The American Revolution

Patriots and Loyalists

by DDZ

 

The rise of truly American patriots started in 1765 with the foundation of the Sons of Liberty. Colonists became already divided in their feeling toward Great Britain when the Sugar Act was enacted in 1764, a modified version of the Molasses Act of 1733. The act was later repealed due to a widespread rebellion, and replaced with the Stamp Act in 1765. Besides radicals who demonstrated against the Stamp Act of 1765, the groups were supported by sophisticated members, such as Samuel Adams, Benjamin Franklin and Patrick Henry.
Patriots and loyalists are associated within the time of 1763 (end of the French and Indian War), and 1783 where the revolutionary war ended with the treaty of Paris.

 

Throughout the 13 colonies there were people who supported independence and called themselves patriots as well as there were colonists who supported England. The committees of correspondence had been only one organization where patriots were active. Other individuals wrote pamphlets such as Thomas Paine with Common Sense, or Benjamin Franklin who wrote gazette articles to inform about British tyranny.
Paul Revere, a silversmith, played an outstanding role in the Colonial Cause. Revere became known as “the” patriot in the colonial cause. Not only because of his engraving of the Boston Massacre where he blamed the Loyalist General Presdun for giving orders to fire, but also because of his Midnight Ride where he warned American Militia Forces that the British were about to attack. The relationship between the colonist and the British was on its very edge in 1773. Acts were enacted and later repealed due to a widespread rebellion. In 1773, most of the acts were repealed but the Tea Act. Even though the Tea Act wasn´t a financial burden on the colonists it was a matter of the principle: “No taxation without representation” The rebellion was high as ever and erupted in the Boston Tea Party on December the 16th , 1773.

 

Again, while patriots were all the people who supported independence from the British crown, the loyalists wanted to stick with the mother country on every price. Even though it is impossible to know the exact number of American colonist who favored or opposed independence, here´s a list of the most known patriots and loyalists:

 

Patriots & Founding Fathers of the U.S. :
⋆ John Adams  ⋆ Benjamin Franklin ⋆ Alexander Hamilton ⋆ Patrick Henry (great speaker give me liberty or give me death) ⋆ John Jay ⋆ Thomas Jefferson ⋆ James Madison ⋆ George Washington (commander of the Continental Army)

 

Other Patriots:
Nathan Hale (young captain in the Continental Army) , Thomas Paine ( patriot and author) , Paul Revere (Boston Massacre engraving , Midnight Ride)

 

Loyalists:    
John Burgoyne ( British General who planned to capture the state of New York during the Revolutionary War)
Joseph Brant (Native American ally who fought against patriots and enlisted with the British because he wanted to stop settlers from Iroquois land.)


Sources:

Boyer, Paul, et al. The Enduring Vision: A History of the American People. 7th ed. Boston: Wadsworth, 2009.

Brogan, H. The Penguin History of the United States of America. London: Penguin Books, 1985.

Engler, Bernd. Key concepts of American cultural history. Trier: Wiss. Verl. Trier, 2005.

Greene, Jack. The American revolution - its character and limits .New York: New York Univ. Pr., 1987.

Hamby, Alonzo. Outline of U.S. History. Ohio: Bureau of International Information Programs / Department of State, 2005.