Edmund Burke, the First Modern Conservative
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About the Event
The British statesman Edmund Burke is considered to be the first “modern” conservative, though in some respects he represents an Enlightenment-era adaptation of the true “first conservative,” Aristotle. Burke’s legacy attaches mostly to his strenuous reaction to the radicalism of the French Revolution, but he had a subtle outlook that, inter alia, supported the American Revolution, opposed slavery, criticized British colonial rule in India, supported the idea of partisan political parties, and had a theory of positive change that demonstrate he should not be thought of as a mere “reactionary” against all change.