Speech On Moving His Resolutions For Reconciliation With The Colonies "Freedom, And Not Servitude, Is The Cure Of Anarchy"

Edmund Burke

"Freedom, And Not Servitude, Is The Cure Of Anarchy"

(Magill's Quotations in Context)

Context: America had no more capable or articulate defender in the English Parliament than Burke. When Parliament considered harsh and repressive measures of taxation and military suppression for the unrest in the Colonies, Burke spoke vehemently in protest. Such measures, he argued, could only be costly and temporary if successful, and they could very well be unsuccessful. He urged instead an act of redress and conciliation such as had been offered to Ireland, Wales, and Chester. He quoted at length from the petition of the citizens of Chester in the reign of Henry VIII and cites that benefits that have been derived from Parliament's acceptance of it:

What did parliament with this audacious address?–Reject it as a libel? Treat it as an affront to government? Spurn it as a derogation from the rights of legislature? Did they toss it over the table? Did they burn it by the hands of the common hangman? They took the petition of grievance, all rugged as it was, without softening or temperament, unpurged of the original bitterness and indignation of complaint; they made it the very preamble to their act of redress; and consecrated its principle to all ages in the sanctuary of legislation.
Here is my third example. It was attended with the success of the two former. Chester, civilized as well as Wales, had demonstrated that freedom, and not servitude, is the cure of anarchy; as religion, and not atheism, is the true remedy for superstition. . . .