What Is the Difference Between a Tory and a Whig?

The terms Tory and Whig refer to the members of the first political parties formed in England in the 17th century after the dissolution of the Cavalier Court by Charles II. The Tories were more conservative and remained loyal to the monarchy of Charles II, whereas the Whigs were more liberal and open to reform.

The Tories and the Whigs disagreed on numerous matters of internal and external policy. For example, the Tories opposed American Independence, whereas the Whigs supported it. Even though the relationships of the Whigs and Tories changed through the years, they remained the main political parties in England until the 20th century.