The main difference between a patriot and a loyalist is that patriots strongly supported and fought to gain independence from the British rule during the American war of Independence whereas loyalists supported the British rule and wanted to remain under British control during the American war of Independence.
The United States of America is an amalgamation of many Europeans and other nationalities that conquered the homeland of Indigenous Americans in the late 16th century. The history of the birth of the United States of America marks several notable occurrences. The American Revolution/ American War of Independence or the Revolutionary War is the most important turning point in American history. This revolutionary war existed from 1775-1783 and concerned the gaining of independence from the British rule for the original 13 colonies in America. Accordingly, patriots and loyalists are the two parties among the colonists in this war. The main difference between a patriot and a loyalist was their view towards the British rule.
Key Areas Covered
1. What Caused the American War of Independence
– Causes, Division
2. Who is a Patriot
– Definition, Alliance, Notable Figures
3. Who is a Loyalist
– Definition, Alliance, Notable Figures
4. What is the Relationship Between a Patriot and a Loyalist
– Outline of Association
5. What is the Difference Between a Patriot and a Loyalist
– Comparison of Key Differences
American Revolutionary War, Loyalist, Patriot, Politics, United States of America
What Caused the American War of Independence
American War of Independence was between the Kingdom of Great Britain and the Thirteen American colonies. With the end of the Seven Years’ War and the French and Indian war, the British imposed heavy taxes on the colonies as a result of the heavy loses on war and maintaining the armies. Thus, the most notable causes for the revolutionary war were the increased taxes imposed by the British rule on the 13 colonies in America.
Among them, the following events highlight the immediate causes for the outbreak of the Revolutionary War:
French and Indian war: This was the event that directly led to growing tensions between Britain and the Thirteen Colonies.
The Stamp Act: Through this act, Britain set a tax that requires a stamp on all public documents such as newspapers, legal documents, etc.
Britsh troops in Boston: British troops enforced Townshend duties including more taxes on paint, paper, tea etc. Also, several Boston colonist radicals were shot dead by the British troops.
Boston Tea Party: This was a direct action by patriots in the town of Boston to protest against the new tax on tea.
British intimidations in Massachusettes: The coercive acts passed by the British parliament for colonists along with the act of closing Boston and stripping Massachusetts of its historic right of self-government and putting it under army rule caused an immediate uprising against British rule.
Establishment of the Committee of Correspondents: American patriots from the colonies met together and established a committee to oppose British policies. This marks an important point in the mutual unity and the development of national identity among the American colonists.
Consequently, on April 19, 1775, the American revolutionary war or the American War of Independence broke out.
With the aggravating tax systems and the oppressing British rule, the people of the 13 colonies had to decide whether they wanted to be ruled by the British rule or not. The separation of them as two parties – Patriots and Loyalists – was the immediate response to it. The basic difference between a patriot and a loyalist is their view towards the British rule.
Who is a Patriot
A patriot is the member of the patriot’s group who advocated freedom from the British rule during the American war of Independence. Hence, a patriot fought against the British rule, and they needed their country to be known as the “United States of America” after gaining independence from the suppressing British rule.
Furthermore, the rebellion of patriots was based on the social and political philosophy of republicanism. Republicanism rejected the ideas of a monarchy and aristocracy – essentially, inherited power. Hence, they rebelled against the British rule and advocated ideologies of liberty and unalienable individual rights as its core values.
Moreover, Whigs, Rebels, Colonials and Sons of Liberty are some other names for patriots, and most of them lived especially in places such as Boston. They counted for about 70% of the whole American population. Furthermore, they were well organized under the rule of George Washington. Following the victory of the Independence war, George Washington who led the Continental Army became the first President of the United States of America. Moreover, the national capital moved from New York to Philadelphia in 1790 and finally settled in Washington DC in 1800.
Some notable patriots include Thomas Jefferson, John Adams, John Paul Jones George Washington, Paul Revere, Ethan Allen, Samuel Adams, Ben Franklin, and Patrick Henry.
Who is a Loyalist
Unlike patriots, loyalists did not want to break away from the British rule; nor did they fought to gain independence for the 13 colonies. A loyalist is, therefore, a member of the loyalists who supported British rule during the American war of Independence and thought the British rule was better than the rule of the Patriots.
There were several reasons for loyalists to remain loyal to the British control. Among them are the commercial interests they had with the British, especially trading and business alliances, and their blood links to British relatives. Moreover, another notable fact is that most loyalists were African Americans since the British promised to free slaves from their patriot masters.
Loyalists were known as ‘King’s Men, Tories, and Royalists’ as well, and most loyalists lived in New York City, which was then the capital of America under British rule.
Following the victory of the independence war for the Patriots, many loyalists fled to Britain or joined the British army while some went to Canada as well.
Some notable loyalists were Robert Hooper, Benedict Arnold, Joseph Galloway, Andrew Allen, John Butler, and David Mathews.
Relationship Between a Patriot and a Loyalist
- Patriot and Loyalist are the two parties of the 13 colonies involved in the American war of Independence that existed between the British rule and the 13 American colonies.
Difference Between a Patriot and a Loyalist
A patriot is someone who wanted the American colonies to gain their independence from Britain during the American war of Independence. On the contrary, a loyalist is someone who supported the British rule and wanted to remain as British citizens during the American war of Independence. Hence, this explains the basic difference between a patriot and a loyalist.
The alliance of a patriot was for the nationalist Patriots in order to fight for freedom from the British rule whereas the alliance of a loyalist was for the British rule. Hence, this is a major difference between a patriot and a loyalist.
The aim of a patriot was to break away from the oppression of the British rule and to create an independent state of their rule whereas the aim of a loyalist was to retain the British rule in America
A patriot was also known by the terms such as ‘Whigs, Rebels, Colonials and Sons of Liberty’. On the other, a loyalist was also known by the terms such as ‘King’s Men, Tories, and Royalists’.
Some notable patriots include Thomas Jefferson, John Adams, John Paul Jones, George Washington, Paul Revere, Ethan Allen, Patrick Henry, and Ben Franklin while some notable loyalists include Robert Hooper, Benedict Arnold, Joseph Galloway, Andrew Allen, John Butler, and David Mathews.
The American war of Independence is the turning point in American history that gave birth to the United States of America. During this war, the colonists separated themselves according to their alliance; to support the British rule or to fight against the British rule. A patriot strongly supported and fought to gain independence from the British rule during the American war of Independence whereas a loyalist supported the British rule and wanted to remain as British citizens during the American war of Independence. In brief, this is the main difference between a patriot and a loyalist.
1. “US Army 52414 Assault on Redoubt 10 at Yorktown” By U. S. Army Center of Mlitary History – United States Army (Public Domain) via Commons Wikimedia
2. “Infantry, Continental Army, 1779-1783” By Ogden, Henry Alexander (1856-1936) (Public Domain) via Commons Wikimedia
3. “Gilbert Stuart Williamstown Portrait of George Washington” By Clark Art Collection (Public Domain) via Commons Wikimedia
4. “British Loyalism” By George Bosanko – Own work (CC BY-SA 3.0) via Commons Wikimedia
5. “Benedict Arnold 1color” By Thomas Hart – From the Anne S. K. Brown Collection at Brown University (Public Domain, via Commons Wikimedia