Edmund Burke Quotes On Freedom, Conservatism and Fear

Edmund Burke was an Irish-British statesman, economist, and philosopher. Born in Dublin, Burke served as a member of Parliament (MP) between 1766 and 1794 in the House of Commons of Great Britain with the Whig Party.

62 Edmund Burke Quotes

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  1. “The greatest gift is a passion for reading.”
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2. “Our patience will achieve more than our force.”

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3. “Woman is not made to be the admiration of all, but the happiness of one.”

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4. “Those who don’t know history are doomed to repeat it.”

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5. “If we command our wealth, we shall be rich and free. If our wealth commands us, we are poor indeed.”

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6. “Those who attempt to level, never equalize.”

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7. “Liberty does not exist in the absence of morality.”

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8. “The greater the power, the more dangerous the abuse.”

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9. “No power so effectually robs the mind of all its powers of acting and reasoning as fear.”

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10. “It is an obvious truth, that no constitution can defend itself: it must be defended by the wisdom and fortitude of men.”

Famous Edmund Burke Quote

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11. “Your representative owes you, not his industry only, but judgment; and he betrays, instead of serving you, if he sacrifices it to your opinion.”

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12. “Ambition can creep as well as soar.”

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13. “No man had ever a point of pride that was not injurious to him.”

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14. “Nobody made a greater mistake than he who did nothing because he could do only a little.”

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15. “To speak of atrocious crime in mild language is treason to virtue.”

16. “The people never give up their liberties but under some delusion.”

17. “Never apologise for showing feeling. When you do so, you apologise for the truth.”

18. “It is a general popular error to imagine the loudest complainers for the public to be the most anxious for its welfare.”

19. “The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing.”

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20. “Superstition is the religion of feeble minds.”

Edmund Burke Quotes on Liberty and Power

21. “A representative owes not just his industry but his judgement”

22. “Among a people generally corrupt, liberty cannot long exist.”

23. “The very idea of the fabrication of a new government is enough to fill us with disgust and horror.”

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24. “But liberty, when men act in bodies, is power.”

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25. “The nature of things is, I admit, a sturdy adversary.”

26. “Whenever a separation is made between liberty and justice, neither, in my opinion, is safe.”

27. “Better to be despised for too anxious apprehensions, than ruined by too confident a security.”

28. “If we command our wealth, we shall be rich and free: if our wealth commands us, we are poor indeed.”

29. “There is no safety for honest men except by believing all possible evil of evil men.”

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30. “The greatest statesmen are those able at once to preserve and reform.”

Thought-Provoking Edmund Burke Quotes

31. “When bad men combine, the good must associate; else they will fall one by one, an unpitied sacrifice in a contemptible struggle.”

32. “Kings will be tyrants by policy when subjects are rebels from principle.”

33. “Good order is the foundation of all good things.”

34. “Few things discover the state of the arts amongst people more certainly than the presents that are made to them by foreigners.”

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35. “Never despair, but if you do, work on in despair.”

36. “The elevation of mind to be derived from fear will never make a nation glorious.”

37. “Criminal means once tolerated are soon preferred.”

38. “If I cannot have reform without injustice, I will not have reform.”

39. “Society is a partnership of the dead, the living and the unborn.”

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40. “History is the preceptor of prudence, not principles.”

41. “It is not, what a lawyer tells me I may do; but what humanity, reason, and justice, tell me I ought to do.”

42. “The only thing necessary for the continuance of evil is for a good man to do nothing.”

43. “We are not made at once to pity the oppressor and the oppressed.”

44. “It is generally, in the season of prosperity that men discover their real temper, principles and design.”

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45. “A revolution will be the very last resource of the thinking and the good.”

46. “He that wrestles with us strengthens our nerves and sharpens our skill. Our antagonist is our helper.”

47. “The contumelies of tyranny are the worst parts of it.”

48. “The true danger is when liberty is nibbled away, for expedience, and by parts.”

49. “It is our ignorance of things that causes all our admiration and chiefly excites our passions.”

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50. “Reading without reflecting is like eating without digesting.”

Read More Edmund Burke Quotes

51. “Rudeness is the weak man’s imitation of strength.”

52. “Great designs may be started and the spirit of them inspired by enthusiasts, but cool heads are required to bring them into form.”

53. “A conscientious man would be cautious how he dealt in blood.”

54. “People will not look forward to posterity who never look backward to their ancestors.”

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55. “To make us love our country, our country ought to be lovely.”

56. “We ought with reverence to approach that tremendous divinity, that loves courage, but commands counsel.”

57. “Nobility is a graceful ornament to the civil order. It is the Corinthian capital of polished society.”

58. “A state without the means of some change, is without the means of its own conservation.”

59. “He that accuses all mankind of corruption ought to remember that he is sure to convict only one.”

60. “No passion so effectually robs the mind of all its powers of acting and reasoning as fear.”

edmund burke quote on conservation

61. “They never will love where they ought to love, who do not hate where they ought to hate.”

62. “By hating vices too much, they come to love men too little.”

What is Edmund Burke known for?

Burke believed that good manners should be the foundation of virtue in society and that religious institutions are crucial to the wellbeing of the nation and the maintenance of morality. He articulated these ideas in his book A Vindication of Natural Society.

He criticized the British government’s policies on taxes as well as how it treated the American colonies. Burke opposed the effort to achieve independence but supported the colonists’ right to challenge metropolitan authority. His contributions to Catholic emancipation, the removal of Warren Hastings from the East India Company, and his adamant opposition to the French Revolution are remembered today.

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Edmund Burke: The Father of Conservatism

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