We are a commune of inquiring, skeptical, politically centrist, capitalist, anglophile, traditionalist New England Yankee humans, humanoids, and animals with many interests beyond and above politics. Each of us has had a high-school education (or GED), but all had ADD so didn't pay attention very well, especially the dogs. Each one of us does "try my best to be just like I am," and none of us enjoys working for others, including for Maggie, from whom we receive neither a nickel nor a dime. Freedom from nags, cranks, government, do-gooders, control-freaks and idiots is all that we ask for.
Wish I could say that my Yankee ancestors were among the rebels, but they probably were not. Best we can tell, approx. 1/3 of the colonies' population sympathised with the rebels, 1/3 were on the fence, and 1/3 were hard-core Tories. I am not aware of any Revolutionary War veteran ancestors. The Farm itself in Massachusetts, if you recall from earlier posts, was a land grant to my family from King George, and we remain thankful for that - but not ambivalent about our revolution because of its elevation of the idea of individual freedom from the power of The State.
The 1/3:1/3:1/3 ratio that I've read about many times (not that I even buy that those ratios have anything close to a scientific basis) has always kind of annoyed me. Then again, just about everything annoys me about how much confidence we place in what we know about history from times when significant percentages of the population were either illiterate or supposedly irrelevant. Given that many people were pressing west (and by west I mean foothills of the Appalachians and some slightly beyond) and that news traveled slowly, I've always suspected that there was a forth "third" (OK, probably less than a third but more than a smidgen) who were too busy making a living from the bountiful resources of virgin (to white men anyway) territory to know or give a damn about what was going on in Concord, Boston, Savannah, Philadelphia, NY, etc. Perhaps my perspective is warped by what little I know of the lone branch of my family history that goes back that far. My ancestors settled in western PA after a brief half-generation stop in NYC. None that I know of were involved in any wars until WWII. Most people just want to live their lives and be left alone and don't go looking for trouble unless it's on their doorstep or someone explicitly asks (or forces) them. I can't see how someone outside of the major cities and towns and was neither pro nor con could even be described as "sitting on the fence". I see an underrepresented (from a historical perspective, anyway) chunk of America that was out of King George's reach either way. Why would they give a damn about tea taxes, import/export issues, etc. when the gubmint back in London had no idea who they were or where they were and didn't have anything KG needed anyway. I think our modern perspective on the evils of government clouds our thinking about how little influence it can have in a large and far away place 250 years ago before even rudimentary technologies like telegraphs, trains, and steamships even existed.
But then maybe that's just my lack of respect showing through for the ivory tower edjukators churning out publish-or-perish pablum and expecting me to believe their scribblings without question.
Damn, I read over that and it sounds far more ignorant than it feels. And embarrassingly long, too...
Even the people crossing the mountains were affected by King George because I think there was a law that white man weren't allowed over the mountains. Also check out the battle of Kings Mountain later in the revolution when the mountain men had enough of the loyalists and the Brits. Don't know what the scholarship is on the 1/3's but seems right, the most vocal 1/3 would have been the Founding Fathers. That's what so scary about the liberals for the last few years. They seem more motivated.
Actually the 1/3 ratios come from a statement from John Adams who made that assessment himself as a general statement - not an actually accounting. He was explaining, in general how the populace was initially divided, but not over the American Revolution. It was from a letter from 1813 discussing American support for the French Revolution during his presidency. ( See John Ferling, John Adams: A Life)
Actually, most estimates would indicate that many supported the revolutionary efforts, if nothing else, from economic motivations. Some pointy-headed academics are guestimating that over 40% actively supported the American Revolution. It's impossible to really know who rode the fence, as it were, because some certainly waited to see which way the tide would turn and in the end chose to stay in country rather than be exiled to England or move to the Caribbean or Canada. But a lot can happen in 8 years in terms of support, active support and apathy. Paine didn't call them "summer soldiers" for nothing.