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Old November 28th, 2012, 04:42 AM   #141

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Thank you for your thoughts on this.. Forgive my ignorance but do you know how the seats were apportioned for areas within England, was it the 5,000 vote number or something else...
The number of votes in a constituency before the Reform of 1832 is a big part of British constitutional history. There could be 12,000 voters in the "borough" of Westminster and 13 in Old Sarum. What had happened is that the areas that returned MPs had not been changed since the 14th Century, so towns like Old Sarum or Gatton (that had just seven electors) had died out and the population moved away, yet they still returned a member of Parliament, while towns like Manchester and Liverpool that had grown from villages to cities with the industrial revolution had no MPs at all. There were "County" seats that were supposed to represent the countryside and landowners and "borough" seats to represent the towns that all had different property qualifications to permit voting. Yorkshire would have had an electorate of 20,000 while Rutland (the smallest county) about 500. Special places like the University towns of Oxford and Cambridge and mercantile centres like the City of London returned extra MPs (London had four).
The situation allowed for "rotten" boroughs and "pocket" boroughs where the MP was put up by and thus in the pocket of a powerful landowner or magnate.Sometimes the voters of small contituencies get together and "sold" the election to the highest bidder.About 60% of all seats were so controlled in the 18th C.
But on average--it was about 5000 voters per seat.
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Old November 28th, 2012, 05:08 AM   #142
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The 19% number is quoted in Robert Middlekauff's The Glorious Cause (page 550). His footnote reads:



On the same page, Middlekauff also claims that "In no colony did loyalists outnumber revolutionaries." He says the greatest pockets of loyalists were: tenant farmers in NY, the Dutch in NY and NJ, Germans and Quakers in PA (when they were unable to stay out of the war altogether), Highland Scots in the Carolinas, Anglicans in Connecticut and NY, "a few Presbyterians in the southern colonies", and the Iroquois. (And he provides multiple sources for this in his footnotes).
Theres been further research from out of Canada in the past couple of years that seems to contridict this..
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Old November 28th, 2012, 05:17 AM   #143

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Theres been further research from out of Canada in the past couple of years that seems to contridict this..
I would definitely be interested in seeing it, if you can post it. The problem I have with the idea of loyalists having anywhere equal numbers to the patriots is that it just would not have been possible for the patriots to win if they did, seeing as the loyalists had the most powerful nation in the world on their side.

Part of the British strategy in the war was to fight it in places where they believed loyalist support would bolster their efforts. Other than in New York City, where naval superiority gave them a huge advantage, this strategy failed, for the simple reason that they didn't find the loyalist support they were hoping for.
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Old November 28th, 2012, 05:50 AM   #144
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I would definitely be interested in seeing it, if you can post it. The problem I have with the idea of loyalists having anywhere equal numbers to the patriots is that it just would not have been possible for the patriots to win if they did, seeing as the loyalists had the most powerful nation in the world on their side.

Part of the British strategy in the war was to fight it in places where they believed loyalist support would bolster their efforts. Other than in New York City, where naval superiority gave them a huge advantage, this strategy failed, for the simple reason that they didn't find the loyalist support they were hoping for.
Sure thing, just away from home and library for awhile..If you examine the raids from Canada that depopulated almost the upper half of New York, they were made up of units of loyalists formed by men who left shortly after the war started.. 84th RHE, Butlers Rangers for example..Most of the people who fought for revolution in New York were like your ancestors people of Dutch background, who didn't feel a strong pull for the Crown..The battle of Oriskany, is a perfect example of this where a large majority of the forces were loyalists versus militia where the majoirty of the militia were of dutch ancestory.

But, you are correct in that most of the loyalist feelings in other states soon evaportated, after the British and loyalists had lost some key battles..Loyalist or revolutionary sentiment seemed to depend on whose military presence was in the area..In New York, where there was a strong Crown presence that was continually coming down from Canada, the pro-Crown sympathy was strongly shown..This sentiment though also changed with the tides of war as Burgoyne found out when the mobs of loyalists failed to turn out to support him after he bogged down..

Gavin Watts has produced a series of highly documented books on these campaigns which make for some great reading that you might enjoy..
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Old November 28th, 2012, 06:04 AM   #145

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I will have to check my books, but if I recall correctly New York supplied several thosuand more troops into Loyalist units..And was the reason that were so many out of state regiments stationed in New York..The fierce fighting on the frontier with Canada seemed to have bonded New York closer to England..New York experienced its first Civil War here in Upstate with vast expanses left desolated and deserted from Albany to the Canadian border..
West Chester County was considered a no-man's land between the lines. Almost similar to trench warfare with static lines. Almost. And only in those areas.

