Thoughts on the Cause of the Present Discontents


Category: Philosophy/Politics

By Edmund Burke

Published in 1770

Reference #1358

Third Edition. “Thoughts on the Cause of the Present Discontents” was written by Irish statesman Edmund Burke, who was a political theorist and philosopher. It was first published in 1770, the work was highly popular and went through several editions.

In “Thoughts on the Cause of the Present Discontents,” Burke examines several matters troubling Great Britain including the affairs in America. He identifies the “discontents” claiming they were a neo-Tory group and the nepotism of King George III, who had influenced the administrations. Burke declares Britain needs a party with devotion to principle to which they all agree and against bribery of interest; furthermore, party divisions should be inseparable from the free government.

Burke’s ideas in the treatise were highly influential in defining not only political parties but also their role in government.