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Our Inherited Liberties

             Edmund Burke, a political writer in the latter portion of the 18th century wrote a reflection on the French Revolution. In this reflection he astutely stated the above quote, in which he talks about the inheritance of liberties passed down in posterity by the forefathers. In this passage he correlates the Magna Carta and the Declaration of Right, government documents outlining liberties and privileges, with a family will or contract. This passage through its well-thought out sentences culminates this idea of passed down liberties and unity, which ultimately gives the people of the kingdom a sense of belonging and being apart of something special, as in a family.
             As it is said above, the main idea of this passage is analogizing inherited liberties, or choices as they are written in the constitution, with the sense of family or unity as a people. We see this idea when Burke states before the above quote, "By adhering in this manner and on those principles to our forefathers, we are guided not by the superstition of antiquarians, but by the spirit of philosophic analogy"(69). When studying the above passage, both sides of the analogy are clearly seen. The words "constitution", "fundamental laws", and "state" connote an idea of government; whereas the words, "binding up", family affections, domestic ties, and inseparable connote a sense of family or unity.
             In the first clause Burke writes, "In this choice of inheritance we have given to our frame of polity the image of relation in blood"(69). This clause sets the tone for the rest of the passage. The inheritance is the liberties and laws that were founded by our forefathers and "frame of polity" refers to the methodology of the government. The phrase, "relation in blood" has a family connotation. Therefore, Burke is saying that the adoption of the liberties inherited from the forefathers give the present method of politics/government the image of a family.

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