The American Revolution is one of the most significant historical feats in the whole world. Nonetheless, it was characterized with mixed implications as it divided the colonists in North America as much as it united them. Majority ultimately opted for independence from Britain in 1776, while a fewer percentage of the white settler population decided to remain loyal to the King and the Parliament. It is in the light of the above that this essay seeks to adduce the reasons as to why this population segment rejected the American Revolution and overly, why the revolutionaries were right to declare independence.
The Loyalists’ reasons
First and foremost, is the fact that they banked on protection from the British government. Most of the loyalists, as they were referred to, were persons on the high end of the society and thus, enjoyed significant protection from the British government. It is because if this that the segment of the white settlers were inclined to support the British government to continue enjoying the assured protection. It must be noted that the revolutionists, or sometimes referred to as the patriots never tolerated the loyalists, who exhibited tendencies of being very active in place of the King of England. They took part in requesting the king to dispatch forces from England in order to counter and terminate the revolutionist (Foner, 57). Thus; enmity continued to brew up. Consequently, they felt their lives were also threatened in America and needed protection by the British Government from the patriots.
Secondly, is the age factor in the loyalists’ population segment. Arguably; majority of them were undeniable of the older generation. Accordingly; they were inclined to maintenance of status quo, with firm belief that the revolution was quite insubstantial as compared to the British army and would come to pass easily. Moreover, the loyalists were less enthusiastic to break from their older loyalties. It is a common practice to maintain initial relationships to a greater extent than forming newer alliances on a matter, and the loyalists were not an exception to this. In essence, they were resistant to the change that was continually becoming imminent in the American society.
Thirdly, is the religious factor also played in this case. Most of the loyalists were connected to the Church of England, whose doctrine somewhat emphasized on the loyalty to the British government. It was more imperative in the sense that they had to observe this accomplishment remain relevant in their society. Further, Jodoin (53) argues that some religious denominations were springing up, so the loyalists were aligned towards keeping their older faith intact.
Fourth is an economic factor. Most of the loyalists to the British government h ad expressed economic interests. It can be attributed to the fact that they were time-honored merchants who had robust business acquaintances diagonally on the Empires, both the colonies and back in England. Hence; with their loyalty, they were guaranteed of continued security on their businesses. Noteworthy, in the end, a number of loyalists who opted to go to exile left significant amounts of wealth (property) to the newly created nation. A good number of them were compensated by the British government, and the British went as far as even engaging the new U.S government to consider further compensation of the loyalists (Foner, 61).
Fifth is the fact that most of them were royal officials in America. Irrefutably, this is a circumstance that they had to honor and by extension, upheld in the interests of the British government back in England. Moreover, being a royal appointee to the foreign lands was a critical aspect that required due loyalty and the white settlers who rejected the American Revolution was liable to the British crown in their service (Jodoin, 64).
The above reasons were undeniably somewhat genuine on the part of the loyalists in their cause of taking sides with the British government against the revolutionists. The arguments, or rather viewpoints held by the loyalists were rather definite in fulfilling their cause and interests at the time. Thus; they can be described as quite relevant in this sense, however selfish or negative to the majority’s wishes in the American society at the time.
The Patriots’ views
Likewise; the reasons explored above were limited to the loyalists and the majority, who were represented by the patriots in the American Revolution managed to have their way in the American independence. To contextualize this, the revolutionists had clear-cut mandate, and they expressed it based on the grievance that they had. Such grievances had been largely brought about by the ineptitude mode of Britain’s King and parliament in relation to the colonies, the U.S included (Bland, 90). These were in the form of Acts and subsequent duties that were imposed and withdrawn at will. They included: 1) the Currency Act of 1764, which was to confine paper money’s use by the British merchants to evade paying debts. 2) The Sugar Act was also imposed in addition to the customs duties on numerous articles.3) It was followed by the parliament’s passing of the Stamp Act that enacted direct taxes on colonies, which had never been done before. Noteworthy, all the documents that were deemed to be official in addition to the newspapers, pamphlets, decks of playing cards and almanacs needed to have stamps. 4) The Declaratory Act of 1766 also followed on the parliament’s insistence of having the full power of making laws for the Empire’s colonies at all times. 5) The Townshend Acts of 1767 that were passed by the parliament enforced duties on a number of necessities like glass, tea and paper and tea. Organized protests began and ensued after this act. Finally, the Intolerable Acts were adopted by the parliament. These included the Massachusetts Government Act, the Administration of Justice Act, Boston Port Act, and the Quartering Act of 1774, all of which really sparked the American Revolution as a result of the effects that they came with on the American population (Fleming, 2).
Based on the imposition and withdrawal of prior acts, with consequent introduction of the intolerable acts, the revolutionists partook the American Revolution. It goes without saying that the patriots objected chiefly to the manner in which the British government was treating the colony; America and time had ultimately presented itself to fight for change (Ellis, 11).Thus, the revolutionaries were superlatively right to declare independence of the colony.
In conclusion, the loyalists assumed they were right in their cause of siding with the British government based on the reasons above. On the other hand, the revolutionaries’ force was more right for the sake of the American majority and guaranteed future prosperity. Thus; they fought and deliberated the colony from the Empire’s grip in the American Revolution in the end.
Bland, Richard. An Enquiry Into the Rights of the British Colonies (1766).Web. 24 November 2014.
Ellis, Joseph. J.Revolutionary Summer: The Birth of American Independence. New York: Random House, 2013. Print.
Foner, Eric.Give me Liberty: An American History. New York: W.W. Norton & Co., 2013. Print.
Fleming, Thomas. Liberty! The American Revolution, 1997.Web. 24 November 2014.
Jodoin, Mark. Shadow Soldiers of the American Revolution, Charleston SC: The History Press, 2009. Print.