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Although we think of the Revolutionary War as something that all Americans were behind, it really was not that way. Only a minority of Americans were actually strong supporters of the American side in the Revolution.
This is not to say that most Americans opposed the Revolution and wanted to stay with Britain. In fact, only about one-third of all Americans are believed to have been "Tories" or "Loyalists." These are names for Americans who stayed on the British side.
Instead, historians believe that about one-third of Americans were strongly in favor of revolution, one-third were Tories, and another third were relatively neutral, just wanting to get by as well as they could.
All Americans did not support the American Revolution, nor did they think of themselves as Americans at the time. About 1/3 of the colonists were neutral. Around 1/3 of the colonists were loyal to the crown and the other 1/3 of the colonists were patriots.
Many of the loyalists fought with the British againsts the patriots. These tories were very valuable to the British because they were familar with the territory and they knew people. After the American Revolution was over, the colonists who had been loyal to the King were not penalized officially by the new government. Although, they were most likely ridiculed by those who had supported independence. It is important to remember that the colonists had attempted to make peace with King George III in the Olive Branch Petition, but the King would have not part of it. Thus, many of the colonists decided to fight for independence. With only 1/3 of the colonists as patriots, it is astonishing that they defeated the greatest military on the planet in their time.
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