Burke

Burke

[burk]
Burke, Edmund, 1729-97, British political writer and statesman, b. Dublin, Ireland.

Early Writings

After graduating (1748) from Trinity College, Dublin, he began the study of law in London but abandoned it to devote himself to writing. His satirical Vindication of Natural Society (1756) attacked the political rationalism and religious skepticism of Henry St. John, Viscount Bolingbroke, and his Philosophical Enquiry into the Origin of Our Ideas of the Sublime and Beautiful (1757) was a study in aesthetics. In 1759 he founded the Annual Register, a periodical to which he contributed until 1788. Burke was a member of Samuel Johnson's intimate circle.

Political Career and Later Writings

Burke's political career began in 1765 when he became private secretary to the marquess of Rockingham, then prime minister, and formed a lifelong friendship with that leader. He also entered Parliament in 1765 and there strove for a wiser treatment of the American colonies. In 1766 he spoke in favor of the repeal of the Stamp Act, although he also supported the Declaratory Act, asserting Britain's constitutional right to tax the colonists. In his famous later speeches on American taxation (1774) and on conciliation with the colonies (1775), he did not abandon that position; rather he urged the imprudence of exercising such theoretical rights.

At a time when political allegiances were based largely on family connections and patronage and political opposition was generally regarded as factionalism, Burke, in his Thoughts on the Cause of the Present Discontents (1770), became the first political philosopher to argue the value of political parties. He called for a limitation of crown patronage (so-called economical reform) and as paymaster of the forces (1782-83) in the second Rockingham ministry was able to enact some of his proposals.

He was also interested in reform of the East India Company and drafted the East India Bill presented (1783) by Charles James Fox. Influenced by Sir Philip Francis, he instigated the impeachment and long trial of Warren Hastings. Hastings was acquitted, but Burke's speeches created some new awareness of the responsibilities of empire and of the injustices perpetrated in India and previously unpublicized in England.

Although he championed many liberal and reform causes, Burke believed that political, social, and religious institutions represented the wisdom of the ages; he feared political reform beyond limitations on the power of the crown. Consequently, his Reflections on the Revolution in France (1790) made him the spokesman of European conservatives. His stand against the French Revolution—and, by implication, against parliamentary reform—caused him to break with Fox and his Whigs in 1791. Burke's Appeal from the New to the Old Whigs (1791) shows how closely he approached the Tory position of the younger William Pitt. He withdrew from political life in 1795.

Influence

Burke left, in his many and diverse writings, a monumental construction of British political thought that had far-reaching influence in England, America, and France for many years. He held unrestricted rationalism in human affairs to be destructive. He affirmed the utility of habit and prejudice and the importance of continuity in political experience. The son of a Protestant father and a Roman Catholic mother and himself a Protestant, he never ceased to criticize the English administration in Ireland and the galling discrimination against Catholics.

Bibliography

See his correspondence (9 vol., 1958-70); selections ed. by W. J. Bate (1960); biographies by P. M. Magnus (1939, repr. 1973) and S. Ayling (1988); studies by T. W. Copeland (1949, repr. 1970), C. Parkin (1956, repr. 1968), C. B. Cone (2 vol., 1957-64), P. J. Stanlis (1958, repr. 1986), G. W. Chapman (1967), R. Kirk (1967), B. T. Wilkins (1967), and C. C. O'Brien (1992).

Burke, John, 1787-1848, Irish genealogist. He issued (1826) A Genealogical and Heraldic Dictionary of the Peerage and Baronetage of the United Kingdom. He published the guide irregularly until 1847, after which it became an annual, commonly called Burke's Peerage. It was edited from 1847 to 1892 by his son, Sir John Bernard Burke, 1814-92, who was knighted (1854) and appointed (1855) keeper of the state papers in Ireland. As a companion to Burke's Peerage, he established the regular publication of another work begun by his father, commonly called Burke's Landed Gentry. His other works include The Romance of the Aristocracy (1855) and Vicissitudes of Families (1859-63).
Burke, Kenneth Duva, 1897-1993, American critic, b. Pittsburgh, Pa. He was music critic for The Dial (1927-29) and The Nation (1934-36). A profound thinker whose writings have influenced other critics, Burke saw literature as "symbolic action"—man must view everything through a haze of symbols (language). Among his works are Counter-Statement (1931); Attitudes Towards History (1937); A Grammar of Motives (1945); Collected Poems (1968); and The Complete White Oxen (1968), a collection of short fiction.
Burke, Robert O'Hara, 1820-61, Irish explorer of Australia. After service in the Belgian and Austrian armies he went (1853) as inspector of police to Melbourne. In 1860, with W. J. Wills and eight other whites, he left Menindee, on the Darling River, to cross the continent. Dissensions broke up the party, but the leaders reached the estuary of the Flinders River, in the Gulf of Carpentaria. On the return journey both Burke and Wills died from famine and exposure. Although the geographical achievements of the expedition itself were few, rescue parties seeking it added much to the knowledge of central Australia.

