Considering the French revolution in the 18th century was mainly filled with violence and chaos some people took the saying ‘the pen is mightier than the sword to another level.’ The three figures were Edmund Burke, Thomas Paine, and Mary Wollstonecraft. In a series of pamphlets directed against each other, the three revolutionized the modern political landscape.
To begin with, in the book Reflections on the revolution in France, Edward Burke insisted that there is no need for an overthrow of the Monarch, as the case in Britain. To overthrow authority in France would spell disaster for the whole nation and would result in chaos and violence. The revolution was as a result of three opposing forces: The desire to build France into a superpower by some politicians, the government under Louis XVI and the literary class that was represented by Rousseau and Voltaire among others (Edmund, 2009). In his argument, he stated that overthrowing the monarch will result in a government that will basically rule by militant force. In order for the other European countries to defend their interest should try to invade France and restore the order of the monarch. Burke simply viewed himself as a moderate and that the hereditary privileges that of monarchy and aristocracy are the building blocks of any government and religion and in a sense compliment the hereditary natural rights (Kohl).
The first response came from a member of the congregation of Paine, Mary Wollstonecraft. In the pamphlet A vindication of the rights of man, She basically viewed Edmund Burke as someone old who was simply confused and not knowing the difference between good and wrong. He was a good person but was simply corrupted by the system. In this pamphlet, she described the revolution as very healthy considering that there was the displacement of an aristocratic system and there would be no remorse for the fallen It was simply a movement towards civilization (Wollstonecraft, 2009).
The final response to Edmund Burke came from Paine himself in the book the rights of man. Considering that it sold over 200,000 copies in a span of two years, it may be regarded to have well-articulated arguments about the revolution of France and the rights of men. The book was written in two chapters and chapter 1 basically described the different types of monarchy and the suitability of each while in part 2 he was basically championing for the establishment of better systems than monarchy.Furthermore, he established that governments were a simpler term that was basically describing the rulers and their subjects.The final hammer on the nail was the request by governments and the state to care for the young and old not as a matter of privilege or favor but because it is a right (Paine, 2009).
The three basically argued about the rights of man and the political landscape that underlies it.Burke simply was in favor of the monarch and aristocratic system while Wollstonecraft was basically against it.Paine, on the other hand, was y in favor of the systems but maintained the rights of men were to be granted per se.
Edmund, B. (2009). Reflections on the Revolution in France. Oxford: Oxford University Press.
Kohl, L. (n.d.). Defining the Natural Rights of Man: An Analysis of Burke, Paine, and Wollstonecraft.
Paine, T. (2009). Rights of Man, Common Sense, and Other Political Writings. Oxford: Oxford University Press.
Wollstonecraft, M. (2009). A Vindication of the Rights of man. Oxford: Oxford University Press.