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Loyalists and Patriots

During the time of the American Revolution, many residents of the colonies were unsure whether the idea of separating from England was a wise one. Many were strictly opposed to it. These individuals were called loyalists. Loyalists had good reason to oppose a push for independence. Loyalists believed in the sanctity of their shared cultural heritage with the British, had a strong sense of duty and loyalty toward the British crown, benefitted from the Trans-Atlantic trade with England, and were worried that an independent nation would be reduced to anarchy. Many had a financial interest as part of the British Empire and change represented uncertainty with respect to the continued prosperity. In contrast, the Patriots had valid reasons for wanting to part with England. They believed their individual liberties had been violated by the British Crown and that their rights were being taken away after the implementation of various taxes and acts. One of the acts, known as the Quartering Act, forced colonists to provide provisions and shelter to British soldiers. Another law, known as the Boston Harbor Bill, closed the port of Boston following the infamous Tea Party. Furthermore, colonists lacked representation in Parliament. Patriots believed the English Crown was attempting to exert more and more control over their lives and businesses. English acts were passed that regulated colonial trade and gave monopolies to British companies.
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