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Native-born Irishman Edmund Burke (1729-1797) was best known as a proponent of the American colonies during the American Revolution and for his opposition to the French Revolution. He was a leader of the Whig party and has been dubbed the founder of modern conservatism. He was perhaps the first Catholic to have taken "the oath of supremacy, and declare against transubstantiation" during the 18th century. He founded Dublin's Trinity College Debating Club, which (following a merger) became the oldest undergraduate society in the world. Burke became a member of the House of Commons in 1765. He later defended the French monarchy and claimed man's right to maintain prejudice in his most famous work, Reflections on the Revolution in France, considered a "manifesto in conservative thought."
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