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Patriot, Loyalist, or Neutral? During the American Revolution, most American colonists had to decide to support the War for Independence or remain loyal.

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Presentation on theme: "Patriot, Loyalist, or Neutral? During the American Revolution, most American colonists had to decide to support the War for Independence or remain loyal."— Presentation transcript:

1 Patriot, Loyalist, or Neutral? During the American Revolution, most American colonists had to decide to support the War for Independence or remain loyal to the British and King George III. Some Americans could not, or did not, choose a side and remained neutral during the war.

2 Patriot (or Rebels) Minority Movement: % Younger Felt recent British laws on violated their rights as British citizens (e.g. taxing without consent, quartering soldiers in citizens’ homes, and denying colonists the right to a trial, trade restrictions). Many live in the New England Colonies, especially Massachusetts Most numerous in Presbyterian & Congregationalist areas

3 Loyalists tended to be… About 20%- 30% Educated Aristocratic (wealthy) Older Wealthy landowners People who benefitted from the crown: Anglican clergymen, king’s officers People with close business or political ties to Britain

4 High number of Loyalists in New York City, Quaker Pennsylvania, New Jersey, and in the Southern Colonies (Charleston). Least numerous in New England Many agreed that the American colonists had suffered at the hands of the British but the Loyalists hoped that a peaceful reconciliation with British government was possible. Most numerous where the Anglican Church (Church of England) was strongest- taught to obey the king

5 Neutral? Why do you believe that many people decided to stay neutral during the war?

6 Various Reasons for Choosing Sides The Iroquois Confederation: had a working relationship with British officials and was angered by colonists encroaching into their territory, sided with British. Tenant farmers: often choose their position based on which side their landowner supported. –For example, if a Patriot landowner was cruel and always raised the rent, the tenant would be a Loyalist, but if the Patriot landowner was kind and collected a fair rent, the tenant would be a Patriot. Non-English speaking colonists: Viewed the conflict between the British government and the Patriots as family quarrel among the English. They wanted to stay out of it and be left alone. Colonists in debt with British creditors: Often became Patriots could get them out of paying back their debt.

7 Dangers Feared that violent change would make things worse During the Revolution taking a Loyalist stance was dangerous, especially in the New England colonies Many Loyalists were brutally attacked and killed. Their property was destroyed or confiscated. About 80,000 fled the American Colonies for their own safety. Some Loyalists moved to England and many more moved to nearby Canada. 50,000 volunteered to serve in British cause Served as spies, incited Indians, attacked Patriot homes


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