Conservatives have either ignored Burke’s support for colonial rebellion, or maintained that his career was split between two phases: an early period of support for the ‘liberal’ cause of America and a later ‘conservative’ reaction to the Revolution in France. Burke certainly changed his opinions over the course of his career, but these shifts cannot be captured by presuming a contradiction between his support for American resistance and his aversion to the revolution in France. Representations of Burke as a renegade from early idealism are based on the dogmatic assumption that the American and French revolutions were fundamentally ‘the same’. Yet for Burke these two events were absolutely different, and in fact he had good reasons for insisting on their difference.
from Richard Bourke (2015) “Burke was no conservative” in Aeon Magazine (online).
This episode of philosophybites features Richard Bourke of Queen Mary, London University, putting Edmund Burke into his historical context and outlining his key ideas. More here including abstracts of articles by Richard Bourke on Edmund Burke.
Particularly interesting are his comments towards the end of the nine minutes on where Burke was shown empirically to be wrong, and on where Burke is relevant today.