[lit-ideas] Whig 'n' Tory

  • From: Jlsperanza@xxxxxxx
  • To: lit-ideas@xxxxxxxxxxxxx
  • Date: Tue, 10 Jul 2012 18:35:22 -0400 (EDT)

From online source,

"in part perhaps a  disparaging use of whigg "a country bumpkin" (1640s).

But mainly a  shortened form of "Whiggamore" (1649), one of the adherents 
of the Presbyterian  cause in western Scotland who marched on Edinburgh in 
1648 to oppose Charles I.  

Perhaps originally "a horse drover," from dialectal verb whig "to urge  
forward" + mare.

-- but then perhaps not. 

In 1689 "whig" was  first used in reference to members of the British 
political party that opposed  the Tories. 

The American Revolution sense of "colonist who opposes Crown  policies" is 
from 1768 ('not that old, compared to other words' -- J. M. Geary).  

Later, 'whig' was applied to opponents of Andrew Jackson (as early as  
1825), and taken as the name of a political party (1834) that merged into the  
Republican Party in 1854-56.

In the spring of 1834 Jackson's opponents  adopted the name "whig", 
traditional term for critics of executive usurpations.  

James Watson Webb, editor of the New York Courier and Enquirer,  encouraged 
use of the name. 

Henry Clay gave it national currency in a  speech on April 14, 1834, 
likening "the whigs of the present day" to those who  had resisted George III, 
by summer it was official. 

I took this from  Daniel Walker Howe, "What Hath God Wrought," 2007, p.390.

The complex  phrase, "whig historian" is recorded from 1924. 

Whig history is "the  tendency in many historians ... to emphasise certain 
principles of progress in  the past and to produce a story which is the 
ratification if not the  glorification of the present.

Herbert Butterfield, "The Whig  Interpretation of History," 1931.

-- or, as D. Ritchie prefers, 'whig'  

>>a synonym for "wrong."  



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