See C. G. D. Roberts, Discoveries and Explorations in the Century (1906); M. Colwell, The Journey of Burke and Wills (1971).

(born January 12?, 1729, Dublin, Ire.—died July 9, 1797, Beaconsfield, Buckinghamshire, Eng.) British parliamentarian, orator, and political philosopher. The son of a lawyer, he began legal studies but lost interest, became estranged from his father, and spent some time wandering about England and France. Essays he published in 1757–58 gained the attention of Denis Diderot, Immanuel Kant, and Gotthold Lessing, and he was hired to edit a yearly survey of world affairs (1758–88). He entered politics (1765) as secretary to a Whig leader and soon became involved in the controversy over whether Parliament or the monarch controlled the executive. He argued (1770) that George III's efforts to reassert a more active role for the crown violated the constitution's spirit. Elected to Parliament (1774–80), he contended that its members should exercise judgment rather than merely follow their constituents' desires. Although a strong constitutionalist, he was not a supporter of pure democracy; although a conservative, he eloquently championed the cause of the American colonists, whom he regarded as badly governed, and he supported the abolition of the international slave trade. He tried unsuccessfully to legislate relief for Ireland and to reform the governance of India. He disapproved of the French Revolution for its leaders' precipitous actions and its antiaristocratic bloodshed. He is often regarded as the founder of modern conservatism.

Learn more about Burke, Edmund with a free trial on Britannica.com.

(born January 12?, 1729, Dublin, Ire.—died July 9, 1797, Beaconsfield, Buckinghamshire, Eng.) British parliamentarian, orator, and political philosopher. The son of a lawyer, he began legal studies but lost interest, became estranged from his father, and spent some time wandering about England and France. Essays he published in 1757–58 gained the attention of Denis Diderot, Immanuel Kant, and Gotthold Lessing, and he was hired to edit a yearly survey of world affairs (1758–88). He entered politics (1765) as secretary to a Whig leader and soon became involved in the controversy over whether Parliament or the monarch controlled the executive. He argued (1770) that George III's efforts to reassert a more active role for the crown violated the constitution's spirit. Elected to Parliament (1774–80), he contended that its members should exercise judgment rather than merely follow their constituents' desires. Although a strong constitutionalist, he was not a supporter of pure democracy; although a conservative, he eloquently championed the cause of the American colonists, whom he regarded as badly governed, and he supported the abolition of the international slave trade. He tried unsuccessfully to legislate relief for Ireland and to reform the governance of India. He disapproved of the French Revolution for its leaders' precipitous actions and its antiaristocratic bloodshed. He is often regarded as the founder of modern conservatism.

Learn more about Burke, Edmund with a free trial on Britannica.com.

Burke is a city in Gregory County, South Dakota, United States. The population was 676 at the 2000 census. It is the county seat of Gregory County.

Geography

Burke is located at (43.182992, -99.291065).

According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 0.6 square miles (1.5 km²), all of it land.

Burke has been assigned the ZIP code 57523 and the FIPS place code 08700.

Demographics

As of the census of 2000, there were 676 people, 327 households, and 177 families residing in the city. The population density was 1,210.1 people per square mile (466.1/km²). There were 385 housing units at an average density of 689.2/sq mi (265.4/km²). The racial makeup of the city was 97.49% White, 1.78% Native American, and 0.74% from two or more races.

There were 327 households out of which 22.3% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 47.4% were married couples living together, 4.9% had a female householder with no husband present, and 45.6% were non-families. 44.3% of all households were made up of individuals and 30.0% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.03 and the average family size was 2.85.

In the city the population was spread out with 21.7% under the age of 18, 3.8% from 18 to 24, 20.4% from 25 to 44, 23.1% from 45 to 64, and 30.9% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 48 years. For every 100 females there were 77.9 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 74.0 males.

The median income for a household in the city was $23,056, and the median income for a family was $32,333. Males had a median income of $23,438 versus $19,250 for females. The per capita income for the city was $14,210. About 7.2% of families and 15.7% of the population were below the poverty line, including 12.9% of those under age 18 and 22.5% of those age 65 or over.

Notable Natives

References

External links

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