Liberal Debate French Revolutionary Times in England
After reading Edmund Burke’s essay from “Reflections on the Revolution in France” (1790) and Mary Wollstonecraft’s essay from “A Vindication of the Rights of Woman” (1792), and Lynn Hunt’s chapter on “The Rhetoric of Revolution” that provides a cultural context for Burke and Wollstonecraft, develop your own essay that presents the main points from both Burke’s and Wollstonecraft’s arguments. Explain how they attempt to persuade their readers on their points of view of justice, equality, and tradition.
Consider how their views contradict each other or support each other. You may want to answer the following questions in your essay:
1. What were their concerns in the midst of a society struggling with a revolutionary war in France?
2. How do you think their issues might help resolve the inequities of this time? For example, how would educating women as intellectual equals to men produce a more harmonious society?
3. Is relying on tradition, as Burke suggests, a help or hindrance to better government?
The following definitions from the Oxford English Dictionary (OED) may be useful in establishing your position on the writers’ thinking:
Liberal: “Supporting or advocating individual rights, civil liberties, and political and social reform tending towards individual freedom or democracy with little state intervention.”
Conservative: “That conserves, or favours the conservation of, an existing structure or system; (now esp.) designating a person, movement, outlook, etc., averse to change or innovation and holding traditional ideas and values, esp. with regard to social and political issues.”
Include the following in developing your topic:
1) Discuss at least three main points for Burke, and three main points for Wollstonecraft.
2) Include at least three direct quotes for Burke, and three direct quotes for Wollstonecraft.
3) Include at least two quotes from Lynn Hunt’s chapter on “The Rhetoric of Revolution.”
4) Follow the MLA style for documenting essays (https://owl.purdue.edu):
a) use in-text citations for your quotes that identify the author’s last name and page number;
b) include a Works Cited section to list your sources; for Burke and Wollstonecraft use author, title, and class handout.
5) Use the MLA heading and document design:
a) title your essay,
b) number your pages,
c) double-space typing, and
d) use 4-line heading on the first page.
6) Document length should be 4-5 pages.