During the American Revolution, the Patriots believed that independence from Great Britain was necessary while the Loyalists accepted the rule of the country across the ocean. This division of ideology meant that Loyalists were often from the wealthy or royal classes while the Patriots were made up of the common working people.
The Patriots believed that the colonists should have the opportunity to create their own government and make their own decisions. Great Britain did not see this the same way and used the colonies as an extension of their empire, taxing the colonists without allowing them representation. These colonists decided to fight for that freedom even though others among them considered the fight to be a futile effort.
The Loyalists were colonists who chose to fight alongside the British instead of against them. They thought of the Patriots as untrained soldiers. Some of the Loyalists did not fight at all as they were of the wealthier classes and did not have any problems with the taxes. While the Patriots considered this group traitors, they were actually seen as the honorable ones by Canada and Great Britain. When the rebellious Patriots were eventually triumphant in the Revolutionary War, approximately 80,000 Loyalists fled the new nation.