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Old 08-01-2007, 04:47 PM   #19
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Join Date: Aug 2004
Location: Massachusetts
Posts: 820

The origin of Yankee is relatively uncertain but goes back to the Colonial period. One theory is that it refers to the Dutch surname Janke which was anglicinized as Yankee and came to be a nickname for English speaking Dutch during the Colonial period. Over time it came to be used to describe even non-Dutch colonists.

During the American Revolution, it was used with derision by the British army to refer to the Continental army and those in support of the war. Conversely, the term "Tory" was used with equal derision to describe those who remained loyal to the crown.

As a point of trivia, the population of the thirteen original states can't really be split up into being either a Yankee or a Tory since the population was split pretty much evenly three ways - 1/3 supported the break with the crown, a 1/3 remained loyal, and 1/3 pretty much remained neutral.
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