Many Americans did not support George Washington, and instead they supported Britain's king, George III. Why did these people remain loyal to the king?

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M.P. Ossa eNotes educator| Certified Educator

During the revolutionary days leading to America's independence from Britain, there was a low percentage of the colonial population who was, indeed, against the war and in favor of the perpetuity of the monarcy as a form of government. This group amounted to no more than 20% of the total population. They were known as "loyalists", namely, because these were people who were still loyal to England and its monarchy.

Loyalists were people who had specific interest in that the colonies remained attached to England for a myriad of different reasons:

Some loyalists had economic interests, since England commissioned them to come to America for specific endeavors. These loyalists were often merchants, military officers, politicians or ambassadors of some form.

Other loyalists included anglican priests who had a religious interest in attending the interests of the crown and the Church of England in America.

There were indentured servants and even blacks who were promised freedom once they stepped on American soil. They would be loyalists because of their gratitude to the crown for providing them a mean of freedom.

Another sect of loyalists was made of the German population or Americans of German ancestry. King George III and all of the "Gorgeous Georges", as they are known historically, weremembers of the house of Hannover, which is of German origin. Hence, these loyalists would be so in honor of their heritage.

Finally, the loyalists also included, simply, pacifists. These were people who worried about the aftermath of a way against the English super power and did not want to endanger the little economic safety that the colonies had from England. Although they would admit that the English were abusing the colonists, they could not envision a future without the support of their motherland.

It is a risky decision to separate completely from an Empire, no matter how shaky this Empire is. Therefore, you can conclude that the story of the United States is one that involved risk, tremendous courage and incredible determination. Loyalists, as powerful as they may have thought they were, still did not possess a good enough argument to prevent the War. One cannot blame them, however, because the thought of an independent country was like jumping into the unknown. However, we all know now that it was the correct thing to do.

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