Porto
Number of pages8
ISBN (Print)9789898366825
Publication statusPublished - 2016
Event14th International Conference of the International-Society-for-the-Study-of-European-Ideas (ISSEI) - Universidade Católica Portuguesa, Porto, Portugal
Duration: 4 Aug 20148 Aug 2014


Conference14th International Conference of the International-Society-for-the-Study-of-European-Ideas (ISSEI)


  • Burke
  • Culture
  • Democracy
  • Freedom
  • French Revolution
  • Soul
  • Tocqueville


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