Richard Price (1723-1791)
A Discourse on the Love of Our Country (1789)
Let us, in particular, take care not to forget the principles of
the Revolution . . . :
First: The right to liberty of conscience in religious
Secondly: The right to resist power when abused.
Thirdly: The right to chuse our own governors; to
cashier them for misconduct; and to frame a
government for ourselves.
Tremble all ye oppressors of the world!
Take warning all ye
supporters of slavish governments, and slavish hierarchies!
Call no more (absurdly and wickedly) REFORMATION,
You cannot now hold the world in darkness.
Struggle no longer against increasing light and liberality.
Restore to mankind their rights; and consent to the
correction of abuses, before they and you are destroyed
Edmund Burke (1729-1797)
Reflections on the Revolution in France (1790)
On the scheme of this barbarous philosophy, which is the
offspring of cold hearts and muddy understandings, and
which is as void of solid wisdom, as it is destitute of all taste
and elegance, laws are to supported only by their own
terrors, and by the concern, which each individual may find
in them, from his own private speculations, or can spare to
them from his own private interests.
In the groves of their
academy, at the end of every visto, you see nothing but the
Nothing is left which engages the affections on the
part of the commonwealth.
On the principles of this
mechanic philosophy, our institutions can never be
embodied, if I may use the expression, in persons; so as to
create in us love, veneration, admiration, or attachment.
that sort of reason which banishes the affections is incapable
of filling their place.
These public affections, combined
with manners, are required sometimes as supplements,
sometimes as correctives, always as aids to law. . . . There
ought to be a system of manners in every nation which a
well-formed mind would be disposed to relish.
To make us
love our country, our country ought to be lovely.
Mary Wollstonecraft (1759-1797)
A Vindication of the Rights of Men (1790)
But on what principle Mr. Burke could defend American
independence, I cannot conceive; for the whole tenor of his
plausible arguments settles slavery on an everlasting
Allowing his servile reverence for antiquity,
and prudent attention to self-interest, to have the force which
he insists on, the slave trade ought never to be abolished;
and, because our ignorant forefathers, not understanding the
native dignity of man, sanctioned a traffic that outrages