United Empire Loyalists

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UNITED EMPIRE LOYALISTS was the name given to inhabitants of the thirteen colonies who remained loyal to the British crown during the American Revolution, and particularly to those who migrated to present-day Canada. In 1783 and 1784 the United States lost between 50,000 and 60,000 people, many of whom became the backbone of English-speaking pioneer settlement in Canada. Historians estimate that perhaps 100,000 United Empire Loyalists fled America during the revolutionary period. They emigrated mainly from New York, Massachusetts, and Connecticut to Nova Scotia, New Brunswick, and Prince Edward Island in 1783, and to Upper and Lower Canada (now Ontario and Quebec) in 1784.


Calhoon, Robert M. The Loyalists in Revolutionary America, 1760–1781. New York: Harcourt Brace Jovanovich, 1973.

Norton, Mary Beth. The British-Americans: The Loyalist Exiles in England, 1774–1789. Boston: Little, Brown, 1972.

Lawrence J.Burpee/e. m.

See alsoCanada, Relations with ; Revolution, American: Political History .

United Empire Loyalists

views updated May 29 2018

United Empire Loyalists was the term coined by the governor of British North America, Lord Dorchester, in 1789 to designate those citizens of the thirteen colonies who remained loyal to Britain during the American Revolution and fled to what is now Canada or returned to England. Some went to Nova Scotia, and in 1776 loyalists were transported to Halifax from Boston when the army withdrew, and again in 1783 with the fall of New York. Many settled in Nova Scotia, New Brunswick, Prince Edward Island, Quebec, and Ontario, and a small number later returned to the USA.

Sandra M. Dunkin

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United Empire Loyalists

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United Empire Loyalists