Date of Award

Fall 2008

Project Type


Program or Major


Degree Name

Master of Arts


Traditionally, studies of the Loyalists from the American Revolution highlight their wartime experience or explore their post-war experience as exiles in other areas of the British Empire. Instead, this study begins in 1783 and focuses on the majority of Loyalists who stayed in the United States after Independence. Using legal documents, personal correspondence, and popular newspapers the "Loyalist Problem in the Early Republic," analyzes the legal and cultural dimensions of citizenship from the Loyalist's perspective. It suggests that the Loyalists played a significant role in the legal and cultural formation of American citizenship and national identity. Additionally, it explores the Loyalists role in shaping American commercial policy and suggests the loyalists had a greater influence than has been traditionally recognized.