Q:

What do the terms "loyalist," "patriot" and "neutralist" mean?

A:

Quick Answer

During the American Revolutionary War, loyalists were colonists who remained loyal to the British crown, patriots were colonists who rebelled and openly fought against the British monarchy and neutralists were colonists who did not fight and did not side with a specific faction. Loyalists and patriots acted out of economic and socio-political interests. Neutralists often maintained their neutrality because they lived too far away to fight.

Continue Reading
What do the terms "loyalist," "patriot" and "neutralist" mean?
Credit: The Washington Post/Getty Images The Washington Post Getty Images

Full Answer

Patriots were ideologically against the abuses of the British Empire. Among the offenses they attributed to the mother country were the Tea Act, the Stamp Act and the Intolerable Acts. They objected to being taxed without representation in Parliament. They also resented the Proclamation of 1763, which forbade the colonists from settling west of the Appalachians after the French and Indian War. Patriots reproached the monarchy and favored republican principles espoused by the likes of Thomas Paine, Thomas Jefferson and James Madison.

Loyalists tended to believe that the Crown was the legitimate government over the colonists and that revolution was morally wrong. Often, loyalists were older and financially better established with close ties to Britain. During the Revolution, loyalists were often the victims of abuse, such as tar and feathering. This violence led many British sympathizers to join the loyalist side and fight against the patriots.

Neutralists kept themselves from the conflict for a number of reasons: indecision, fear, or simply distance from epicenters of the war.

Learn more about Political Parties

Related Questions

  • Q:

    What are some facts about the American Socialist Party?

    A:

    The Socialist Party of America resulted from the merger of the Social Democratic Party of America with the “Kangaroo” faction of the Socialist Labor Party in 1901. The party initially gained widespread support, especially among working-class immigrants, but began losing large portions of its membership due to its opposition to World War I, contentious relationships with established labor unions and the emergence of communism. This deeply divided its membership and led to large segments leaving to form alternative political organizations.

    Full Answer >
    Filed Under:
  • Q:

    Who were the Conscience Whigs?

    A:

    The Conscience Whigs was a New England-based faction of the Whig party known for their moral opposition to slavery. They also opposed the Mexican war and the annexation of Texas, fearing that the resulting extension of slavery would harm the republic.

    Full Answer >
    Filed Under:
  • Q:

    What are the Canadian mint marks?

    A:

    The Canadian mint mark has three elements honoring the British monarchy (crown), the Canadian symbol (maple leaf) and the Mint itself. The mark shows the "M" with upturned points and reduced width, making it look like a crown. The "M" symbolizes the word "Mint" and its French counterpart, "Monnaie."

    Full Answer >
    Filed Under:
  • Q:

    What reasons would a colonist choose to be a Patriot instead of a Loyalist?

    A:

    Colonists chose to be Patriots largely due to public sentiment against England's governing policies and lack of representation. Patriots supported views of the Enlightenment with promoted self-rule and an end to monarchies.

    Full Answer >
    Filed Under:

Explore