Edmund Burke

Portrait of Edmund Burke by Sir Joshua Reynolds circa 1769
Portrait of Edmund Burke by Sir Joshua Reynolds circa 1769

Edmund Burke (1729 – 1797) was an Anglo-Irish statesman, economist, and philosopher. He was a proponent of underpinning virtues with manners in society and of the importance of religious institutions for the moral stability and good of the state. These views were expressed in his A Vindication of Natural Society. He criticised the actions of the British government towards the American colonies, including its taxation policies. Burke also supported the rights of the colonists to resist metropolitan authority, although he opposed the attempt to achieve independence. He is remembered for his support for Catholic emancipation, the impeachment of Warren Hastings from the East India Company, and his staunch opposition to the French Revolution.