Describe the opposing attitudes toward Great Britain that colonists held prior to and during the Revolutionary War. How did different social groups respond? What factors influenced their decisions to support the patriots, support the British, or remain neutral?

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There were different attitudes in the colonies toward Great Britain prior to and during the Revolutionary War. Each group had reasons for supporting the side they did. Since you have asked several questions in this post, I will mainly focus on your first statement and briefly touch upon the others.

There were people who believed we should remain loyal to Great Britain. These people believed that Great Britain had the right to run the colonies in any manner that they wanted. They believed that Great Britain took a risk in establishing and in running the colonies. This gave them the authority to do what they felt what was necessary in order to make them successful. These people also were concerned there would be chaos if Great Britain was defeated.

Some people wanted to remain loyal to Great Britain for economic reasons. The colonists got many products from Great Britain that were not made in the colonies. Some people worked for the British government. These people would have lost their jobs if Great Britain was defeated.

Other people wanted to remain loyal for religious reasons. The King of England was the head of the Anglican Church. These people felt they couldn’t disobey the King since he was the leader of the Church of England.

The Native Americans and some slaves tended to be on the side of the British. The Native Americans didn’t trust the colonists and feared the colonists would take away their land. Some slaves supported the British because they were promised their freedom if Great Britain won the war.

There were other people who believed we needed to be free from the rule of the British. They believed the British were violating the rights of the colonists. They felt the tax laws were illegal because the colonists had no representatives in Parliament that could vote on the taxes. They felt the British were trying to control them by preventing the colonists from moving to the new lands that we had just gained from France as a result of the French and Indian War. They were unhappy with the Proclamation of 1763 and with the Quartering Act. The Quartering Act required the colonists to provide housing for the British troops that were enforcing the unpopular Proclamation of 1763.

More people began to feel the colonists should be free from the British rule after there were violent confrontations with the British. People became concerned after five colonists were killed in the Boston Massacre. After the Intolerable Acts were passed to punish the colonists for the Boston Tea Party, the colonists formed their own militias as they expected some fighting to occur. After the battles at Lexington and at Concord, during which both sides suffered casualties, many people believed it was only a matter of time before we would declare our independence. Throughout the war, these people believed we were fighting for our rights and to stop the abuses of the British government.

Each group of people had various reasons for supporting the rule of the British or for joining the colonists in their fight for freedom.

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