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Lecture 2: The Loyalist Influx

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Ian Radforth

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Lecture 2: The Loyalist Influx
-a sudden influx
-the Loyalist myth: a refugee heaven
-who becomes Loyalists and how?
-Upper Canada (s. Ontario)
-Nova Scotia
-gradual immigration came to halt due to the American revolution
-betw. US and UK, succeeded in 1776
-bitter war, fought between British troops and their supporters, and the
American rebels on the other side
-many became refugees as war zone erupts, and immigrated to British colonies in Canada
-with end of war in 1783, in post-war period, even more immigration from new
US, ppl did not feel secure
-referred to as the Loyalist influx from former 13 colonies, or the United
Empire Loyalists
-later celebrated as founders of English Canada, in Ontario and New
-celebrated the Brit crown and imperial connection, wanted
order, sometimes portrayed as the elite of the 13 colonies
-source of distinct identity, to remain connected to the
Brit crown
-parts of Canada est. by these Loyalist refugees, forced by
warfare to flee, found security and future in ON and NB
-numerous sources, unlike in early Canada
-from claimants to the Brit gov't for loss of funds, land in 13
colonies, explaining how they left, kept good records
-Brit army ran refugee camps, many records
-men, women, and children, unlike the usual immigrants to Canada with just men
-as whole families forced to flee the war
-some flee due to political beliefs, closest to the Loyalist belief
-over constitution, repulsed by the revolution, often became politically-
active in Canada, often conservative in views
-others used to Brit patronage
-gov't jobs, army, contracts with Brit gov't
-came seeking opportunities, sought offices and some soldiers
wanted to be settlers
-could be ethnic, religious minorities in this war situation vulnerable so
forced to flee
-ex. German speakers in English speaking majority area
-ex. Protestant Quakers in Anglican majority town
-economic migrants
-on the move and looking for more prosperity, businesses and farms
-Brits gave away land, some on good land, near water routes
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