With the final words of the Declaration of Independence, the signatories famously pledged to one another their lives, their fortunes, and their "sacred Honor." But what about those who made the opposite choice? By looking through the analytical lens of honor culture, Dishonored Americans offers an innovative assessment of the experience of Americans who made the fateful decision to remain loyal to the British Crown during and after the Revolution.

Loyalists, as Timothy Compeau explains, suffered a "political death" at the hands of American Patriots. A term drawn from eighteenth-century sources, ‘political death’ encompassed the legal punishments and ritualized dishonors Patriots used to defeat Loyalist public figures and discredit their counter-revolutionary vision for America. By highlighting this dynamic, Compeau makes a significant intervention in the long-standing debate over the social and cultural factors that motivated colonial Americans to choose sides in the conflict, narrating in compelling detail the severe consequences for once-respected gentlemen who were stripped of their rights, privileges, and power in Revolutionary America.

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