The Works of the Right Honourable Volume 10

Edmund Burke

ISBN: 1530206057

Release: 01/1970

The Works of the Right Honourable Volume 10 by Edmund Burke

Burke was not merely presenting a peace agreement to Parliament, but rather he stepped forward with four reasons against using force, carefully reasoned. He laid out his objections in an orderly manner, focusing on one before moving to the next. His first concern was that the use of force would have to be temporary and that the uprisings and objections to British governance in Colonial America would not be. Second, Burke worried about the uncertainty surrounding whether Britain would win a conflict in America. "An armament", Burke said, "is not a victory". Third, Burke brought up the issue of impairment, stating that it would do the British government no good to engage in a scorched earth war and have the object they desired (America) become damaged or even useless. The American colonists could always retreat into the mountains, but the land they left behind would most likely be unusable, whether by accident or design. The fourth and final reason to avoid the use of force was experience as the British had never attempted to rein in an unruly colony by force and they did not know if it could be done, let alone accomplished thousands of miles away from home. Not only were all of these concerns reasonable, but some turned out to be prophetic—the American colonists did not surrender, even when things looked extremely bleak and the British were ultimately unsuccessful in their attempts to win a war fought on American soil.

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