The New International Encyclopædia/Whig and Tory
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Whig and Tory
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WHIG AND TORY (Whig, probably abbreviated from whiggamore, a nickname for the Presbyterian peasantry of the western lowlands of Scotland, from whiggam, apparently a word to urge on a horse, from whig, to jog along; Tory, from Ir. toridhe, tornidhe, tornighe, pursuer, plunderer, from torighim, to fancy, pursue). The names which for about two centuries were popularly applied to the two great political parties in Great Britain. Both were at first names of reproach. Whig was meant to imply that those who were thus designated were no better than the Presbyterian rebels of Scotland, while the name Tory was intended to imply some connection with Irish brigands, who were supposed to desire a Catholic king. The names came into use about 1680. In general, the Tories were adherents of the ancient Constitution of England, and the supporters of regal and ecclesiastical authority, while the Whigs as a rule favored reform in the direction of a more democratic government. In the eighteenth century, however, the Whigs represented to a great extent the aristocratic oligarchy which ruled England. In 1832, when the Reform Bill was passed through the efforts of a wing of the Whig Party, the two old parties really disappeared, the Tories being ultimately succeeded by the Conservatives and the Whigs by the Liberals.