Tory Party

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Tory Party British political party traditionally opposed to the Whigs. In 1670, the supporters of the Stuart monarchy were called Tories (Irish bandits) by their opponents. Under James II, the Tories represented the interests of landowners and supported the royal prerogative. They maintained close links to the Church of England and favoured an isolationist foreign policy. The Tories, led by Robert Harley, were at their most powerful in the reign of Queen Anne. They were discredited by association with the Jacobites, and were excluded from power when George I acceded to the throne. In the late 18th century, accusations of Toryism were levelled at independent Whigs, such as William Pitt (the Younger). The Reform Bill of 1832 split the party, and the Conservative Party was formed from its remnants. See also Peel;Reform Acts