Edmund Burke's Ideas on Historical Change

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7 Citations (Scopus)


Burke's view of history is an aspect of his thought that has been largely neglected by scholars, despite the wide recognition of its importance. In Burke's view, history, led by providence and by a human nature designed by God, is necessarily progressive. It is, nevertheless, human beings who are largely responsible for building their nations. A variety of civilisations could be generated if people governed a nation in harmony with its peculiar manners and circumstances. Nations can, however, be unstable, because their fortunes fluctuate. Although Burke was very familiar with-and influenced by-several different traditions of historiography, his ideas on history should also be seen as the product of his own reflections.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)675-692
Number of pages18
JournalHistory of European Ideas
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - 2014 Jul
Externally publishedYes


  • Burke
  • civilisations
  • diversity
  • history of historiography
  • progress

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • History
  • Sociology and Political Science
  • Philosophy


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