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Edmund Burke was the last great prose writer of the 18th century. He was also the greatest of English orators. As a writer he was ranked among the English authors of the first class because he was easy to understand. As politician and statesman, he is one of the finest figures in English history. 

Burke was always a devoted Whig and soon made himself the brains of Whig Party, because he believed that the party system was the only available basis for representative government. He also believed that the Whig was committed to uphold the cause of public righteousness, to the championing of freedom. Burke was in favour of freedom and justice and declared that freedom and justice can be secured not by violence but under the forms of law, government and religion which represent and best wisdom of past generation. 

Burke’s most important discussions of American affairs are the Speeches on American Taxation and The Speech on Conciliation with America. These speeches were delivered in the parliament. His plea was that although England had a theoretical constitutional right to tax the colonies, it was impractical to do so against their will. Therefore the attempt was useless and must lead to disaster. Hence measures of conciliation instead of force should be employed. Burke suggested that the attempts to override the liberties of the Englishmen in America would establish an adverse reaction. In fact Burke’s speeches are monumental historical document during his time. 

Reflections on the Revolution in France is a magnificent political pamphlet, in which Burke denounces the Revolution as ‘‘the mother of all evil.” Burkes gifts as a writer are nowhere better illustrated than in the last work. The permanent value of Burke’s speeches and writings lies in their Style. His style is oratorical. He is a great rhetorician, rich in passionate declamation excelling where splendour and force are required. His prose is full of colour and splendour and vigorous rhythm. It recaptures the ornate Style of the Elizabethan and Caroline prose. Burke’s literary works possess Classical qualities. They are rich in thought and style. 


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