"Like most 'wars of liberation' the American War of Independence was a bitter civil war too. One contemporary guess divided the people into three: the patriots, one third, the Tory loyalists, one-third, and the remainder prepared to go along with any party."
"The Loyalists may be divided up into three classes. The first class was made up of "officials, great landowners and other men of wealth and position," viz. the ultra-Tories. The second class were the colonial soldiers who fought on the side of the crown in an effort to crush the rebellion. Then there was the third class, larger than either of the others, composed of merchants, professional men of all trades, together with farmers, and hangers-on of wealthy business men."
"Whatever the number might be that stayed on (not many) there were those of the 1776 group of Loyalists who spent that summer scouting out Nova Scotia. They wrote their friends and family back in New England. They said that there was more to be had in Nova Scotia ..."
"The new town of Shelburne, before the summer of 1783 was out, with a population of 10,000, or so, was the fourth largest city in North America after Philadelphia, New York, and Boston. ... Two years later, two-thirds of the town was uninhabited."
"The arrival of the loyalists, for the most part, was to occur over but a period of months, beginning in the fall of 1783 and picking up once again and continuing through to November of 1784. There developed in a very short time, as might be imaged, friction between this great mass of Loyalists which came into the province within this short period of time with those Nova Scotian settlers, a much smaller number, that had come up from New England before the revolution (1760-76) ..."
"The coming of the Loyalists to the Province of Nova Scotia, most certainly had a pronounced effect in the development of its political institutions. These institutions were passed on from province to province as the years of the 19th century wore on. It was a revolution of political process and was attributable, not just to the times but, as far as Canada is concerned, because of the flood of Loyalists that came in during the years 1782-3."