American Loyalists, or Tories, the American supporters of Great Britain during the Revolutionary War, 1775–83. A large number of Americans (estimated at one-fourth to one-third of the colonial population of about 2,500,000) opposed the Revolution and its objectives. They represented all classes of society and all sections of the country. Loyalism, however, was strongest among the more prosperous and conservative classes and in the Middle Atlantic region and the lower South.
Many Loyalists contributed supplies, money, and information to the British, and some 30,000 or more served in the British army. Patriots considered Loyalists internal enemies. In a number of states, they were denied the right to vote and their property was confiscated. About 100,000 eventually fled to Great Britain, the West Indies, and Canada. The others chose to remain in the United States and accepted the American victory. Compensation for confiscated Loyalist property was an issue in the treaty negotiations at the end of the war.