Skip to main content Accessibility help
×
Hostname: page-component-8448b6f56d-c47g7 Total loading time: 0 Render date: 2024-04-22T17:32:25.129Z Has data issue: false hasContentIssue false

13 - Recovering Loyalism: Opposition to the American Revolution as a Good Idea

from Part II - The British Colonies

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  20 October 2023

Wim Klooster
Affiliation:
Clark University, Massachusetts
Get access

Summary

Loyalists, those who opposed the rebellion that created the United States, remain poorly understood in large part because of the teleological implications of framing the American Revolution as the inaugurating event of the Age of Atlantic Revolutions. This essay shows loyalists as reasonable people who carefully assessed the specific colonial circumstances where each lived. The trajectory of three individuals, in particular, highlights the diversity of loyalism and that it drew support from all corners of colonial society. These three are the Mohawk diplomat Mary Brant, the slave-owning Georgia soldier William Martin Johnson, and the formerly enslaved Thomas Peters, who served with the British Army for the duration of the war. All three left the United States due to their ardent loyalism, dying, respectively, in Upper Canada, Jamaica, and Sierra Leone. Prioritizing loyalists highlights the violence of the rebel movement and showcases the War of American Independence as a civil war. In place of a familiar patriot and US-nationalist interpretation, recovering loyalism as a good idea emphasizes loyalists in their colonial context, assesses the transformative impact of war, and follows their diaspora throughout the British Atlantic and, especially, to British North America.

Type
Chapter
Information
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
Print publication year: 2023

Access options

Get access to the full version of this content by using one of the access options below. (Log in options will check for institutional or personal access. Content may require purchase if you do not have access.)

Save book to Kindle

To save this book to your Kindle, first ensure coreplatform@cambridge.org is added to your Approved Personal Document E-mail List under your Personal Document Settings on the Manage Your Content and Devices page of your Amazon account. Then enter the ‘name’ part of your Kindle email address below. Find out more about saving to your Kindle.

Note you can select to save to either the @free.kindle.com or @kindle.com variations. ‘@free.kindle.com’ emails are free but can only be saved to your device when it is connected to wi-fi. ‘@kindle.com’ emails can be delivered even when you are not connected to wi-fi, but note that service fees apply.

Find out more about the Kindle Personal Document Service.

Available formats
×

Save book to Dropbox

To save content items to your account, please confirm that you agree to abide by our usage policies. If this is the first time you use this feature, you will be asked to authorise Cambridge Core to connect with your account. Find out more about saving content to Dropbox.

Available formats
×

Save book to Google Drive

To save content items to your account, please confirm that you agree to abide by our usage policies. If this is the first time you use this feature, you will be asked to authorise Cambridge Core to connect with your account. Find out more about saving content to Google Drive.

Available formats
×