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Who were the Loyalists and Patriots? Identify the characteristics of each and why were they at such a disadvantage? Loyalists were colonists loyal to the king who fought the Patriots, the American rebels. Loyalists were called “Tories” in the colonies, after the dominant political faction in Britain. Because the American Revolution was a minority movement, with most people neutral, the Loyalists and Patriots contended each other for the support of the population, and the British military proved only to control areas where it could maintain mass military presence. The Loyalists consisted of sixteen percent of the American people, but families were often split over the issue of independence. It was common for some members of family to be Loyalists, and other Patriots. These Loyalists consisted of king’s officers and other beneficiaries of the crown. This was also true for the Anglican clergy, who had been taught submission to the king. Loyalists were mainly numerous where the Anglican Church was strongest, and in aristocratic New York City, Charleston,and Quaker Pennysylvania. In addition, many people of wealth and education remained loyal because they were satisfied and believed violence would change things for the worst. Loyalists were numerous among older generations. There were some 50,000 Loyalist volunteers who bore arms for the British, served as spies by inciting the Indians, and kept Patriot soldiers at home to protect their families.