Was Patriot / Tory in the American Revolution Along Religious Lines? If so, why?

betgo

Ad Honorem
Jul 2011
6,702
It seems like most Anglicans were loyalists / torys, and the Anglican Church went from being maybe the largest to having only a few churches after the war. Was this because the head of the Anglican Church was the king and clergymen were paid by the government? Was it because Puritans and other protestant / low church were on the Republican side in the English Civil War and that carried over? Was it because Puritans and other Calvinists and Baptists, etc. were more offended by the Quebec Act tolerating / establishing Roman Catholicism in an expanded Quebec?
 
Sep 2012
1,222
Tarkington, Texas
I don't see a split along religious lines. Families could be split by the revolt. The Highland Scots in North Carolina came out as Tories, but many of them moved to Canada after the war. There is no Anglican Church in America today. They call themselves Episcopalians. I doubt the Americans cared what was going on in Quebec, Canada.

Pruitt
 

betgo

Ad Honorem
Jul 2011
6,702
I don't see a split along religious lines. Families could be split by the revolt. The Highland Scots in North Carolina came out as Tories, but many of them moved to Canada after the war. There is no Anglican Church in America today. They call themselves Episcopalians. I doubt the Americans cared what was going on in Quebec, Canada.

Pruitt

They are called Episcopal because the Queen is not head of the Church. The Anglican Church was established in most colonies, and there were almost no members left after the Revolution. Most went to Canada or Bermuda. The Episcopal Church recovered somewhat later on. What do you base that there was no religious divide?

The highland Scots were traditionally mostly Catholic and Jacobite. The term Tory originally referred to Irish Catholic Jacobites. The Torys in England were generally high Church or closet Catholic with Jacobite sympathies.

All of what became the Northwest Territory and then OH, IN, IL, MI, and WI was made part of Quebec under the Quebec Act of 1774. This was territory banned from English settlement under the Proclamation of 1763. The Quebec Act allowed the Catholic Church to take tithes in Quebec. It was inferred by some that the Catholic Church would be established in what became the Northwest Territory and tax everyone Protestant or Catholic there.
 

Chlodio

Forum Staff
Aug 2016
5,009
Dispargum
My sense is that being Anglican did not make someone a loyalist/tory. More likely, if someone was of a conservative predisposition, with a preference for maintaining the status quo, coming from old money perhaps, then they joined the Anglican Church and during the Revolution remained loyal to the king.

Another reason for the decline of the Anglican Church in that period was the move away from established religions. Previously many Anglicans joined that church only because that was the path of least resistance. When the Anglican Church became disestablished, other churches could compete for members on a more even basis, and the Anglican Church declined as a result.
 

betgo

Ad Honorem
Jul 2011
6,702
At the time of the Revolution, it was mostly Anglican, Presbyterian, or Congregationalist, based on what your parents were not based on choice. Definitely, the fact that the Anglican / Episcopal Church was no longer established as well as its association with Torys contributed to large numbers becoming Baptist, Methodist, etc.
 
Sep 2012
1,222
Tarkington, Texas
Betgo, you asked, I answered. Weren't many of the wealthy citizens in the Anglican Church, especially in the South? I don't see George Washington as Methodist, Presbyterian, Baptist or Congregationalist. I went to the Episcopal Day School in Lake Charles, La for two years (4th and 6th Grades). Our Priest told us he was in the Anglican Branch of the Church, alongside the Roman Catholics and Orthodox Churches.

Pruitt
 

Chlodio

Forum Staff
Aug 2016
5,009
Dispargum
At the time of the Revolution, it was mostly Anglican, Presbyterian, or Congregationalist, based on what your parents were not based on choice.
Then change my previous statement to read "If one was predisposed to being a liberal/radical/patriot then one was more likely to leave the Anglican Church during the Revolutionary period. The way I see it, it's six of one, half a dozen of the other. My key point is that religion didn't drive politics. Politics drove religion.
 

betgo

Ad Honorem
Jul 2011
6,702
The Episcopal Church has been elite since after the American Revolution. It had a large membership before. In Virginia all churches were Anglican until the Revolution or shortly before. Baptists and Methodists preached, sometimes to large audiences, out of doors. Lutheran ministers had to go to England and be ordained as Anglican priests.

Yes, almost all of the delegates to the Continental Congress from the south were Anglican and plantation owners. However, my understanding is in the middle colonies Anglicans were mostly loyalists and Presbyterians, Congregationalists, and others were mostly Patriots.
 

Chlodio

Forum Staff
Aug 2016
5,009
Dispargum
...my understanding is in the middle colonies Anglicans were mostly loyalists and Presbyterians, Congregationalists, and others were mostly Patriots.
Quakers, Amish, Mennonites and maybe a few other pacifist religions tried to remain neutral during the war. In some ways they were effectively loyalists because they refused to support the Patriot cause. The British were more likely to be content with neutrality because at least they didn't have to fight the Quakers, Amish, etc. The Patriots were more likely to take an "either you're with us or against us" approach.
 

Zip

Jan 2018
767
San Antonio
The Puritans came to America so they could pray. When they weren't preying on the the Indians, French and Quakers they preyed on each other.
 
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