Burke, Edmund

An Irish political leader and author of the eighteenth century who spent his career in England. A member of the British Parliament and an exceptional speaker, he sympathized with the American Revolutionary War as a defense of existing rights of citizens. He opposed the French Revolution, however, saying that it was a complete and unjustified break with tradition. (See Thomas Paine.)

The New Dictionary of Cultural Literacy, Third Edition Copyright © 2005 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.