United Empire Loyalists

The name United Empire Loyalists is an honorific given after the fact to those American Loyalists who resettled in British North America and other British Colonies as an act of fealty to King George III after the British failure in the American Revolutionary War and prior to the Treaty of Paris. Reasons for their movement north range from loyalty to Britain, to a rejection of the republican ideals of the American Revolution, to an offer of free land in British North America. Many were prominent Americans whose ancestors had originally settled in the early 17th century, while a portion were recent settlers in the Thirteen Colonies with few economic or social ties. Many had their property confiscated by the revolutionaries.

These Loyalists settled in what was initially Quebec (including the Eastern Townships) and modern-day Ontario, where they received land grants of 200 acres (81 ha) per person, and in Nova Scotia (including modern-day New Brunswick). Their arrival marked the beginning of a predominantly English-speaking population in the future Canada west and east of the Quebec border. Many Loyalists from the American South brought their slaves with them as slavery was also legal in Canada. An imperial law in 1790 assured prospective immigrants to Canada that their slaves would remain their property. Most black Loyalists were free, however, having been given their freedom from slavery by fighting for the British or joining British lines during the Revolution. The government helped them resettle in Canada as well, transporting nearly 3500 free blacks to New Brunswick.

Read more about United Empire Loyalists:  Origins, Accommodation, War of 1812, Today, Heraldry, List of Loyalist Settlements in Present-day Canada

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