Selections from the Speeches and Writings of Edmund Burke

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Author: Edmund Burke

Irish Legislation.

The legislature of Ireland, like all legislatures, ought to frame its laws to suit the people and the circumstances of the country, and not any longer to make it their whole business to force the nature, the temper, and the inveterate habits of a nation to a conformity to speculative systems concerning any kind of laws. Ireland has an established government, and a religion legally established, which are to be preserved. It has a people, who are to be preserved too, and to be led by reason, principle, sentiment, and interest to acquiesce in that government. Ireland is a country under peculiar circumstances. The people of Ireland are a very mixed people; and the quantities of the several ingredients in the mixture are very much disproportioned to each other. Are we to govern this mixed body as if it were composed of the most simple elements, comprehending the whole in one system of benevolent legislation; or are we not rather to provide for the several parts according to the various and diversified necessities of the heterogeneous nature of the mass? Would not common reason and common honesty dictate to us the policy of regulating the people in the several descriptions of which they are composed, according to the natural ranks and classes of an orderly civil society, under a common protecting sovereign, and under a form of constitution favourable at once to authority and to freedom; such as the British constitution boasts to be, and such as it is, to those who enjoy it?

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Chicago: Edmund Burke, "Irish Legislation.," Selections from the Speeches and Writings of Edmund Burke in Selections from the Speeches and Writings of Edmund Burke Original Sources, accessed February 29, 2024, http://www.originalsources.com/Document.aspx?DocID=8PS3YFEHPF7JM75.

MLA: Burke, Edmund. "Irish Legislation." Selections from the Speeches and Writings of Edmund Burke, in Selections from the Speeches and Writings of Edmund Burke, Original Sources. 29 Feb. 2024. http://www.originalsources.com/Document.aspx?DocID=8PS3YFEHPF7JM75.

Harvard: Burke, E, 'Irish Legislation.' in Selections from the Speeches and Writings of Edmund Burke. cited in , Selections from the Speeches and Writings of Edmund Burke. Original Sources, retrieved 29 February 2024, from http://www.originalsources.com/Document.aspx?DocID=8PS3YFEHPF7JM75.