Friday, 3 August 2012

Tory

Toryism is a traditionalist and conservative political philosophy which grew out of the Cavalier faction in the Wars of the Three Kingdoms. It is a prominent ideology in the politics of the United Kingdom, but also features in parts of The Commonwealth, particularly in Canada. Historically it also had exponents in former parts of the British Empire, for instance the Loyalists of British North America who sided with Britain and Crown during the Revolutionary War. The Tory ethics can be summed up with the phrase 'God, King and Country'. Tories generally advocate monarchism, are usually of a High Church Anglican or Recusant Catholic religious heritage, and are opposed to the radical liberalism of the Whig faction.

The Tory political faction emerged within the Parliament of England to uphold the legitimist rights of James, Duke of York to succeed his brother Charles II to the throne. James II was a Catholic, while the state institutions had broken from the Catholic Church—this was an issue for the Exclusion Bill supporting Whigs, the political heirs to the nonconformist Roundheads and Covenanters. There were two Tory ministries under James II; the first led by Lord Rochester, the second by Lord Belasyse. Some were later involved in his usurpation with the Whigs, which they saw as defending the Anglican Church. Tory sympathy for the Stuarts ran deep however and some supported Jacobitism, which saw them isolated by the Hanoverians until Lord Bute's ministry under George III.

Conservatism emerged by the end of the 18th century—which synthesised moderate Whig positions and some of the old Tory values to create a new political ideology, in opposition to the French Revolution. The likes of Edmund Burke and William Pitt the Younger led the way in this. Due to this faction eventually leading to the formation of the Conservative Party, members of that party are colloquially referred to as Tories, even if they are not traditionalists. Actual adherents to traditional Toryism in contemporary times tend to be referred to as High Tories to avoid confusion.

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