October 1 , 2013
Key words Notes
Treaty of Paris 1784
Taxation of the colonies act 1778 (a declaratory act)
That curs’d republican spirit
Canadian act 1791
William Pitt (the younger)
PM 1783-1802, 1803-1806
We start at the end of the American revolution in the 1780’s. first
of all there is a the definition of a Loyalist.
- we know that the loyalist:
- Where did they come from? They came from all of the 13
colonies from Geroge up to New Hampshire. They
represented all walks of life.
- The could be any religion.
- There were males and females amongst the loyalist.
The question is how did they end up in exile in Canada:
- They were strongly impressed by the power of the British
empire and were proud to be British. Being British conveyed
status, identity, and linkage with the old country. it is part of a
large conception of personal identity.
- They did not like being pushed around. If you considered the
revolution involved threats of violence, law breaking, it is
possible to say the loyalist were people who craved security
and order as represented in law.
To them revolutionaries were overthrowing the basis of society
and they did not choose to go along with it.
Bear in mind that the revolution was a violent act. It is not only a
violent act against ones governors, or the British from England,
but also against your neighbors.
The loyalist ended up where they were because they chose not to
go along with the revolutionaries. Initially they believed the
British would win and later when it became apparent that that
would not happen they had a further choice to make which is
embodied in the Treaty of Paris 1783.
Treaties that end the revolutionary war are between Great
Britain and the new United States of America, which is
recognized by the Treaty of Paris.
- That is perhaps the principal outcome.
- But they are also between Britain and France, and the British
and Spain. It is a tripartite negotiating exercise.
- The British delegates to the peace conference were very
conscious of trying to extract as much as positive credit from
the exercise as possible.
a. If you look at the British strategy it has to do with
minimizing the gains from Spain. b. Americans are not immune to this. It is a complicated
dance in paris, in which the british are trying to conciliate
the Americans. This has an impact on Canada.
One issue is the boundaries of the new United States.
- The revolutionary delegates would have preferred the British
to evacuate all of north America and hand over all territory.
- However the Americans did not have the strength to take
Nova Scotia or Quebec. They did not have the ships to get to
Halifax or the armies to get to Quebec. Québec was defended
not only by the British army, but also by a miles of wilderness
between the American settlements and the Canadians
Eventually the boundary is agreed on 18 century maps. Some
were not even accurate. There were parts of the Appalachians
that were not well known. However, the basic boundary laid
down in the 17 century is roughly where it is today.
The delegates of 17 century knew that some of their boundaries
were indefinite. So there were appointed commissions that
would determine precisely where the boundary would go later.
The basic boundary runs from
- st. Corriand river goes into the bay of Fundy between Maine
and present day New Brunswick.
- Travels northward towards the height of land and then down
the eastern side
- Then along the St. Lawrence and through the great lakes all
the way to the portage from Lake Superior to the rivers that
flow into the Hudson bay.
- Much of it water, which was certainly convenient. Very clear
boundary if it is in the middle of the river.
That boundrey was probably more favorable to the Americans
then they might have agreed to. The British interest was
concluding the treaty quickly, and in dividing the Americans from
the French and the Spanish.
- Historians looking at the negotiations of 1783 wondered if
the British delegation was as well instructed as it could have
been, or as confident as it could have been, or some of them
did not in fact have an interest in restoring trade with the US
as quickly as possible. That certainly possible because at least
one of the British delegates did come from a family that was
heavily engaged in American trade.
- Second, pre-revolutionary debts owed by the Americans to
the British firms and individuals would be honored.
- The Loyalist are mentioned in the treaty in two ways:
a. They have a choice of citizenship. They can choose to be
Americans or British.
1. If British they can remove themselves to British
2. Their property had been confiscate by the rebels and
the British urged the Americans as part of making everything peaceful that the loyalist should get their
property back. This would be a way of appeasing
opinion at the end of the war.
3. The Americans were not very keen on this. Some, like
Benjamin Franklin were rabid on the subject.
4. The Americans agree to recommend to congress that
the loyalist be compensated. That individual states
could do it if they felt like it.
5. The loyalist are not going to be compensated by the
new American governments
- In addition, New England of course had a fishing industry and
the new Englanders wanted access to the fisheries off of
Newfoundland and Nova Scotia as they had before the
revolution. They do acquire some rights. This is an attempt on
the British behalf in trying to make friends with the
Americans. There is an obvious political object in these
- Well, the Americans also want return of their property. That
is the slave. The American delegates in 1783 are of two minds
of how far to push this demand. It as not granted. The
Americans kept pressing for it but it was not given by the
British so none of the slaves who had been shipped out were
going to return.
That is the faint idea of what was to happen to the Loyalist Blacks
and the Loyalist Whites
- Loyalist white: in today’s language we would call them
internally displaced people.
- That is what they were. They were huddled in refugee camps
in Halifax, Quebec city, outside Montreal and later in Kingston
The British recognized that they had a responsibility to the
loyalist. We get one of the first exercises in state compensation
for state refuges. The loyalists are asked to submit claims to what
they lost in the revolution. They do so submit claims which
amount to 10 million pounds at that time.
- Loyalists get 3 and half million pounds. It is one of the great
sources about the 18 century colonies.
- It is all laid out in rooms full of papers. Commisioners sat in
America and England trying to sift out the claims of the
- In addition to the 3 and half million pounds of compensations
600 loyalist who were judged to be specially meritorious
received pensions for the rest of their lives.
Land grant: these were not included in the compensation.
- Private were entitled to 50 acres of prime land in upper
a. If you brought your wife and children then you get more.
- Officers- Letunant or Captian: a. 100 acres
a. 200 acres
- Loyalist General: there were 4 or 5 of them:
a. You get much larger grants. Sir John Johnson for example.
What the British are trying to do is reestablish these some 40,000
Loyalist. Not just as they were but to give them a chance of once
again establishing themselves and bettering their lives.
The British army for the first 3-4 years provided help in moving
the entire Loyalist.
- In the first 3-4 years all these loyalist were sustained by
the army rations.
- They also received other supplies such as farming equipment.
As best they could the British government tried to prepare
them in a life in farming.
- Fortunatly the area around Ontario, where the loyalist settled
was good farm land and eventually the British offer more
There are also the Iroquois loyalist and they are settled in two
reserves: This was actually a very large land grab. The number of
Iroquois that moved to upper Canada may have been significant
in Iroquois terms, but they weren’t that large. About 2000 of
- Bay of Quinte
- Along the Grand river. On either side of