The first part deals with the glorious revolution and setting up a different plan for it,
instead of Richard Price’s.
The next section is what he has to say about the French Revolution
The 3 section contains very popular phrases about Marie Antoinette and chivalry.
In the 4 section he distinguishes his concept of contract from the other that have
been put forward.
Nature: wisdom without reflection
Political system in ‘symmetry with the order of the world’
Politics ought to ‘preserve the method of nature’
Conformity to nature fortifies ‘the fallible and feeble contrivances of our reason’
Bases of reverence same in individuals as institutions
Nature and passion (not speculation and inventions) are the ‘conservatories of our
Burke has suspicion and does not believe that human reason alone is able to
structure the world in a coherent way. Change must be incremental, not radical or
Mistakes of the French
Despising everything that ‘belonged to you’
The monarchs had a huge power because they could call them and dismiss them.
Burke says that in the estates there was potential but they blew it
The 3 estate: commons, splits off and calls them the national assembly and says its
going to ignore the other 2 estates and that the King should just deal with it, and
they start proposing constitutional changes.
36- ‘you had all these advantages in you ancient states but you chose to act as though
you had never been molded into civil society…set up trade w/o capital’
Reliance of theoreticians rather than people with experience in statecraft
‘…Nothing which they afterwards did could appear astonishing…not one man was to
be found, the best were only men of theory’
Destruction of prejudice-
Nothing in heaven or earth constrains a constituent assembly
45- ‘the assembly since the destruction of the orders, has no fundamental law…instead
of finding themselves obliged…nothing upon heaven or earth…’
Should hairdressers rule? Not combatting prejudice but nature
Burke believes that all people are morally equal, but does not believe that the moral
equality should lead to social equality; there are distinctions in class and society that
are essential to society. P4