Accession Number:



British Policy Towards Loyalists in the Philadelphia Campaign, 1777-1778

Descriptive Note:

Technical Report,05 Jul 2016,25 May 2017

Corporate Author:

US Army School for Advanced Military Studies Fort Leavenworth United States

Personal Author(s):

Report Date:


Pagination or Media Count:



This historical assessment of British policy during the Philadelphia Campaign evaluates British policy and the policys implementation within both civil society and the British military effort. During the American Revolution, the British faced a shortage of troops, which caused both civil and military leaders of Britain to proclaim the need for provincial units supporting the suppression of rebellion. The British military leaders in the colonies failed to translate their consistently stated support for the policy into actions designed to stimulate support and create effective units. When the British forces occupied Philadelphia, they alienated the population through plunder and adverse economic policies. Though the ability of the Loyalists in combat was proven during the campaign by units like the Queens Rangers, the British failed to maximize and encourage the growth of similarly capable units. The British operational leadership lacked an understanding of the many influences on the Loyalists within the complex environment of the revolution. This lack of nuanced understanding prevented the formation of a coherent policy at the operational level to ensure the support of the Loyalists.

Subject Categories:

  • Humanities and History
  • Military Forces and Organizations

Distribution Statement: