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Question about definition[edit]

Question about definition:

The Wikipedia article apparently defines "Tory" simply as "Conservative".

In the July 1953 Atlantic Monthly article "Can the Liberals Rally?",

Author Joseph S. Clark, Jr. writes, "A liberal is not an intelligent Tory, one who gives little to save much. Neither Winston Churchill nor Senator Taft is a liberal."

To say "a liberal is not a conservative" is hardly enlightening (both in 1953 and now, I think). What nuance is Clark talking about here that I'm not catching?

I wanted to describe how following the collapse of Brian Mulroney's coalition many Blue Tory's (especially in the West) moved to the Reform Party, and many Red Tory's have since aligned with the Liberal Party - but I'm not sure if those who moved to the BQ would be Blue or Red? They were (extreme) decentralists, which makes me think Blue, but many are very socially liberal, which makes me think Red. -- stewacide 23:20, 28 Oct 2003 (UTC)

"Tory's" This is confusing. Are you trying to make a plural with an apostrophe? Tories? Pollinator 23:24, 28 Oct 2003 (UTC)

You're right, my spelling sucks, but that doesn't answer my question. -- stewacide 02:01, 29 Oct 2003 (UTC)

The term "tory" in 17th century Irish history meant either as guerrilla fighter or a bandit, often both at the same time. The original tories fought the Cromwellians on behalf of Charles I and later King William of Orange on behalf of James I. My understanding is that Royalists and Jacobites in England were offensively tories by their opponents, to associate them with what we would now call terrorists. User:jdorney 13:00 13 February 2005 (UTC)

I have also heard that the word, Tory, derives from Tory Island, off the coast of County Donegal, where raparees are alleged to have hidden; however, the etymology given here, and in particular the root tóir, seems much more credible. Go raibh maith agat.--PeadarMaguidhir 10:19, 11 July 2006 (UTC)

sorry, that should say, "offensively called tories etc" User:Jdorney 13:02, 13 February 2005 (UTC)

Is there any possibility it could have just stemmed from Conservatory?

That was my first impression, and that as time passed by, it became a noun of it's own. Any way to confirm it? kura 13:24, 1 February 2006 (UTC)

Don't be silly folks. The etymology of the word is well established. Its 1688 and all that. Jdorney 18:53, 7 April 2006 (UTC)

I don't think "Tory" can apply to groups such as the Cavaliers, Carlists, Vendeans, Cristeros, Chuoans, Miguelists who were counter-revolutionaries, while Tory implies a conservative revolutionary ideology while their opponents were from a more liberal revolutionary ideology. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 15:15, 4 April 2013 (UTC)

To focus only on the American side[edit]

Who wrote this steaming pile of crap?

With the replacement of a German house on the throne,
the stridently Protestant Yankee partisans became Tories.

The re-placement?? To focus only on the American side: John Adams of Massachusetts, 2nd President of the US, was a Yankee Congregationalist. He was very much of that Independent line of which another flower was that British brewer, Oliver Cromwell. Oliver himself, before his Parliamentary career, considered emigration to America. The King on the throne at the time was James Stuart.

The Independents suffered under all kings, but especially Stuarts: the whiff of Catholicism about that House always drove the Independents a bit insane.

This sentiment extended to the War of 1812 fever (see Hartford Convention),
with Yankee President John Adams supporting the UK and Southron President
Thomas Jefferson supporting the French Empire, a Reactionary (Catholic)
government in comparison to the establishment of a Lutheran family in Britain.

Somercet 01:51, 4 January 2007 (UTC)

"coined in the 18th century"[edit]

During the Glorious Revolution of the 17th century, they were called "the faction to be known someday as Tories," I suppose? —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 18:40, 28 November 2007 (UTC)

No - Titus Oates first used the term in 1679 to describe alleged threats to his life from "Tories" meaning "Irish terrorists."--Streona (talk) 21:03, 4 November 2012 (UTC)

Some English-speaking Countries[edit]

The article states that the term "Tory" is used to refer to Conservatives in some English-speaking countries. Are there any countries, other than the UK and Canada, where parties have been called Tory? Otherwise the article should specify these two countries. --The Four Deuces (talk) 09:57, 12 October 2008 (UTC)

Missing the point[edit]

Toryism stems from history and particular national circumstances but more to the point is a set of ideas, attitudes, world views, and style, than the history or current circumstances or fueds. The article totally missed that.

four tildes (WKRob (talk) 08:44, 10 November 2008 (UTC)).


it was a party —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 00:21, 11 December 2008 (UTC)


Under 'UK' 'Tory is the most common colloquial derogatory term for members and supporters of the Conservative Party.' Out of interest what is the most common derogatory term for members and supporters of the Labour Party? Twobells (talk) 19:53, 14 February 2009 (UTC)

I didn't think the term Tory was that derogatory; I think that most neutral news media and even right wing media use the term. I doubt a member of the Conservative Party would feel offended by being called a Tory, therefore I think the definition is very misleading.

Tory is a nickname, not a derogatory term. john k (talk) 05:12, 12 August 2009 (UTC)

Great Britain[edit] is most prominent in Great Britain..
Does this genuinely mean the Island or does in actually mean the Kingdom ie the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northen Ireland? Clarify, anyone. Jubilee♫clipman 03:51, 7 October 2009 (UTC)


"Southron?" You've got a Confederate diehard (ha ha!) around here, somewhere; they're the only ones who use that term. Thomas Jefferson was hardly pro-Catholic, -Bourbon, -Hanover or -Stuart. He was a self-proclaimed son of the Enlightenment and hated kings, popes and Jesuits. Before 1787 in France, Jefferson supported France as a balance to Great Britain. By 1812, he was fervently pro-Revolutionary and thought Napoleon a necessary evil to the establishment of the new regime of Man. I am changing this.

I deleted the following text:

On November 31 in an interview with radio personality Michael Savage, American Noir Author James Ellroy acknowledged he was a Tory.
Elroy responded to Savage by stating, "we are a dying breed."'

It's unclearly phrased, unattributed, and refers to a non-existent date without a year. I'm not certain how relevant it is even if all the problems can be fixed. RandyKaelber (talk) 01:33, 26 January 2010 (UTC)

Three core principles[edit]

Is this section intended to be expanded with explanations for each subtitle? Or are these here just to show what they were? If the latter, should they not simply be bullet points and near the top rather than subtitles?

om,jhbkjhjkhnjhjbjhghjhj —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 01:54, 26 January 2010 (UTC)


I've removed the following phrase from the section on modern usage in the UK:

sometimes but by no means always as a term of abuse

In my experience in England the term is neutral and is quite often used by Tories to describe themselves. If we're going to say it's quite often used as a term of abuse we probably need a good source. --TS 00:37, 8 February 2010 (UTC)

Tory Island[edit]

"There is no reasonable authority for the belief that the term derives from Tory Island in the north west of Ireland and was intended to imply "an Irish peasant"."

This is very silly, Oilean Thorai was named for the same perjorative but ultimately 'badge of honour' reason as the Tory Party, ie a hideaway for brigands. The Irish Peasant remark is offensive, so I am going to remove it. Brendandh (talk) 20:21, 20 February 2011 (UTC)

American Civil War[edit]

I have a few sources that say during the American Civil War (1861-1865), rebels in Alabama referred to Unionists as "Tories." Just thought I should mention it. Maybe whoever has been working on this article can do some resarch a make a section regarding Tories in the Civil War (I noticed the same has already been done for the American Revolution and the Texas Revolution). thanks--$1LENCE D00600D (talk) 05:39, 7 May 2012 (UTC)

Lots of names were used. That does not make them of appreciable encyclopedic value in Wikipedia. Collect (talk) 12:19, 7 May 2012 (UTC)

The Texas Section seems to be added as an after thought. If anything it should be included under the united states section. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 22:54, 27 October 2016 (UTC)

Requested move[edit]

The following discussion is an archived discussion of a requested move. Please do not modify it. Subsequent comments should be made in a new section on the talk page. Editors desiring to contest the closing decision should consider a move review. No further edits should be made to this section.

The result of the move request was: 'No consensus.  Sandstein  20:16, 21 February 2013 (UTC)

ToryToryism – keeping the {{other uses}} template at the top of the page. The article is plainly about the political philosophy of Toryism and is the counterpoint to our page on Whiggism, while the history of the Tories is at Tory (British political party). The infobox is already headed "Toryism". Relisted. BDD (talk) 20:09, 12 February 2013 (UTC) Moonraker (talk) 07:13, 15 January 2013 (UTC)


