Sociology Index


A Tory is a member of the Tory political party. The term Tory originated in 17th century Britain and referred to that party, supported largely by aristocratic interests. Tory was resistant to democratic ideals and the growing political and economic power of the middle class. Toryism is the principles or practices of Tories. Torydom is the realm or rule of Tories. Tory is historically any of the Irish people dispossessed by English settlers who became outlaws in 17th century Ireland. Tory is historically a member of the English, later British parliamentary party supporting the established religious and political order, that gave rise to the Conservative Party in the 1830s. Thomas Babington Macaulay opined that the political labels "Whig" and "Tory" are "two nicknames which, though originally given in insult, were soon assumed with pride, which are still in daily use.

Union sympathizer in the Confederate States during the American Civil War was referred to as Tory. An American colonist loyal to Britain during the American Revolution was also referred to as Tory. Tory now refers to member or supporter of a political party analogous to the British Conservative Party; a person of conservative views or temperament.

After the Revolution of 1688, the Tories came to be identified with Stuart loyalists. In the eighteenth century, in social terms, Tories were often identified with the "old" landowning gentry class (the country squires), with the conservative milieu of Oxford, and with High Church elements of the Anglican establishment.

"The American Tory", by William H. Nelson, 1960. The monograph is a study of the Loyalists or Tories of the American Revolution. - Fondren Library - Rice University. William H. Nelson began his study of the Tories as a graduate student at Columbia University. After graduate school, he continued his research which resulted in his work The American Tory. This collection consists of a bound typescript of the book The American Tory. The author notes that the history of the Tories remains somewhat forgotten as a result of their defeat in the war; however, the author seeks to examine the depth of their quarrel with their fellow Americans and the totality of their defeat.