Civil Disobedience Questions and Answers
by Henry David Thoreau

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Those who remained loyal to Britain and the king called themselves what?

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During the American Revolution, colonists who were loyal to the king and Britain were known as loyalists. They were also called Tories, King’s Men, or Royalists. Although experts do not know the exact number of Loyalists, it is estimated that about sixteen percent of the total population remained loyal to the king. Loyalists were often conservative, felt ties to their mother country (either sentimental or business), and were concerned about whether a new independent nation would be able to take care of itself, especially in a time of war.

The Loyalists were also socially diverse. Their diverse backgrounds included Anglicans, tenant farmers, the Dutch, the Germans, Quakers, large landowners, and clergymen. Even some escaped slaves became loyalists, but they were seeking freedom and were not necessarily loyal to the Crown. The majority of the Loyalists were from the South, New York, and Pennsylvania. Although they were found throughout different colonies, Loyalists did not comprise the majority of any colony. The Loyalists were despised by the Patriots and were treated as traitors if captured during battle. Even outside of battle, the Loyalists were treated harshly, and in 1776, they began to flee the country. Most fled to Canada, where they received asylum, and in some cases small compensation, from the British government.

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