  • Support disambiguation the article should be moved, and replaced by the disambiguation page. Clearly the British party isn't what should sit here either, considering the content of the Toyrism article. -- (talk) 13:53, 15 January 2013 (UTC)
  • Oppose What is blindingly obvious to the proposer is not blindingly obvious to me, the "natural search term" for Americans is "Tory" and not "Toryism." As no gain to the utility of the encyclopedia would occut, maintain status quo. Collect (talk) 14:17, 15 January 2013 (UTC)
Does it not depend on what you are searching for? If your search is "Tory", then it seems likely you want to know about some kind of Tories. If your search is "Toryism", then this is the page which tells you about it. Moonraker (talk) 13:10, 16 January 2013 (UTC)
Look at this way: Googlebooks lists initially over 10 million book hits for "Tory" and 500K for "Toryism" roughly a 20:1 ratio. HighBeam has 340K hits for "Tory" and 1100 for "Toryism", a 300:1 ratio. Questia finds 165K articles and books with "Tory", and 2300 articles and books for "Toryism" - more than a 70:1 ratio. The NYT search find 80K hits for "Tory" and 900 for "Toryism", nearly a 90:1 ratio. I suggest that it is reasonably clear that "Toryism" is not the common search term at all. Cheers. Collect (talk) 13:36, 16 January 2013 (UTC)
  • Oppose The article also deals extensively with Canada, where Tory, not Toryism, is the commonly-used term. Given the worldwide approach of this article, the article is much more than mereley being the counterpoint to Whiggism. --Skeezix1000 (talk) 14:56, 15 January 2013 (UTC)
But "Tory" is not the commonly-used term for Toryism, which is what this page deals with. Moonraker (talk) 13:10, 16 January 2013 (UTC)
Reading the article, any such fundamental difference between the two is not evident, and the article is quite clearly deals extensively with the former, not just the latter. --Skeezix1000 (talk) 16:27, 16 January 2013 (UTC)
  • Comment It should be separate articles. "Tory" is the formal or informal term for various factions/parties in the UK, colonial America and Canada, as well as the colloquial term for modern conservative parties in the UK and Canada. Toryism is the ideology of those parties but (small caps) is often used as a synonym for conservatism, because the term "conservative", particulary in the U.S., has come to be confused with traditional liberalism and right-wing extremism. TFD (talk) 06:46, 17 January 2013 (UTC)


The above discussion is preserved as an archive of a requested move. Please do not modify it. Subsequent comments should be made in a new section on this talk page or in a move review. No further edits should be made to this section.

some claims[edit]

The article is clearly more about people than about "philosophy" and thus is now reworded to make this clear. Also there are a few claims which might be obvious to someone, but which are absolutely not obvious to me - claims that "most" fall into any religious category requires a real source, for example. (Frinstance the claim that most are Anglican - I would note a large number of Presbyterian "tories" in the UK and in Canada, etc. just as a start, and a large number of Presbyterian "loyalists" from the US. Presbyterians !- High Church Anglicans. Collect (talk) 13:50, 16 January 2013 (UTC)

