Patriots Vs Loyalists

812 Words4 Pages

After the French and Indian War in 1763, economic elements forced Britain to feel the need to raise funds to pay off the war debt. The policies that were enforced by the new prime minister resulted in America's fight for independence. Some of the taxed imposed upon the colonies included the Sugar Act, the Stamp Act and the Tea Act. All three of these acts forced the Americans to pay a tax on everyday goods. Americans viewed the new tax on sugar and other imports as a burden and violation of their rights, for the British, the taxes were a modest imposition necessary to pay for the cost of eliminating the French from North America and administering the colonies (Keene, 101-102). As a result of their two different views on the taxes, tensions …show more content…

The Patriots were the colonists who supported American Independence, but the Loyalists consisted of those who wished to stay loyal to the king. The division between the two groups "drove a deep wedge in colonial society" (Keene, 113). As a result of this disunion many Loyalists experienced hardships, such as being shunned and losing ownership of their own property. These hardships were a result of stronger patriotic views in certain areas. Because of these views, "many states passed laws seizing Loyalist property" (Keene, 114). One issue that arose from these laws, "was how to deal with women married to Loyalists" (Keene, 114). Women who were married to Loyalists who had brought property into their marriage from their own family faced the dilemma of losing this property. One Loyalist wife, Grace Growden Galloway, faced difficult choices concerning her property. She had to choose between following her husband into exile, embracing the Patriot cause or stay loyal to her husband and take no public stance on independence. She chose to remain loyal to her husband and stay to fight for her property. Her strategy was successful as her descendants were able to recover the property she brought into the marriage after she died. This example shows some of the legal hardships and penalties that were imposed upon the …show more content…

While the Declaration of Independence expressed the ideas of equality and liberty this did not mean that every group in America received the same benefits from the promise of the Revolution. Looking at the situation after the Revolution, Richard Morris comments: "Everywhere one finds inequality." He finds "the people" of "We the people of the United States" (a phrase coined by the very rich Gouverneur Morris) did not mean Indians or blacks or women or white servants (Zinn). The Indians were excluded from equality and liberty in America because they were saw as "savages" by the Americans. The slaves in the South were excluded from the blessings of liberty too since they were owned by their masters and had no freedom. Unlike the slaves in the South, "free blacks in the North and middle-Atlantic states was more complex" (Keene, 122). The free blacks had rights like freedom of religion, but they were restricted from other rights such as bearing arms. Like the free blacks, women's political status was also complex. Although a woman might claim a right to freedom of worship, married women were treated as having no independent legal existence outside of marriage (Keene, 122). As a result of their exclusion, these groups worked toward a goal of gaining political freedom within their states. For example, Abigail Adams voiced her opinion on rights of women to her husband,

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