For Kids: Not everyone was on the side of the Patriots. About one third of the colonists remained loyal to the king. Some had family ties in Britain. Some were concerned that the Patriots did not stand a chance. Some were alarmed at the violence and the chaos.
The Loyalists were also called Tories, Royalists, and King's Men. They were opposed to the Patriots, the colonists who were fighting for independence from Britain. In the beginning, more people were Loyalists than Patriots. But that changed. It became dangerous to be a Loyalist.
Some Loyalists kept their heads down and tried to be quiet about their unhappiness with the situation. Others were outspoken. Still others became spies for the British. The Patriots were not kind. They harassed the loyalists who spoke out. Some were even brutally tarred and feathered. They hung spies when they caught them.
After the end of the American Revolution, not all the Loyalists left the country. But some did. It is estimated that over 60,000 Loyalists chose to leave America. Of those, many emigrated to Canada.