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Who were the loyalists? Previous Next
Digital History ID 3221


John Adams estimated that roughly a third of the American population supported the Revolution, a third remained loyal to the Crown, and a third was uncommitted. Recent research suggests that perhaps 20 percent of the population consisted of Loyalists. Loyalists were especially strong in New Jersey and South Carolina.

One of the Revolution's consequences was to create not only the United States, but also the modern nation of Canada. After the war, about 80,000 Loyalists--including substantial numbers of former slaves--emigrated from the United States, mainly to Canada.

The Loyalists were disproportionately from the ranks of the influential, the officeholders, and the well-to-do. Those who stayed in the colonies were removed from positions of prominence.

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