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Loyalist

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History Brief: Patriots and Loyalists

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Loyalist and the American Revolution

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THE EVAPORATORS - "United Empire Loyalists"

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The Revolutionary War

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Loyalists and Patriots

Loyalists were American colonists who remained loyal to the British Crown during the American Revolutionary War, often called Tories, Royalists, or King's Men at the time. They were opposed by the Patriots, who supported the revolution, and called them "persons inimical to the liberties of America". Prominent Loyalists repeatedly assured the British government that many thousands of them would spring to arms and fight for the crown. The British government acted in expectation of that, especially in the southern campaigns in 1780-81. In practice, the number of Loyalists in military service was far lower than expected since Britain could not effectively protect them except in those areas where Britain had military control. The British were often suspicious of them, not knowing whom they could fully trust in such a conflicted situation; they were often looked down upon. Patriots watched suspected Loyalists very closely and would not tolerate any organized Loyalist opposition. Many outspoken or militarily active Loyalists were forced to flee, especially to their stronghold of New York City. William Franklin, the royal governor of New Jersey and son of Patriot leader Benjamin Franklin, became the leader of the Loyalists after his release from a Patriot prison in 1778. He worked to build Loyalist military units to fight in the war, but the number of volunteers was much fewer than London expected.
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  • Background 

  • Motives for Loyalism 

  • Loyalism and military operations 

  • Emigration from the United States 

  • Return of some expatriates 

  • Loyalists in art 

  • Loyalists in literature