American Tories: Loyalists in the First Civil War

Would you consider yourself a loyalist when the "rebels" attacked our Capitol on January 6, 2021? We will look at the story of the colonists who were loyal to the King during the Revolutionary War era, their perspectives, their roles during the War, and what ultimately happened to them.

In 1765, the British Stamp Act triggered several violent mob actions in the 13 Colonies. These protests were against “taxation without representation.” Over the next decade, people in the 13 Colonies began to separate into those who joined the rebellion and those who were loyal to the King.

This course focuses on those colonists who were called “Tories or Loyalists.” While initially they represented the more elite members of colonial society, over time individuals from all economic and social classes became Loyalists. Most shared the grievances of the rebels toward the acts of Parliament, but they were not disposed to giving up their status as citizens of the British Empire.

The bonds with Britain were severed, and many Loyalists formed military organizations that fought against the rebels in what has been called by some historians America’s first civil war.

No specific texts or preparation will be required.


Group Leader: JOHN HODGMAN
Meets on: Mondays 10:00 am to noon
Starting: 10/18/2021
Sessions: 5
Class Size: 20
Teaching Style: Lecture and discussion
Weekly Preparation: None
Group Leader Biography:

From 1968 to 1983 John Hodgman was a personnel officer in one of the Big Eight CPA firms, the director of the Massachusetts Employment Security Agency, and president of a computer software company. In 1984, he became president of the Massachusetts Technology Development Corporation (MTDC), the Commonwealth’s venture capital firm, until his retirement in 2001. Subsequently, he taught entrepreneurship courses at Tufts University until his second and final retirement in 2015. John has been the discussion leader for two previous BHS courses.