Impact of the French Revolution: ‘The Battle of Burke’ — Tone or Castlereagh?
In the autumn of 1790, Edmund Burke, the most celebrated Irish politician of his day, published his notable attack on the French Revolution, immediately inspiring a debate, not only in England but in his own country too. The French Revolution challenged the principles of aristocracy and monarchy in Ireland. William Tone's solution to the ‘Irish crisis’ was disputed by Edmund Burke. The discussion argues that it was Tone rather than Lord Castlereagh who fought the ‘Battle of Burke’. The bloodshed and murder confirmed two awful lessons. For Catholics, the state and its allies would, if provoked, impose a bloody terror on the countryside. For Protestants, on the other hand, Catholics could not be trusted: given a chance, they would use their power to destroy the other community. Both sides now believed the worst of each other, and not without justification.
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