Edmund Burke and the Invention of Modern Conservatism, 1830-1914: An Intellectual History

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Between 1830 and 1914 in Britain a dramatic modification of the reputation of Edmund Burke (1730-1797) occurred. Burke, an Irishman and Whig politician, is not most commonly known as the ‘founder of modern conservatism’ - an intellectual tradition which is also deeply connected to the identity of the British Conservative Party. The idea of ‘Burkean Conservatism’ - a political philosophy which upholds the authority of tradition, the organic, historic conception of society, and the necessity of order, religion, and property - has been incredibly influential both in international academic analysis and the wider political world. This is a highly significant intellectual construct, but it’s origins have not yet been understood. Drawing from a wide range of sources, including political texts, parliamentary speeches, histories, biographies, and educational curricula, this volume demonstrates, for the first time, that the transformation of Burke into the ‘founder of conservatism’ was in fact part of wider developments in British political, intellectual, and cultural history in the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. This was one essential component of a conscious re-working of C/conservatism that is still at work today.
Original languageEnglish
Place of PublicationOxford
PublisherOxford University Press
Number of pages288
ISBN (Print)9780198799429
Publication statusPublished - 6 Apr 2017


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