American Revolution

The Merriam Webster online dictionary defines civil war as ???a war between opposing groups of citizens of the same country.??? Contrary to what many people believe, the Revolutionary War was not simply just a war between the British and the American colonists. Although the conflicts first started as a result of oppressive British ruling over the colonists, there was more to it than a fight solely against Britain. Some of the colonists, known as the Patriots, did not approve of the way Great Britain was running the American colonies. They revolted and encouraged others to rise up against oppressive British rule. Another group of colonists known as Loyalists or Tories, did not approve of the Patriots??™ behavior, claiming that they should all remain loyal to England and its king. This friction sparked the beginnings of the Revolutionary War, not only fought against Britain, but also fought by two opposing groups (Loyalists vs. Patriots) within the same country.
In the pamphlet, Common Sense, Thomas Paine gives reasons as to why Americans should break away from Britain. In his eyes, America needed to claim its independence in order to progress. He accused the British king of being dishonest, and encouraged Americans not to trust him. Common Sense formed the foundations for the Patriots by persuading colonists to get involved in the fight for independence. Though Paine??™s influence was strong among the Patriots, he was rejected by the Loyalists. The Loyalists disagreed with Paine??™s implications of breaking away from Britain. They supported their mother country because they believed that Britain was justified in its actions.
Throughout the war, Patriots aimed to suppress the Loyalists. Those who refused to give up their loyalty to Britain were punished and publicly humiliated by the Patriots. Those who were able to escape the grasp of the Patriots offered aid to the British soldiers, like providing them with shelter and food. Some Loyalists even volunteered to fight alongside the British army against the opposing Americans.
The Revolutionary War initially started as a war between America and Great Britain. However, the war was not fought just between the colonists and Great Britain, because America did suffer from internal conflict. The colonists were divided into two distinct groups: the Patriots and the Loyalists. Thomas Paine??™s writing, especially Common Sense, helped to shape and motivate the Patriots, though the Loyalists despised him for doing so. The two opposing groups clashed with each other both politically and in combat. The Tories who joined the British army were fighting and killing Patriots, who were citizens of the same country. Consequently, it is understandable why some call the Revolutionary War America??™s first civil war.