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Edmund Burke, Volume I1730-1784$
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F.P. Lock

Print publication date: 2008

Print ISBN-13: 9780199226634

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: October 2011

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199226634.001.0001

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Shears or Hatchets, 1779–1781

Shears or Hatchets, 1779–1781

Chapter:
(p.443) 12 Shears or Hatchets, 1779–1781
Source:
Edmund Burke, Volume I
Author(s):

F.P. Lock

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199226634.003.0012

In October 1779, Burke looked forward to the approaching session of Parliament with an uneasy mixture of hope and dread, expectation and despair. The American colonies were as far as ever from being coerced into submission. Burke's own county was divided between moderate and radical reformers, a division which cut across some longer-standing local rivalries. Unlike Fox, he was immune to the temptation of popularity. Nor was his willingness to incur odium by speaking out against popular prejudice confined to political issues. His Guildhall speech, delivered on September 6, 1780, is Burke's most eloquent exposition of the duties and responsibilities of a Member of Parliament. However, he was marred by the Gordon riots in June, and his humiliating withdrawal from the Bristol election in September. Meanwhile, India provided a subject on which Burke could co-operate with the ministry and play a constructive role in the framing of legislation.

Keywords:   Parliament, Fox, India, Bristol election, Guildhall, Gordon riots

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