No, Burke…We Should Defy Tradition
Edmund Burke makes a strong point in his “Reflections of the Revolution in France:” people should not stray from tradition because we gain political knowledge from our forefathers. This may seem obvious and rational because most people look to their parents and grandparents for views on ideologies. We even still look for guidance from religious institutions (that have been present for centuries). Fact is, in our individual lives we look to tradition for guidance.
However, if we look at America as a whole, we may have a different answer. If our forefathers, George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, Benjamin Franklin and a whole constitutional convention delegation had followed the tradition that preceded them, we may not be here today. Most definitely, our lives would not be the same as they are today.
The American Revolution and the events leading up to the revolution were all acts that defied tradition. Of course, the original protests such as the Stamp Act Congress and James Otis’s pamphlet that touched on the injustices being brought upon by the British, were not used for independence, they were simply used just to improve the colonies’ liberties. However, the events that followed were put in place to defy tradition, walk away from old institutions, and create a new nation.
Yes, Edmund Burke did not support the French Revolution, which may indicate that he would not have supported the American Revolution. But, one must think: were the American colonies better off before or after they left tradition in the dust? Coming from a citizen that adores her country because it provides her with liberty, a chance to receive a solid education, and a chance to practice my Judaism freely, I would say that leaving tradition back in England was the best possible thing for the people of this country.
What do you say? Should the forefathers have stuck to tradition and kept under British Rule, or was breaking from tradition and an old institution the most advantageous thing for the colonists to do? (Find my poll and answer!) http://poll.fm/2flku