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Edmund Burke in AmericaThe Contested Career of the Father of Modern Conservatism$
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Drew Maciag

Print publication date: 2013

Print ISBN-13: 9780801448959

Published to Cornell Scholarship Online: August 2016

DOI: 10.7591/cornell/9780801448959.001.0001

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A World without Fathers

(p.229) Conclusion
Edmund Burke in America

Drew Maciag

Cornell University Press

This concluding chapter returns to the apparent mismatch of Burke's political philosophy, which represented a past-oriented culture of tradition, to that of America as a whole, which represented a future-oriented culture of innovation. Inherent in such a dichotomy were competing preferences for either progress or stability. The chapter further elaborates on Burke's role (or lack thereof) in the American political consciousness—noting that the reception of Burke in America has been tied to the subordinate nature of conservatism itself. Furthermore, the chapter also explores a different side to Burke—beyond the conservative stereotype, history often overlooks his nascent liberalism—thus the chapter more broadly implicates the ignorance of history in contemporary American society. To conclude, the chapter offers some closing thoughts on the relevance of the past in the present exercise of nation-building, and of Burke's own thoughts on the matter.

Keywords:   Edmund Burke, conservatism, liberalism, American history, American civilization, nation-building

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