AP U.S. History Notes

Winners and Losers in the American Revolution

The American Revolution was an important event for the North American continent because it affected so many differing parties. As in all conflicts, the American Revolution resulted in “winners” and “losers”. The Patriots were the obvious winners in the Revolution; they gained independence, the right to practice representative government, and several new civil liberties and freedoms. Loyalists, or Tories, were the losers of the Revolution; they supported the Crown, and the Crown was defeated. Loyalists were viewed as traitors and persecuted endlessly. However, the Native Americans lost even more than the Loyalists in the American Revolution; they lost the rights to most of their land, forever confining them to existing on humiliating reservations.

The American Revolution had a positive outcome to the Patriots who were fighting for independence from Britain. The defeat of the British gave Patriots the political and economic rights they had been seeking from Britain since the start of the prolonged conflict. Patriots were now free to establish their own systems of representative government and elect officials who best suited their interests. Now the Americans would only be taxed by people who represented them, rather than an assembly of exploitative Britons with no care for American interests. American independence also brought an end to the much despised British mercantilism that had once been such an important aspect of the American colonial economy. Americans were no longer forced into purchasing British products and trading in British markets. Free trade meant that Americans would be free to trade with whoever offers the best price – and thus obtain the maximum profit.

The outcome wasn’t so cheerful for the unfortunate Loyalists who decided to remain faithful to their King during the American Revolution. Loyalists were viewed as traitors by their fellow Americans for their lack of patriotism during the Revolutionary conflict. Often, Patriots saw fit to wreak violence on the Loyalists. Patriots would tar and feather Loyalists who had been strong supporters of the British. For many Loyalists, the only escape from persecution was to leave the country. Thousands flocked to Canada and even more returned to Britain. In Britain, the Loyalists had a hard time fitting in and remained uncomfortable for the rest of their lives. Luckily, some mild Loyalists were forgiven and allowed to remain in America and live in peace. However, those who supported the King clearly felt the consequences of their decision when the Americans achieved their independence.




The American Revolution sealed the fate of the indecisive Native Americans. The disorganized Iroquois Native Americans could not agree upon which side to support during the War – and each tribe was left to decide on its own. Fatefully, the majority of the Iroquois tribes sided with the British because they believed a victorious British would restrain American expansion into the West. However, when the British were defeated, the Native American hopes were left in tatters. Also, any chances of the Parliament restricting further incursion into the depths of the content were effectively destroyed. In 1784, the pro-British Iroquois were forced to sign the humiliating Treaty of Fort Stanwix, which ceded most of the Native American land to the United States. Thus began the Indian Reservation System that confined the once-proud tribes to a degrading life on small plots of land. Many of the Native Americans became addicted to alcohol and lived miserable lives. Clearly, the American Revolution had the worst effects on the Native Americans.

The American Revolution was an important event for the North American continent because it affected so many differing parties. The Patriots gained independence and the right to practice their own style of government; Loyalists were persecuted as “traitors”; and the Native Americans lost the rights to their ancestral lands. The outcome of this conflict would forever be remembered in history for its lasting effects.

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How to cite this note (MLA)

Aboukhadijeh, Feross. "Winners and Losers in the American Revolution" StudyNotes.org. Study Notes, LLC., 05 Jan. 2014. Web. 13 Jul. 2024. <https://www.apstudynotes.org/us-history/sample-essays/winners-and-losers-in-the-american/>.