Robert Nisbet’s Ten Conditions of Revolution

By |2020-09-17T16:21:09-05:00September 17th, 2020|Categories: Bradley J. Birzer, Revolution, Robert Nisbet, Senior Contributors|

Given the present moment in this era of confusion in American history, one wonders whether the events of 2020 count as revolutionary. Robert Nisbet’s ten conditions of real revolution may provide an answer. One of the twentieth century’s most astute observers of society, sociologist, historian, and man of letters, Professor Robert Nisbet (1913-1996), offered [...]

Edmund Burke and the Last Polish King

By |2020-08-31T15:28:56-05:00July 23rd, 2020|Categories: Bradley J. Birzer, Civilization, Culture, Edmund Burke, History, Poland, Revolution, Senior Contributors|

Poland’s reforms and constitution, Edmund Burke thought, offered real meaning, much closer to the experience of the American Revolution than that of the French Revolution. In significant ways, the Polish king succeeded because he embraced the laws of nature and “the array of Justice” without forcing anything of his own will upon his people. [...]

Secular Iconoclasm and the Peasants’ Indignation

By |2020-06-30T18:19:29-05:00June 30th, 2020|Categories: Civil Society, Conservatism, Politics, Revolution, Secularism|

Defacing public monuments, streets, churches, and administrative buildings constitutes an act of secular iconoclasm that should be taken seriously—not because the things destroyed possess the sanctity of real icons, but because the spirit in which these places and things are being destroyed conveys a hatred on the part of the rioters towards their own [...]

Revolutions: 2020 vs. 1776

By |2020-06-24T15:37:26-05:00June 24th, 2020|Categories: American Founding, American Republic, Bradley J. Birzer, Declaration of Independence, History, Modernity, Revolution, Senior Contributors|

The revolutionaries of 1776 could be just as violent as those of 2020, but they were truly a lot more intelligent and interesting. Eighteenth-century Americans fought with several generations worth of finely-honed arguments—from law, from experience, and from scripture, whereas the protestors of 2020, while armed with anger, seem armed with little else. In [...]

Machiavelli’s “Prince” & Tomasi di Lampedusa’s “The Leopard”

By |2020-05-28T14:04:16-05:00May 26th, 2020|Categories: Books, Government, History, Imagination, Revolution, Western Civilization|

Tomasi di Lampedusa’s “The Leopard” provides invaluable insight into 19th-century Italian history while creating a compelling story, allowing readers to relive an unfamiliar age of revolution and a fading nobility. Time under quarantine has been an excuse to revisit a personal favorite book and to explore its history, controversy, and literary value. I can [...]

The Yachtsman and the Revolution

By |2020-03-16T19:01:43-05:00September 12th, 2019|Categories: American Founding, American Republic, History, Republicanism, Revolution|

James Henry Stark was a historian and defender of the Loyalists in an age of high reverence for the American Revolution. Stark’s unhappiness at the public presentation and textbook renderings of the Revolution seethed for years, until finally in 1910 he published “Loyalists of Massachusetts” to settle the debate. In March 1910, the wealthy [...]

The French and American Revolutions Revisited

By |2020-08-26T16:55:36-05:00May 15th, 2019|Categories: Books, History, Revolution|

Friedrich von Gentz It is often said that the American Revolution resonated across the pond and inspired the French to rebel and liberate their country in a similar, heroic fashion to that of their American allies. The nature of these two revolutions, however, ran divergent intellectual courses that made their causes, and [...]

Unearthed History: The War of The Vendée

By |2020-04-27T09:15:10-05:00April 23rd, 2019|Categories: Catholicism, Europe, History, Revolution|

The series of battles that took place in the Vendée have been almost entirely excluded from any recounting of the Revolution. Why? The rising in the Vendée paints a darker picture of the evils that Revolutionists did to those citizens, most of them peasants, who would not adopt the principles of the Revolution. Something about the [...]

Humanity Dehumanized: Hegel’s Reflections on the Enlightenment & the French Revolution

By |2020-07-13T16:53:37-05:00January 21st, 2019|Categories: Civil Society, Freedom, In Honor of Eva Brann at 90 Series, Philosophy, Politics, Revolution|

The Enlightenment, that is modern reason, failed us in part, Hegel shows, both for the history it left behind and the legacy it bequeathed us. Indeed it brought us and spirit to the point of self-destruction. Editor's Note: This essay is part of a series dedicated to Senior Contributor Dr. Eva Brann of St. John’s College, Annapolis, in [...]

Edmund Burke on Revolutionary Armies and Taxes

By |2020-09-01T15:25:15-05:00December 13th, 2018|Categories: Bradley J. Birzer, Civil Society, Conservation, Edmund Burke, Edmund Burke series by Bradley Birzer, Revolution, Taxes|

No government has ever made itself permanently wealthy through the plunder of its people—which destroys not just the productive capacity of a country but also its moral foundations. Though a classic in its own right, and arguably the first book on conservatism in the modern world, Edmund Burke’s Reflections on the Revolution in France of [...]

Manifest Destiny and the American Nimrods

By |2020-05-19T11:08:54-05:00November 30th, 2018|Categories: American Founding, American Republic, Bradley J. Birzer, History, Nationalism, Politics, Revolution, Social Order, Tyranny|

By the beginning of the Mexican war, even famed newspaper editor John L. O’Sullivan began to doubt his own expansionist infatuations. What would America do, for example, if she tried to incorporate not just Mexico but actual, honest-to-God Mexicans into the republic? Standing with his father as they watched the Battle of Bunker Hill [...]

Edmund Burke on the Rage & Frenzy of the French Revolution

By |2020-08-09T17:29:38-05:00April 5th, 2018|Categories: Bradley J. Birzer, Conservatism, Edmund Burke, Europe, History, Leadership, Revolution|

As revolutionary as they claimed to be, the French Revolutionaries were as old as sin, Edmund Burke assured his readers. “Trace them through all their artifices, frauds, and violences,” he argued, and “you can find nothing at all that is new.” Roughly four-fifths into his spectacular Reflections on the Revolution in France, Edmund Burke [...]

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