Chapter

Present Discontents, 1768–1770

F.P. Lock

in Edmund Burke, Volume I

Published in print August 2008 | ISBN: 9780199226634
Published online October 2011 | e-ISBN: 9780191696244 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199226634.003.0008
Present Discontents, 1768–1770

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In 1768, Burke had a reputation as a forceful and eloquent speaker. Over the next two years he consolidated his position both within the Rockingham party and in the larger political world. In 1769, he published his first substantial political pamphlet, Observations on a Late State of the Nation. It was followed in 1770 by Thoughts on the Cause of the Present Discontents, an unofficial manifesto which established him as his party's most articulate spokesman. However, the delay in publication deadened the immediate impact of the Thoughts. The pamphlet also didn't exert much influence in the following decades, since the political instability which it analysed came to an end with the appointment of Lord North as Prime Minister. For all this, Burke's prospects were dim. With Rockingham's return to the Treasury increasingly improbable, Burke's commitment to opposition was confirmed.

Keywords: Rockingham; speaker; Observations; Thoughts; pamphlet

Chapter.  20412 words. 

Subjects: Modern History (1700 to 1945)

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