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The world’s history is a very important part of any society that is living in any given period. The reason why students and individuals learn about the world’s history is because it makes us who we are today. The history of the world gives the future enlightenment for what is to come and what is to happen within the world as a whole. One important event that happened in history was the French Revolution. The French Revolution was a period of far-reaching social and political upheaval in France and its colonies in 1789. Two men, Edmund Burke, and Thomas Paine put forth their options on the eventful French Revolution. Edmund Burke writes a famous essay called “Reflections on the Revolution in France”, and puts forth many arguments about the French Revolution. Thomas Paine Wrote a book called “Rights of Man” which, has many arguments as well towards the French Revolution.

Edmund Burke who was an Irish statesman published one of the best-known intellectual outbreaks against the French Revolution. He was closely aligned with the liberal representatives in Great Britain and was in favor of defending the constitution of the Crown’s authority. Burke supported the American Independence and pursued impeachment of Warren Hastings, the Governor-General of British India. For this, he was greatly respected by the liberals in Great Britain. Edmund did not like the idea of abstract thinking and believed that freedom and equality were different. He also believed that if God judged you then that would be real equality and he saw liberty as something within the law, not something that anyone can do whenever they want. Burke in his head thought the revolutionaries did not understand that “there are no rights without corresponding duties, or without some strict qualifications” (Reflections on the Revolution in France). With that, Burke did not like change, as men could not handle large amounts of power at a time.

In all of that Edmund Burke had many arguments within his essay. One of those was that he thought that the French Revolution would end disastrously because of the grounds on which it stood. Burke said that it ignored human nature and society as a whole. Burke was overall afraid of the Enlightenment led by Rousseau and Voltaire because they did not believe in right or wrong or original sin. Instead, Burke initially thought that society should be handled like living organisms and that the public and humanity are complex. Burke challenged the idea of tradition. His idea of the world is always changing and that many traditions and customs that are changed for the good, have a great effect and benefit for society. Another argument that Burke makes in his essay is the monarchic authority and the notion that people have no right to overthrow a repressive government, as he made a stand for private property and prejudice. Burke debated for a slow climb of constitutional reform, not a revolution. For the ideas that Burke sought out, I would agree with his arguments of the respect of property as it is a cornerstone of society and also his beliefs that traditions and customs should be changed with each set of society or culture.

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The man who was against Edmund Burke’s beliefs was Thomas Paine. Paine was a political activist, philosopher, governmental theorist, and activist. Given that, he was one of the founding fathers of the United States of America. Paine is on the side of the French Revolution but does not agree with a lot of ideas that Burke states. Paine recognizes monarchy and similar signs of hereditary government as unenlightened and ridiculous. This goes against everything that Burke agrees on. He believes that the old style of government is key and that power should remain the same as it always is. He does state that each generation should have its government reflecting on their situation. Another important argument that Paine talks about is “Natural Rights and Civil Rights”. He goes on great measurements about the point of men and how they can govern themselves without having a government controlling them as a society. The natural rights that he created, which are liberty, equality, and justice should be able to make up a government. By following these natural rights, Paine feels obligated that a government will adapt to each generation’s liberty, equality, and overall happiness, rather than an individual power.

Additional to all the other arguments one of the key ones is the right to revolution. Thomas states that people are allowed to start a revolution if they are troubled by a government or they do not support natural rights. He gives the idea that if there is no government in place even they can govern. He believes that a government should work with the people that are being governed. The government should mirror the current generation of people. America took this idea from him as they moved away from a hereditary government and created their independence from England. It is the idea of starting something that your people want to start not what someone that has no business starting. This idea is one Burke does not understand, and Paine cannot fathom why he is so dissimilar to it.

It is assumed that the state “becomes a partnership not only between those who are living, but between those who are living, those who are dead, and those who are to be born.” Burke, but Paine responds “It is the living, not the dead that are to be accommodated,” I believe that it is the present that we should focus more on. I agree with Paine that it is the living, not the dead that we should concentrate on. Our government should look to please the people that are alive as of right now not the people that are dead. I believe that it should change with each generation, as it will decide what our future will look like. Looking on to our children and grandchildren it will change as they grow up and they decide what it should look like, as they are the ones making the shots.

Overall, the two, Paine and Burke had many disagreements. Paine believed that government originated in the political principles of enlightenment to protect his natural rights. Burke, on the other hand, was skeptical, as he saw humans shaped by communities and institutions and he disagreed with the individualism advanced by Paine. Another disagreement that the two had was liberal democracy. Burke thought that it was an achievement of Western civilization, gradually improving over many generations until the Enlightenment. For Paine it was different, He thought that liberal democracy was exposed in the Enlightenment and the purpose of politics is to promote those rules so that individuals can come closer to the idea that they imply. In conclusion, Edmund Burke Writes “Reflections on the Revolution in France”, and Thomas Paine Writes “Rights of Man”. Both litterers go against each other’s views and challenge one another’s political visions of the French Revolution. Hence, creating one of the greatest debates in our world’s history of the French Revolution.

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