Why do history buffs use Loyalist instead of Torie discussing the Revolutionary War?

My school’s history books always refered to colonists loyal to the crown as Tories. The revolutionary war was repeatedly covered in nearly every grade throughout high school. Questions about the Tories and their siding with the British were always on our tests.

Today, I see the word loyalist used? I read every article about the Revolutionary War that I come across. US history is one of my biggest interest.

Here’s an example. The reporter uses loyalist throughout the article. Except for George Washington’s direct quote. He uses Torie. The term actually used by colonists during the war.

Btw, I am very, very excited about The First Conspiracy by Brad Meltzer. I pre-ordered it and it comes out Jan 2. Meltzer’s books are always good. He usually writes research based fiction. But, this story is so fascinating that it didn’t require fictionalizing.

A guess: Tories might be confused by today‘s readers with the present Conservative Party in the UK, while Loyalists is descriptive and needs no familiarity with the usage with the period.

I hadn’t considered that Tory is still used today in England. I see that it could be confusing.

Btw, to set these events in context. The conflict between Gov Tryon and Washington is in late 1775 and early 1776.

The Battle of Long Island is fought Aug 27, 1776. British forces capture New York. Washington and the Continental Army are driven out.

Loyalist is also the term used in Canadian histories, not Tories. Our Conservative Party is nicknamed the Tories but has nothing to do with the Loyalists.

We have a Loyalist monument in our local Legislature park, erected by local families of Loyalist descent.

Similarly in Aust with the LIBs referred to as Tory, though move by LABs, than themselves.
During the republican debate the monarchists were also referred to as Tories, not Loyalists.

Maybe if they’d lost then history would call them Loyalists.

Not just modern, the first usage of Tory was also very different than it might’ve been used in the Revolutionary war context.

It wouldn’t have made sense for Washington to describe his enemies as loyal, and his friends as disloyal.

The revolutionaries were loyal to their friends and to their state: the conservative ruling class /monarchists were loyal to the conservative ruling class / monarchy. I think that “Tory” is still a good word for that political ideology, so my question is, how did the loaded term “Loyalist” come to be popular in the USA?

It’s easy to understand Canada: in Canada, the “Loyalists” won, so they are loyal to the ongoing Canada, plus they get to call themselves whatever they want, but when did loyal Americans start calling the traitor class loyal?

I see the United Empire Loyalist Association is still active in Canada, although probably not much more than the Daughters of the American Revolution.

Also, not all loyalists were affiliated with the Conservative Party, I would think.

Loyalty to the Crown is somewhat of a reoccurring theme in Canada, there’s even a reference to this in Ontario’s motto: Ut incepit fidelis sic permanent “loyal she began, loyal she remains.”

As others have already said, the word Tory has a completely different meaning here (and in the UK too).

Being loyal is fine; dogs are loyal. It’s still better to be a Patriot.

Just quickly searching it looks like there were refences to both “Tories” and “Loyalist” in literature from the 1920s.

In my AP American History class in the last 70s, the teacher used the term “Loyalist” to describe them. It’s not really a new usage.

From wiki

and about Tories in Texas

It seems the term was well known in the colonies, and seems to still be well known in the mid 19th century. It would be interesting to see how far back the usage goes.

Which the people loyal to George III considered themselves to be.

Did they?

The critics of British rule called themselves “Whigs” after 1768, identifying with members of the British Whig party who favored similar colonial policies. In Britain at the time, the word “patriot” had a negative connotation and was used as a negative epithet for “a factious disturber of the government”, according to Samuel Johnson.[1]

In war, the only moniker that matters is “winner”. The rest is silly propaganda.

That was my thought. Even back in the Revolutionary War times, Tory was a political faction in England. I assume it was applied to loyalists in America because the Tory faction was the one pushing England to pursue the war. IIRC from Barbara Tuchman’s March of Folly, there was significant dissent about the war in Britain, to the extent that they had to hire Hessian mercenaries because so many English were not interested in joining the army. (She makes a parallel with Vietnam War dissent in the 60’s and 70’s).

The reasons described with causing confusion with current usage seem good enough for me.

Growing up and being taught in a public school in the next town over from Concord MA, my teachers and text books did not use ‘Tories’ to describe the ‘British Loyalists’ We were taught they were called Tories at the time but most the contexts described them as loyalists.

From the linked article,

Prior to the Revolution, colonists who supported British authority called themselves Tories or royalists, identifying with the political philosophy of traditionalist conservatism dominant in Great Britain. During the Revolution, these persons became known primarily as Loyalists. Afterward, many emigrated north to the remaining British territories in Canada.[/]so it appears that this change actually occurred during the war.