Edmund Burke Quotes

Edmund Burke (1729 – 1797) was an Irish author, statesman, political theorist, philosopher and orator. He served in the British House of Commons for many years.

Burke is known for supporting American Revolutionaries, and arguing against the French Revolution, which made him the leading figure of the “Old Whigs” – the conservative fraction of his party. Charles James Fox led the “New Whigs” – the pro-French Revolution fraction. Burke is considered the founder of modern conservatism. In 1790, he published his best know work “Reflections on the Revolution in France”.

Edmund Burke Quotes

A law against property is a law against industry.

— Edmund Burke

Bad laws are the worst sort of tyranny.

— Edmund Burke

The tyranny of a multitude is a multiplied tyranny.

— Edmund Burke, Letter to Thomas Mercer

Among a people generally corrupt, liberty cannot long exist.

— Edmund Burke

When bad men combine, the good must associate; else they will fall one by one, an unpitied sacrifice in a contemptible struggle.

— Edmund Burke, Thoughts on the Cause of Present Discontents

The people never give up their liberties but under some delusion.

— Edmund Burke

All government, indeed every human benefit and enjoyment, every virtue, and every prudent act, is founded on compromise and barter.

— Edmund Burke

The most important of all revolutions, which may be dated from that day, I mean a revolution in sentiments, manners, and moral opinions.

— Edmund Burke, Reflections on the French Revolution

Toleration is good for all, or it is good for none.

— Edmund Burke, Speech on the Bill for the Relief of Protestant Dissenters

Those who have been once intoxicated with power, and have derived any kind of emolument from it, even though but for one year, can never willingly abandon it.

— Edmund Burke

Hypocrisy can afford to be magnificent in its promises; for never intending to go beyond promises, it costs nothing.

— Edmund Burke

It is a general popular error to imagine the loudest complainers for the public to be the most anxious for its welfare.

— Edmund Burke

It is not, what a lawyer tells me I may do; but what humanity, reason, and justice, tells me I ought to do.

— Edmund Burke

The greater the power, the more dangerous the abuse.

— Edmund Burke, Speech on the Middlesex Elections (1771)

One that confounds good and evil is an enemy to the good.

— Edmund Burke, On the Impeachment of Warren Hastings

A nation without means of reform is without means of survival.

— Edmund Burke

Nobody made a greater mistake than he who did nothing because he could only do a little.

— Edmund Burke

The true danger is, when liberty is nibbled away, for expedients, and by parts.

— Edmund Burke, Letter to Sheriffs (II 249).