Loyalists and Patriots


This page describes the differences in beliefs between Loyalists and Patriots


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Loyalists Drawing


Loyalists/Patriots Activities on MrNussbaum.com

Summer Soldier and Sunshine Patriot: Interesting activity where students draw illustrations of the figurative and literal meaning behind Thomas Paine’s characterizations in The Crisis.
Revolutionary Era Timeline Decoding: Fun activity where students have to decode a message by determining the dates and times of when important events of the American Revolution occur.
NEW – Symbols of the Revolution – Join, or Die and Corporate Logos: This activity requires students to learn about Ben Frankllin’s famous Join or Die political cartoon, and then, to think of the symbolism behind popular corporate logos they know.
Loyalists and Patriots – The Final Conversation Between Ben and William Franklin: This requires students to use their knowledge of the beliefs of Loyalists and Patriots to make the final dialogue between Ben Franklin (Patriot) and his son (Loyalist).
Loyalists (Tories) Reading Comprehension – This is a printable reading comprehension exercise that includes this passage and seven multiple choice questions.


During the time of the American Revolution, many residents of the colonies were unsure whether the idea of separating from England was a wise one. Some were strictly opposed to it. These individuals were called Loyalists. Loyalists, called “Tories” by Patriots, opposed the Revolution for many reasons:

* They believed in the sanctity of their shared cultural heritage with the British and had a strong sense of duty and loyalty toward the British Crown.
* They may have benefitted from the Trans-Atlantic trade with England and were worried that war could threaten their livelihood.
* They were worried that an independent nation would be reduced to anarchy and chaos.
* They thought the British military would simply crush any rebellion and additional punishments would follow.
* They believed that Parliament was the legitimate authority over the colonies and that acts of rebellion amounted to insubordination.
* They enjoyed being part of the British Empire, considered the most powerful in the world.
* African-American slaves living in the 13 colonies were promised freedom by the British for joining the cause.

Throughout the Revolutionary War, individuals and groups identified as Loyalists were persecuted by Patriots. Loyalists were subject to personal attacks, imprisonment, harassment, and seizure of their property. Many were forced to flee. Some fled to Loyalists strongholds such as New York City, while others fled to Canada or the West Indies. While many such people started their lives anew, others eventually returned to America where they were treated harshly at first, but eventually re-integrated into society.