Several of the Provincial regiments raised in NY and NJ were sent south with Archibald Campbell in 1778. Several more joined in with Clinton's 1780 invasion at Charlestown and ended up making the bulk (almost the entire number in fact) of the occupation forces in South Carolina. When Cornwallis went north, all the Loyalist regiments remained in SC except for the British Legion who had been reduced to only the Cavalry after their entire infantry was lost at Cowpens. The loyalist regiments remained in the south until 1783 when the war finally ended. A very large number of the rank and file ended up deserting in late 1782 and many remained in the southern colonies. (In fact, my very own ancestor was among them).

I have always felt the similarity to Civil War in the southern colonies was not so much neighbor against neighbor. After all, that doesn't really describe the Civil War. It was region against region. And, so with the southern campaigns of the American Revolution. The majority of the British army in the south was made up of Provincial regiments raised in the northern colonies. The regiments then came and fought against the Patriot southern regiments. I find that very 'Civil War' like.
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Old November 28th, 2012, 06:05 AM   #146

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Sure thing, just away from home and library for awhile..If you examine the raids from Canada that depopulated almost the upper half of New York, they were made up of units of loyalists formed by men who left shortly after the war started.. 84th RHE, Butlers Rangers for example..Most of the people who fought for revolution in New York were like your ancestors people of Dutch background, who didn't feel a strong pull for the Crown..The battle of Oriskany, is a perfect example of this where a large majority of the forces were loyalists versus militia where the majoirty of the militia were of dutch ancestory.

But, you are correct in that most of the loyalist feelings in other states soon evaportated, after the British and loyalists had lost some key battles..Loyalist or revolutionary sentiment seemed to depend on whose military presence was in the area..In New York, where there was a strong Crown presence that was continually coming down from Canada, the pro-Crown sympathy was strongly shown..This sentiment though also changed with the tides of war as Burgoyne found out when the mobs of loyalists failed to turn out to support him after he bogged down..
Indeed. Many of the 80,000 loyalists who left the colonies during the war went to Canada, and many of those would have formed a powerful force to invade New York. But I don't think they can be counted as New Yorkers - that would be counting them twice.

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Gavin Watts has produced a series of highly documented books on these campaigns which make for some great reading that you might enjoy..
Thanks. I'm adding him to my ever-growing reading list.
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Old November 28th, 2012, 06:13 AM   #147
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Indeed. Many of the 80,000 loyalists who left the colonies during the war went to Canada, and many of those would have formed a powerful force to invade New York. But I don't think they can be counted as New Yorkers - that would be counting them twice.



Thanks. I'm adding him to my ever-growing reading list.
Hmmmm interesting thought, as I recall I beleive the authors count New Yorkers forced to flee to Canada as still being New Yorkers but based in Canada..Could explain the number difference...
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Old November 28th, 2012, 06:45 AM   #148

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Well, it has turned into a really nice thread though lol My thoughts on this is that if they were part of the debates on taxiation to pay the huge costs of the wars, the conflict might have been avoided for a while..Or if perhaps the King took a more active role in trying to calm the emotions of the colonials it might have helped as well.. Even during the first part of the war people were still toasting to the King, it was Parliament that they seemed to have a issue with..
I'm a little surprised to see this thread sprout so many different heads and get twisted
like a balloon animal. I didn't think the question was so volatile. Don't get me wrong,
I'm excited to see so much US History chatter for once.
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Old November 28th, 2012, 07:21 AM   #149

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Is it possible that the large number of "patriots" newly claimed is a bit like all of the French being in the Resistance or the Free French after WW2?
It was clearly advantageous to be a loyalist while the army was in town and a patriot when the rebels arrived. Some people must have made small fortunes ( or large ones) out of supplying the troops and others lost all of their property and sometimes their lives for having the wrong political views.
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Old November 28th, 2012, 07:35 AM   #150

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Is it possible that the large number of "patriots" newly claimed is a bit like all of the French being in the Resistance or the Free French after WW2?
Ummm... actually the new claim appears to be for a larger number of "loyalists".

It's also worth noting that the Americans defeated their invader in the ARW, where the French in WWII did not.

Last edited by Rongo; November 28th, 2012 at 07:54 AM.
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