Essay on Paine and Burke

Words: 1647
Pages: 7


This essay will examine the philosophical difference between Edmund Burke and Thomas Paine relating to the French and American Revolutions at the late Eighteenth Century. We are going to present a summary of the debate between these two different philosophers in the first part of this essay. The pros and cons of each man will be looked at in the second and third part of the essay and the final part of this essay will explain why Thomas Paine's view was more accepted and legitimate in America than Edmund Burke. In summary this essay will compare and contrast both Paine and Burke views of natural rights, human nature and the government.

Burke and
…show more content…
Paine always wanted regular change.

Throughout Burke's writing, he criticised about absolute democracy resulting in tyranny likewise the monarchy but with absolute democracy it leads to anarchy. He saw the French Revolution as destroying the relationship between the individual and the state and this left the individual fighting against state that has been deciding for the people, but never had control over the people. Edmund Burke said that people must be stopped by authority which they depend on because they do not know what is right for them because they will create different rights and this will create confusion.

Paine criticised Burke ideas on focusing mainly on the French Revolution but not on sovereignty power. He was very sarcastic to Burke and criticised what Burke said about '' The English people would forcibly resist the claim they have the right to choose their own government'' (Burke, 1989). Paine replied back '' That men should take up arms, and spend their lives and fortunes, not to maintain their rights, but to have no rights, is a new species of discovery, and suited to the absurd Mr. Burke'' (Paine, 1989).To explain this, Paine saw Burke as a monarchist and aristocratic and did not comply with what was meant by natural human nature. To him all men have the right to choose their own government.

Both men were not socially equal. They were rivals which lead Paine to write two books, Rights of Man, the second one targeting Burke. Burke was in