Thoughts on the Cause of the Present Discontents

Last updated

Thoughts on the Cause of the Present Discontents is a political pamphlet by the Anglo-Irish politician and philosopher Edmund Burke, first published on 23 April 1770. [1] The subject is the nepotism of King George III and the influence of the Court on the House of Commons of Great Britain. [2] The essay was influential in defining political parties and their roles within government. [3] In it, Burke argued that parties are "bod[ies] of men united for promoting by their joint endeavours the national interest upon some particular principle in which they are all agreed". [3]

Related Research Articles

Conservatism is a political and social philosophy promoting traditional social institutions in the context of culture and civilization. The central tenets of conservatism include tradition, hierarchy, and authority, as established in respective cultures, as well as property rights. Conservatives seek to preserve a range of institutions such as organized religion, parliamentary government, and property rights, with the aim of emphasizing continuity. Adherents of conservatism often oppose modernism and seek a return to "the way things were".

Edmund Burke 18th-century Irish statesman and political theorist

Edmund Burke was an Irish statesman and philosopher. Born in Dublin, Burke served as a member of parliament (MP) between 1766 and 1794 in the House of Commons of Great Britain with the Whig Party after moving to London in 1750.

Thomas Robert Malthus British political economist

Thomas Robert Malthus was an English cleric, scholar and influential economist in the fields of political economy and demography.

Richard Price Welsh nonconformist preacher and radical

Richard Price was a British moral philosopher, nonconformist preacher and mathematician. He was also a political pamphleteer, active in radical, republican, and liberal causes such as the American Revolution. He was well-connected and fostered communication between many people, including several of the Founding Fathers of the United States.

This article contains information about the literary events and publications of 1770.

John Brown was an English Anglican priest, playwright and essayist.

Social liberalism, also known as left liberalism in Germany, modern liberalism in the United States and new liberalism in the United Kingdom, is a political philosophy and variety of liberalism that endorses a regulated market economy and the expansion of civil and political rights. Under social liberalism, the common good is viewed as harmonious with the freedom of the individual.

Whiggism is a political philosophy that grew out of the Parliamentarian faction in the Wars of the Three Kingdoms (1639–1651). The Whigs' key policy positions were the supremacy of Parliament, tolerance of Protestant dissenters and opposition to a "Papist" on the throne, especially James II or one of his descendants.

<i>Reflections on the Revolution in France</i> 1790 Edmund Burke political book

Reflections on the Revolution in France is a political pamphlet written by the Irish statesman Edmund Burke and published in November 1790. One of the best-known intellectual attacks against the French Revolution, Reflections is a defining tract of modern conservatism as well as an important contribution to international theory. Above all else, it has been one of the defining efforts of Edmund Burke's transformation of "traditionalism into a self-conscious and fully conceived political philosophy of conservatism".

Centre-right politics lean to the right of the political spectrum, but are closer to the centre than others. From the 1780s to the 1880s, there was a shift in the Western world of social class structure and the economy, moving away from the nobility and mercantilism, as well as moving toward the bourgeoisie and capitalism. This general economic shift toward capitalism affected centre-right movements such as the Conservative Party, that responded by becoming supportive of capitalism.

Great Bengal famine of 1770

The Great Bengal Famine of 1770 was a famine between 1769 and 1773 that affected the lower Gangetic plain of British India from Bihar to the Bengal region. The famine is estimated to have caused the deaths of about 10 million people, and Warren Hastings’s 1772 report estimated that a third of the population in the affected region starved to death. Rajat Datta estimates a much lower revised number, in the range of around 2 million dead within 6–7 months.

Jonathan Charles Douglas Clark is a British historian of both British and American history. He received his undergraduate degree at Downing College, Cambridge. Having previously held posts at Peterhouse, Cambridge and All Souls College, Oxford into 1996, he has since held the Joyce C. and Elizabeth Ann Hall Distinguished Professorship of British History at the University of Kansas.

Stanley Jeyaraja Tambiah American anthropologist

Stanley Jeyaraja Tambiah was a social anthropologist and Esther and Sidney Rabb Professor (Emeritus) of Anthropology at Harvard University. He specialised in studies of Thailand, Sri Lanka, and Tamils, as well as the anthropology of religion and politics.

David Bromwich is Sterling Professor of English at Yale University.

Events from the year 1770 in Great Britain.

Robert Brendan McDowell was an Irish historian. He was a Fellow Emeritus and a former Associate Professor of History at Trinity College Dublin. He was born in Belfast. He was referred to colloquially as "RB", "McDowell" or "the White Rabbit". His politics were strongly Unionist and he was member of the British Conservative Party.

Jonathan Philip Parry, commonly referred to as Jon Parry, is professor of Modern British History at the University of Cambridge and Fellow of Pembroke College. He has specialised in 19th and 20th century British political and cultural history and has developed a later interest in the relationship between Britain and the Ottoman Empire.

Sir William Dunkin was an Irish barrister and judge in Bengal.

Richard Bourke (academic) Irish academic

Richard Bourke is a UK-based Irish academic specialising in the history of political ideas. His work spans ancient and modern thought, and is associated with the application of the historical method to political theory. He is Professor of the History of Political Thought at the University of Cambridge, and a Fellow of King's College, Cambridge. He was formerly Professor of the History of Political Thought and Co-Director of the Centre for the Study of the History of Political Thought at Queen Mary, University of London. In July 2018 Bourke was elected Fellow of the British Academy (FBA).

Doux commerce

Doux commerce is a concept originating from the Age of Enlightenment stating that commerce tends to civilize people, making them less likely to resort to violent or irrational behaviors. This theory has also been referred to as commercial republicanism.


  1. Matthew Hargraves (2005). 'Candidates for Fame': The Society of Artists of Great Britain, 1760–1791. Yale University Press. p. 108. ISBN   978-0-300-11004-3 . Retrieved 12 August 2019.
  2. Ian Ousby (23 February 1996). The Cambridge Paperback Guide to Literature in English. Cambridge University Press. p. 59. ISBN   978-0-521-43627-4 . Retrieved 12 August 2012.
  3. 1 2 Susan E. Scarrow (4 October 2002). Perspectives on Political Parties: Classic Readings. Palgrave Macmillan. p. 37. ISBN   978-0-312-29523-3 . Retrieved 12 August 2012.