In the American Revolution

Overall Experience

Colonists who stayed Loyal to the king were called, Loyalists. They were also referred to as Tories. Many loyalists were wealthy and well educated colonists who believed breaking away from Britain would cause Anarchy. They were also satisfied with their wealthy livings and feared that a large change would disrupt their lives. But loyalists were not only made up of this upper class. Many British veterans of the Seven Years War were loyalists, as well as immigrants from non English regions of the British Isles. A large portion of the Loyalists were made up of African Americans who were promised freedom. Many other ethnic minorities also chose to join sides with the British due to the belief that England would allow a greater religious tolerance in the colonies.

African Americans in the War

Many African Americans fled to the British troops to offer different services. Some served as soldiers, servants, laborers and spies. Many African Americans formed their own regiments where they would attack patriot militias. Black Loyalist Colonel Tye and his regiment became legendary for capturing Patriots and their supplies. After the war African Americans experienced different fates, some escaped to freedom, some where abandoned and some were tricked into being resold into slavery.

White Loyalists

White loyalists did not face enslavement but instead faced harassment from patriot colonists. Many loyalists viewed the patriots as barbaric. One woman, Catherine Van Cortlandt wrote a letter discussing the patriot troops staying in her home, "They were the most disorderly of species," and "their officers were from the dregs of the people." It was obvious that most loyalists saw themselves as superior to patriots, while the patriots viewed the loyalists as traitors to America. Ironically the loyalists viewed the patriots as traitors to England. The loyalists faces harsh punishments and ridicule from patriots. In areas that were heavily dominated by patriots then the loyalists were harassed, in the areas that were dominated by loyalists the patriots were harassed.


Loyalists only consisted of sixteen percent of the colonists in America. Loyalist often broke up families, because some would feel the call to remain loyal, while perhaps ones brother desired freedom from England. Fidelity to the crown has always been taught to generations of the British in the new world. So as war broke out, most loyalists saw it their duty to remain loyal to the king. If the British had won the war, loyalist would have been praised and held in high regard and the patriots such as George Washington would have been disgraced. If England had own, the loyalists would have been Patriots and the patriots would have been rebels.