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Lecture 2: The Loyalist Influx

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University of Toronto St. George
Ian Radforth

Lecture 2: The Loyalist Influx -a sudden influx -the Loyalist myth: a refugee heaven -who becomes Loyalists and how? -settlements -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 Brunswick -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 govt for loss of funds, land in 13 colonies, explaining how they left, kept good records -Brit army ran refugee camps, many records -Loyalists -whites -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 -govt jobs, army, contracts with Brit govt -came seeking opportunities, sought offices and some soldiers wanted to be settlers -minorities -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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