Patronage and Revolution: Edmund Burke’s Reflections on the Revolution in France and His Theory of Legislative Corruption

WILLIAM SELINGER
THE REVIEW OF POLITICS 76.1 (2014): 43-67

Abstract: Edmund Burke’s Reflections on the Revolution in France is most famous and controversial for Burke’s opposition to the philosophy behind the Revolution. This essay examines Burke’s more practical criticisms of the French National Assembly which pervade the pamphlet, and shows their connection to his earlier arguments about corruption in the House of Commons. Burke’s insight into the future course of the French Revolution is based in his distinctive approach to thinking about the pathologies of legislative assemblies, which he initially developed in the House of Commons, and later applied to the French National Assembly.