Reflections on the Revolution in France | Study Guide

Edmund Burke

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Reflections on the Revolution in France | Key Figures

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Key Figure Description
Edmund Burke Edmund Burke (1729–97) is the author and the narrator of Reflections on the Revolution in France, a political pamphlet published in 1790. In his pamphlet Burke emerges as a prudent, conservative critic of what he regards as dangerous measures by the National Assembly in France. Read More
King Louis XVI King Louis XVI (1754–93) reigned as king of France from 1774 until 1792, when the Revolution abolished the monarchy. Early the following year, Louis was executed. During the years from the outbreak of the Revolution in July 1789 until Louis's execution, his fortunes oscillated considerably. His attempt to escape from Paris to the eastern frontier in June 1791 sacrificed his credibility as a constitutional monarch. Read More
Jacques Necker Jacques Necker (1732–1804) was a Swiss banker who became a high–ranking minister of finance under King Louis XVI of France, beginning in 1777. Historians have linked his financial policies and decisions to the French Revolution, which began a dozen years later. Read More
Rev. Dr. Richard Price Rev. Dr. Richard Price (1723–91) was a dissenting (non–Church of England) minister. His sermon, delivered on November 4, 1789, and subsequently published, serves as the launching pad for Burke's Reflections on the Revolution in France. Burke begins his pamphlet with an extended discussion and rebuttal of Price's main assertions in that sermon, which was titled A Discourse on the Love of Our Country. Read More
Jean–Jacques Rousseau Jean–Jacques Rousseau (1712–78) was a French novelist, essayist, and philosopher who played a leading part in the European Enlightenment. Some of his influential notions included the idea of the social contract, by which people give or withhold their consent to be governed. Rousseau championed the idea of the noble savage, according to which human beings' purest condition is a state of nature and innocence, untainted by civilization. Read More
Charles–Alexandre de Calonne Charles-Alexandre de Calonne (1734–1802) was a French economist and financier who held high office under King Louis XVI and then left France for England in 1787. From exile, he bitterly criticized the policies of the revolutionaries.
Charles–Jean–François Depont Charles–Jean–François Depont (1767–96) was a young Frenchman who was a friend of the Burke family. In late 1789 Depont wrote Burke, soliciting his opinion on the opening stages of the Revolution in France. Burke's Reflections on the Revolution in France is an extended response to Depont's request.
King Henri IV King Henri IV (1553–1610) was king of France from 1589 to 1610. His restoration of Paris, his successful handling of foreign relations, and his public works programs made him one of France's most admired monarchs. He was assassinated in Paris by a Catholic fanatic.
King James II King James II (1633–1701), the younger brother of Charles II, reigned as king of England from 1685 to 1688. His forced abdication was primarily due to the fact that he was a Roman Catholic.
Queen Marie Antoinette Queen Marie Antoinette (1755–93) was the last queen of France before the French Revolution. She was married to King Louis XVI. Austrian born, she was often spurned by the French people. They largely regarded her as luxury loving and unsympathetic. She was executed in October 1793.
François–Louis–Thibault de Menonville François–Louis–Thibault de Menonville (1740–1816) was a member of the French National Assembly. He is the addressee of Burke's letter of 1791, in which he responded to criticisms of Reflections on the Revolution in France.
Honoré–Gabriel–Victor Riqueti, Comte de Mirabeau Honoré–Gabriel–Victor Riqueti, Comte de Mirabeau (1749–91), was a French politician who achieved prominence in the early stages of the Revolution during the years 1789–91. Generally regarded as a moderate, he favored a constitutional monarchy in France.
Jean–Frédéric de la Tour du Pin Jean–Frédéric de la Tour du Pin (1727–94) was a nobleman who served as the French minister for war in the opening stages of the Revolution from 1789 to 1790. He was sent to the guillotine and executed in April 1794 during the Reign of Terror.
King William III In 1689 King William III (1650–1702), Dutch by birth, became king of England and reigned with his wife, Mary (1662–94), who was the sister of King James II. Husband and wife ruled together as Protestant coregents. Their installation on the throne brought to an end the Glorious Revolution of 1688 and restored stability to the British government.
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