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ID 14839
file
title alternative
British national identity and the French Revolution : E. Burke's Reflections on the Revolution in France and its impact
creator
NDC
General history of Europe
abstract
Although he had pursued a liberalist career as a Whig politician, Edmund Burke became the first modern conservative when he published Reflections on the Revolution in France to argue against the French Revolution and defend the British constitution. In this work, Burke significantly tried to seek British national identity in order to refute the political theory behind the French Revolution. The purpose of this paper is to examine Burke's political arguments and elucidate concretely the characteristics of his interpretation of British national identity. After making a survey of the main arguments between Burke and Richard Price, who passionately endorsed the French Revolution in his preaching Discourse on the Love of Our Country, I employ five viewpoints to understand Burke's insistence: 'abstract' and 'metaphysical' principles supported by Price, the British constitution built on 'the pattern of nature', British society as an 'organic' system, two opposing symbolic images of 'oak tree' and 'poplar tree' which represent the British constitution and French revolutionary system, and the contrasting aethetic and political sense between British landscape gardening and French formal or 'geometrical' gardening. These viewpoints are reinforced and generalized by referring to Mary Shelley's Frankenstein, William Godwin's Caleb Williams, Samuel Taylor Coleridge's Shakespearean Criticism, and James Gillray's caricatures. In the age of the French Revolution, Burke was given the opportunity to play a historical role of incorporating into his political arguments aesthetic, cultural, and literary arguments about 'nature' and 'art' which were inextraicably connected with British and French national identity.
journal title
Memoirs of the Faculty of Integrated Arts and Sciences, Hiroshima University. I, Studies in area culture
volume
Volume 29
start page
125
end page
166
date of issued
2003
publisher
広島大学総合科学部
issn
0385-1451
ncid
SelfDOI
language
jpn
nii type
Departmental Bulletin Paper
HU type
Departmental Bulletin Papers
DCMI type
text
format
application/pdf
text version
publisher
department
Graduate School of Integrated Arts and Sciences
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