New Jersey’s role in the American Revolution
Even though New Jersey might be a small state, it played a major role in shaping the American Revolution. Many people regard New Jersey as just a peaceful state that did not get involved during the war. But what many people don’t know is that around five major battles were fought on New Jersey soil. For example: battle of Princeton, Bunker Hill, Saratoga and many more. New Jersey is famous for the Delaware Crossing led by General George Washington also. The colonists of New Jersey experienced many chaotic times during the revolution. New Jersey was divided into three groups which consisted of the patriots, loyalists, and partially undecided. The patriots wanted freedom from the monarch country (England).
The patriots did not like the taxation, laws, and acts that England poured on them. The patriots fought Wars in England’s name, but received nothing from the American casualties. The patriots were fed up. All they wanted to have was freedom, a separate legislature, and to be represented as an individual country. The undecided colonists were either people who supported the patriotic cause but did not want to fight the war, because they knew England’s army would destroy the American army. Also some undecided colonists were the exact opposite. They supported the loyalists because they were afraid of the consequences, but secretly they wanted freedom themselves. Everyone hated the loyalists, but most loyalists were loyalists out of fear. They did not want to commit treason and suffer in the end. The patriots outnumbered the loyalists in New Jersey. Even though the loyalists were demoralized during the revolution by the patriots’ nationalism and hatred, they never gave hope and fought till the end.
The Patriot: Historical Accuracy The Patriot is a fictional piece with the timeframe and events of the American Revolution, with a few exceptions. As suggested in the title, there are obvious biases in favour of the United States right from the beginning. Th 1) The brutality of the British regulars is, in the worlds of star Mel Gibson, 'juiced up' for dramatic effect. In one scene, the British ...
There were many individual loyalists that suffered harshly during the revolution. But the loyalist who suffered the most in my opinion is Brigadier General Cortlandt Skinner. General Skinner was the most infamous loyalist in all of New Jersey. Every patriot hated him even though he was a native of New Jersey. He had lived there all his life. Not many people have proof of why he became a loyalist, but people do know the activities he did on behalf of the crown. No one knew if he really opposed American Independence, or did he act like he did out of fear. No one knew his true intentions. But it is true that General Skinner was given an offer to command the provincial troops, which he later declined. But skinner did serve under the British crown. He was authorized to enlist a corps of loyalists under the crown. The regiment was named “Skinner’s New Jersey Volunteers”. Skinner’s volunteers were the largest American loyalist unit raised during the war. After many patriots found out, the provincial congress ordered Skinner’s arrest. Skinner had to deal with the hatred by his fellow neighbors. They wanted him and his family dead. Skinner had to be strong and brave. The nationalism the patriots expressed almost killed him. In the end, Skinner never gave hope. As a matter of fact, Lord Cornwallis said” I do not think it possible that any man could shew more real zeal and attachment towards Great Britain than General Skinner”(Hugh Egerton, 276).
This praise felt like an accomplishment for Skinner. He knew he was doing the right thing, and nothing could stop him. After the war ended and America won peace, Skinner left America and moved to England because he was scared. No man should have to leave their native state because they are afraid of dying. That is just plain American virtues and freedom, which ironically the patriots were fighting for.
Reactions to Roland Emmerich s The Patriot Roland Emmerich shows a first-hand account of a family that has to face the struggles of the revolutionary war for independence in his motion picture, The Patriot. Although the movie focuses in more on the family s struggle for survival through the war, this paper will focus more on the historical events of the picture. The movie depicted quite accurately ...
Many counties in New Jersey experienced their own little war between the patriots and loyalists within their own county. One example is Hunterdon. The Hunterdon County’s residents wrote a petition to the legislature to banish loyalists from the county. Know one really knows why the patriots of Hunterdon had a much stronger hatred towards the loyalists than any other county. No other county tried to permanently banish the loyalists from their county. The reasons in the petition to banish the loyalists were weak. One reason was that the loyalists have joined the enemy and have gone astray. Another reason was that the loyalists had a choice to join the enemy; the Patriots executed no force. This is a complete lie. The patriots killed, injured, and embarrassed the loyalists. Some patriots were loyalists who turned into patriots out of fear. Another reason for the banishment was that the loyalists did not deserve freedom. This makes no sense because the patriots did not even win freedom yet. Some patriots also said that the loyalists might serve as spies for the enemy. The patriots also said that the loyalists enjoyed killing their fellow countrymen. But what amazes me the most is that the patriots talk about religion in the petition. They stated, “ As men and as Christians, we wish to forgive them”(Revolutionary Documents, 268).
In reality the patriots would never forgive them. They are just acting sincere in front of everyone. Therefore the loyalist knew they would never acquire peace. The loyalists of Hunterdon County did not know how to respond. They were eventually silenced by the number of patriots opposing them. They were helpless. The petition passed with ninety-seven signatures affixed. Even the legislature supported the patriot cause. Therefore how could the loyalists of Hunterdon even imagine of winning, when their own government hated them.
The loyalists of New Jersey had no other way of influencing the Patriots except for a petition to the provincial congress against independence. The Provincial congress actually read the petition rather than throwing it away. The petition appeared in the New York Gazette and it was signed by “upwards of 900 freeholders”. No one wanted to sign their actual name, because the Patriots would hunt them down. The loyalists wrote the petition in hopes of changing the patriots’ thoughts of independence. The loyalists said that we should thank Great Britain for all the good they have done to us. The loyalists said they owe Great Britain their humble duty as a colonist. All the loyalists wanted was a safe, honorable, and long lasting reconciliation with Great Britain on constitutional principles. In the petition the loyalists later stated “ Gentlemen, we were convinc’d that sentiments of separation and independence must be not only highly impolitic, but may be of the most dangerous and destructive consequences”(New York Gazette, 204).
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The loyalists were correct. Freedom would mean no help from the mother country. Great Britain helped America with trade, economy, government, and much more. Without Great Britain America would fall apart. No one in the provincial congress agreed with the loyalists’ opinion. As you can see the loyalists had no say in government. Even though they knew nothing would happen because of this petition, they still wrote the petition to see if anyone showed signs of promise. After the petition was closed and disregarded, the patriots wanted to end the loyalists immediately. The patriots did not want loyalists interfering with the revolution anymore.
In conclusion, the loyalists could not compete with the nationalism and hatred the patriots expressed in New Jersey. Although the loyalists tried to end the revolution, they could not fight against their own fear of the patriots. The loyalists tried everything and suffered all the consequences for their attempts. They tried to write a petition to influence the provincial government to end the revolution. But that just resulted in hatred from the patriots. The loyalists suffered many consequences. Different counties tried banishing the loyalists out of the county. The patriots were technically driving the loyalists out of their homes. The loyalists were also attacked physically and emotionally during the revolution. Fear lived in the hearts of the loyalists. Fear for themselves, loved ones, and their well-being influenced their actions. As you can see, the loyalist of America during the revolutionary war should not be taken lightly. They had to suffer through war, nationalism, and pure hatred. Each loyalist only thought of one thing, “Will I even be alive tomorrow?”
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