British political party

The Whigs were a political faction and then a political party in the parliaments of England, Scotland, Great Britain and the United Kingdom. Between the 1680s and 1850s, they contested power with their rivals, the Tories. The British prime minister was usually from one of the two parties.

Preceded byCountry party
Succeeded byLiberal Party
Constitutional monarchism,
Classical liberalism,
Rule of law,
International affiliationNone
Coloursorange; buff and blue

The Whigs played a central role in the Glorious Revolution of 1688, and were the enemies of the Stuart kings and pretenders, who were Roman Catholic. The Whigs took full control of the government in 1715. They held it until King George III, coming to the throne in 1760, allowed Tories back in.[1]

When they held power, the Whigs purged (got rid of) the Tories from all major positions in government, the army, the Church of England, the legal profession and local officials.[2]

Their most famous leader was Robert Walpole, who kept control of the government from 1721 to 1742.


  1. Brewer, John 1981. Party ideology and popular politics at the accession of George III.
  2. Jones J.R. 1961. The first Whigs: the politics of the exclusion crisis, 1678–1683. Oxford University Press, 4.

Other websitesEdit

  Media related to Whigs (British political party) at Wikimedia Commons

  • "Whig and Tory" . Encyclopædia Britannica (11th ed.). 1911.
  • Gilman, D. C.; Peck, H. T.; Colby, F. M., eds. (1905). "Whig and Tory" . New International Encyclopedia (1st ed.). New York: Dodd, Mead.
  • Karl Marx on the Tories and the Whigs (1852)