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Loyalists in the Canadian History

Loyalists are the colonists living in the English colonies of North America. During the American War of Independence 1775 – 1783, loyalists were affirmative supporters of the English monarchy who left the territory of the newly formed United States and moved to the sparsely populated English colonies. Being one of the most debatable periods in the history of Canada, the period of loyalists’ immigration was depicted in different works of literature and art. This picture is one of them.

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On this picture, the people who have just arrived at their new “shelter” are presented. Mostly, they are middle-class people, since their clothes tell about it. They do not have much luggage but the most important staff that each of them put in one kit-bag only. These people seem to be tired from the trip. They lowered their heads. They came by ships to some highlands where no signs of any civilization can be seen. The ground is mostly rocky here which means it will be hard for them to make themselves at home and grow edible plants. Most likely, they moored to the bank of a river or a lake, since no high waves can be seen on the water. The chiefs of the trip are the British people, as the style of their clothes is elegant and corresponds to the dresses that English people wore at the end of the 18th century. They are discussing something, and the way they gesture and the positions they are standing in reveal a conservative English character. We do not know what they are talking about, but from the expression on their faces, we can see that the conversation turns out rather interesting for them.

This picture can be regarded as rather a valid historic source since much information can be retrieved from it:

  1. We can determine the historic events presented in the picture. The picture presents the true immigration of loyalists aided by the representatives of English authorities. As far as we know, in 1783, thousands of loyalists left the USA and started living a new life under the guardianship of England.
    In this latter period, judged by the European standards of the time, the Canadian settlers were prosperous, and there had developed an important community based on hardy, thrifty, and courageous settlers (Marianopolis College).
  2. We can make guesses about the place where the historic events presented in the picture take place. According to some sources, Canadian loyalists settled mostly along the bank of the St. Lawrence river (Marianopolis College). As far as we know, the relief along this river is mostly rocky. So, there is a possibility that this very place is reflected on the picture.
  3. We can determine the approximate date of the event presented on the picture. The English gentlemen have cock hats and wigs on their heads. The ladies are in elegant dresses, pompous underskirts, and hats. This style of clothes and fashion correspond to the ending of the 18th – the beginning of the 19th century.

Thus, this picture can be considered as a historic source representing realistic events of the immigration of Canadian loyalists after the American Revolutionary War. This picture is an important source, with the help of which we can establish several facts related to the history of Canada: we can make guesses about the date to which the event is related and the approximate place where the event was going on.

The true immigration of loyalists aided by the representatives of English authorities

Works Cited

Claude Bélanger. Immigration history of Canada. Marianopolis college. 2004.

The North American Migration Project. Arisona State University. 2007. Web.

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