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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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Present Discontents, 1768–1770

Present Discontents, 1768–1770

Chapter:
(p.259) 8 Present Discontents, 1768–1770
Source:
Edmund Burke, Volume I
Author(s):

F.P. Lock

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199226634.003.0008

In 1768, Burke had a reputation as a forceful and eloquent speaker. Over the next two years he consolidated his position both within the Rockingham party and in the larger political world. In 1769, he published his first substantial political pamphlet, Observations on a Late State of the Nation. It was followed in 1770 by Thoughts on the Cause of the Present Discontents, an unofficial manifesto which established him as his party's most articulate spokesman. However, the delay in publication deadened the immediate impact of the Thoughts. The pamphlet also didn't exert much influence in the following decades, since the political instability which it analysed came to an end with the appointment of Lord North as Prime Minister. For all this, Burke's prospects were dim. With Rockingham's return to the Treasury increasingly improbable, Burke's commitment to opposition was confirmed.

Keywords:   Rockingham, speaker, Observations, Thoughts, pamphlet

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