During the period of the American Revolution, most Quakers supported the British cause. But unlike many of the Tories, they were strict pacifists. What was the relationship between the British loyalists and the Quakers? In other words, how did the Tories view them?

  • I find the question quite puzzling. Quakerism is a nonconformist religion; Tory is a term that can be used to refer to a British political party or a political affiliation in the colonies. I remember stories of Quakers on both sides of the conflict, but Quaker commitment to pacifism makes it very difficult for them to be involved in armed conflict. Tories would not have had a cohesive view of Quakers - some would have viewed them as fellow travellers, other more political Tories would have dismissed them as dissenters from CoE.
    – MCW
    Dec 2 '15 at 9:11
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    @MarkC.Wallace - I was too. After reading it though, I think that's part of the mystery that led bionicrm to ask the question. In England they were political rivals, but in the colonies the terms suddenly are applied to people on the same political side?
    – T.E.D.
    Dec 2 '15 at 14:24
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    D'israeli referred to the Church of England as "The Tory Party at prayer" - in England the Tories are a formal political party that is closely aligned with the ruler and the church; the church alignment will separate them from dissenters. In colonial America, "Tory" merely means that the individual is not willing to raise arms against the king. The term would have been applied to pacifist Quakers and political affiliates of the King. Perhaps that draws the distinction more cleanly? Kind of like an American "Democrat" is not the same as a German "Social Democrat"
    – MCW
    Dec 2 '15 at 14:32
  • Were Quakers actually pro British? Or just generally opposed to rebellion against Caesar?
    – Ne Mo
    Dec 2 '15 at 18:04
  • Quakers are opposed to war. They are pacifists. (note: I am not a Quaker; I hope that I am being respectful and not oversimplifying a complex belief structure).
    – MCW
    Dec 2 '15 at 19:28

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