Actually support among Presbyterians for Toryism was historically low, both in the U.K. and Canada. TFD (talk) 00:37, 17 January 2013 (UTC)
Source for your amazing claim? I suggest many of the Irish Presbyterians were quite notable Tories in case you had not known it. I take it you have a source for Dr. Paisley etc. being "High Church Anglican"? At least two Conservative PMs of Canada were also -- Presbyterian. "Historically low"? Really? Cheers. Collect (talk) 02:05, 17 January 2013 (UTC)
Paisley was never a Tory. And while it is true that Macdonald was a Conservative, his most bitter rivals - George Brown, Alexander Mackenzie and Oliver Mowat - were Presbyterians. Most Presbyterians were Liberals from William Lyon Mackenzie to William Lyon Mackenzie King. J.K. Galbraith provided an interesting connection in his book The Scotch. Of course Presbyterianism is much more consistent with classical liberalism than with Toryism. TFD (talk) 02:58, 17 January 2013 (UTC)
"The wealthy men who came to dominate Winnipeg's politics and social life were mostly of relatively humble origins in Ontario and the British Isles, and the majority were Presbyterians, Methodists, Congregationalists, or 'low' Anglicans; the Tory-Anglican 'family compact' that wielded disproportionate influence in Ontario had virtually no equivalent in Manitoba."[1] TFD (talk) 07:11, 17 January 2013 (UTC)
Interesting that you provide zero sources for what you "know" again. Did you note the the Conservative Prime Ministers of Canada who were Presbyterian and not "High Church Anglican"? The Presbyterian Tories in Scotland (noting the Church of Scotland is a Presbyterian church) ? Your Manitoba bit says absolutely nothing to back your inane claim that being "High Church Anglican" is related to being a "Tory" at all!
The DUP in Northern Ireland is the "traditionalist conservative" party in Northern Ireland, last I looked. Your mileage appears to differ. See O'Donnell's memoir [2] the Presbyterian Tories streamed into Porter's camp, and 'Porter and Fair Rents' won the day.
William Pitt the Younger - who is generally regarded as a founder of modern Toryism - was most emphatically not "High Church Anglican" according to any biography I found. Yet you insist on a claim for which you provide zero sourcing? Sorry, Charlie - you need actual sources for claims in Wikipedia articles, not what you "know" to be the "truth" - especially when hordes of counterexamples to your claims are so easily shown. Collect (talk) 12:59, 17 January 2013 (UTC)
See "Church and King", p. 94, "The High Church religious connotations of 'Toryism' were recognized from an early date. 'High Church' and 'Tory' were almost synonymous terms during the reign of Queen Anne."[3] The connection between the Tory Party of Upper Canada and the high church is explained in the article "The High Church and Tory System."[4] Your description of Paisley as a Tory is synthesis. I would be interested if can provide any sources for your statement.
Your 1910 source written by an Irish nationalist is a little confusing. It says that Orangemen, most of whom were Presbyterians, voted with the Catholics, not for Porter. But Porter was a Liberal and "Tory" was probably meant as an epithet, or an anachronist reference to the Liberal faction that would support the Tories five years later.
TFD (talk) 17:25, 17 January 2013 (UTC)
Queen Anne -- is dead. Long since. You wish other uses of Tory wrt Ireland? In case you had forgotten - the Scots-Irish were largely Presbyterian. And the Scots were also largely Presbyterian. Even the "Tories" in Scotland. William Pitt the Younger, as noted before, was not "High Church Anglican." (BTW, as C of E was an "established church" and most PMs are not noted as "High Church" it is impossible to automatically assign them as "High Church Anglican" without a great deal of SYNTH). We do know Disraeli was not "High Church" however. Balfour was Presbyterian. Law was Presbyterian (very). Baldwin was absolutely "High Church." Chamberlain was Unitarian - thus absolutely not "High Church Anglican." Winston Churchill - noted as "not particularly religious" [5]. Eden was son of an atheist. Surely enough that your desired stereotype of Tory as "High Church Anglican" is debunked by the religions of a clear majority of Conservative UK PMs! Collect (talk) 19:49, 17 January 2013 (UTC)
That is synthesis. Cf. the U.S. While there are African American Republicans it is nonetheless correct to say that they form a core constituency of the Democratic Party. Tories have never been strong in Scotland, usually called themselves "Unionists" in order to distance themselves from Toryism and are a third party in the assembly. Churchill was brought up high church and Disraeli converted to it, and Eden did not inherit his father's atheism. If Churchill was "not particularly religious", it probably was because he was high Anglican. Note that the core constituency of the Liberal party was Dissenters, low churchmen, Presbyterians. TFD (talk) 20:35, 17 January 2013 (UTC)
Wohoo! When a clear majority of UK Tory Prime Ministers are not "High Church Anglican" it is not SYNTH to suggest that your claim that the Tories are almost all "High Church Anglican" without you furnishing any cite after Queen Anne (she is dead, Jim), means the onus is on you to defend your stereotyping of that group. With genuine reliable sources. And I would never say "almost all Democrats are blacks" by a long shot - there are no reliable sources making either claim. And Wikipedia, strangely enough, requires actual sources, not what you know, or what was true under Queen Anne (she is still dead). BTW, show me a real cite for Disraeli being "High Church" or for Churchill -- he was noted as "not particularly religious" in the cite I gave above. Gladstone, OTOH, his nemesis was "High Church Anglican" and "not a Tory." [6] contrary to your glib assertion that the Liberals were not "High Church Anglicans" at all. Cheers. Collect (talk) 21:45, 17 January 2013 (UTC)
You are confusing the PMs with the core constituency. You are trying to shoehorn your personal belief system into Toryism, which is quite amusing. Were there any Tory PMs who were not high Anglican before Chamberlain? Chamberlain btw was a Liberal Unionist, a party that merged with the Conservatives to form the Conservative and Unionist Party - he was more old liberal than Tory, just like Thatcher. Gladstone is an interesting case. He was Tory who became a Liberal but continued to be high church. Stop with the strawman argument btw - saying that the core support for Toryism comes from the high church does not mean that all Tories are high church and no non-Tories are high church, and more than saying that most African Americans support the Democrats means that they all do and no one else does. TFD (talk) 22:30, 17 January 2013 (UTC)
That is pure graspong at straws now! You said more-or-less "Tories are High Church Anglicans" and you would now assert "Tores who are not the party leaders are High Church Anglicans"? Sorry -- fails to wash at all. The point is the stereotype is not supported by facts or by actual reliable sources. At least since Queen Anne. She is still dead. Cheers. Collect (talk) 23:26, 17 January 2013 (UTC)
Interesting arguments Collect. You think that the party of the British bluebloods is the same as the Tea Party of the American rednecks. Do you understand the difference between a gentleman and a redneck? TFD (talk) 03:45, 18 January 2013 (UTC)
I made no such effing claims and you dang well know it. Ascribing such positions to another editor is absurd, egregious, and inane. What I pointed out is that the claim of a "High Church Anglican" being all or nearly all Tories was inapt, false, and unsourced. And Queen Anne is still dead. Cheers. Collect (talk) 13:18, 18 January 2013 (UTC)

