Tory, Whig

In 18th century England there were two main groups of politicians (not parties in the modern sense). One tended to support the king, the Church of England and the established order. Some of them were suspected of supporting the Stuart monarchy which had been driven out in 1688. Their nickname "Tory" meant Irish bandits, perhaps supportive of James the second the last Stuart king, and a Catholic. The Tories evolved into the Conservative Party.

The other group were usually called "Whig", named after the Scottish equivalent of Irish bandits. They tended to support freedom of religion (up to a point) and some political reform. They evolved during the 19th century into the Liberal Party.

The world's last political party called Whig was probably the True Whig Party of Liberia which ruled as the single party vehicle of the Americo-Liberian aristocracy.

Last revised 6/7/95


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