'radical' liberalism?[edit]

The lede contrasts Conservatism with "radical liberalism". The Liberalism page has no mention of this and it strongly appears to be pushing POV. Why, as neutral encyclopedians, should the word 'radical' remain? Skyemoor (talk) 18:57, 11 September 2013 (UTC)

They called themselves radicals. TFD (talk) 22:10, 11 September 2013 (UTC)

Use of the word Tory in Australia[edit]

I have noticed this part here "In Australia, "Tory" is used as a pejorative term by members of the Australian Labor Party to refer to members of the conservative coalition Liberal and National parties"

I could not access the source of this on Google Books however I noticed that the author has noted that it is a "philosophical examination of some of the basic concepts of political discourse" (

This term does not appear to be in use, I could only find a previous ALP Deputy PM using it once in 2012 stating "I like fighting Tories"

Would not call this an average term or a 'pejorative term- even by the Australian Labor Party.. When I read the article I immediately thought that the Deputy PM likes fighting the British Conservative Party.

The 'pejorative term' for the right-wing is racist/nationalist as the pejorative term for the left-wing is simply communist.

The author A.W. Sparkes made the claim in the 1994 for his philosophical book and a member of the ALP has used it once. Other than that, this term is not used by the left-wing often (or at all?). The ALP does not seem to use the word Tory when referring to the Coalition (if we do a Google search). If they did use it the average Australian would think they are referring to the British Conservative Party. This appears to be a once only event.

I think we should have a discussion on this and work it out, let me know what you think. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 10:24, 8 December 2013 (UTC)

Here is the link. See pp. 202-203.) Note the book was published in 1994. I imagine the term has probably gone into disuse. Unfortunately the book does not provide any sources. Let's see if we can find anyone else who has written about this. TFD (talk) 18:04, 8 December 2013 (UTC)


This article reads like it has been tampered with. There are tense changes even in the first few paragraphs "supported/support" etc. It needs re-edited. Also, someone has ludicrously inserted individuals such as C S Lewis, J R R Tolkien and Peter Hitchens as adherents of Toryism, a political movement in the United Kingdom that had ceased to exist long before any of these men were born. This needs to be rectified.

This problem has arisen because the article has been badly edited so as to change the focus of the article from the old political movement of Toryism to simply the term "Tory". The confusion is exacerbated by the fact that in modern Britain the term "Tory" is a nickname for a person that supports the United Kingdom's Conservative Party. But modern British conservatism is NOT Toryism. This article used to draw the distinction nicely and pointed out the differences between the two.

Perhaps it would be best merely to make alterations by splitting this into separate pages? I note that there is concern that the subject matter ought to focus on more than the political movement as it existed in Britain, but also US, Canada etc. I think the article is wrong to focus on the word "Tory" rather than "Toryism". If someone searches "Tory" why not redirect them to "Toryism" and then within the context of that article explain the meaning of Tory (a person who supports Toryism) and draw out the difference between the old Tories and the use of that term nowadays (at least in Britain) to mean "Conservative". — Preceding unsigned comment added by Bunlar (talkcontribs) 02:22, 22 August 2014 (UTC)

I agree with some of your comments. However, Toryism is seen as a political position that evolved at least from the late 18th century until today, even if the Conservative Party has been overrun by neoliberalism. TFD (talk) 03:58, 22 August 2014 (UTC)