During most of the revolution Britain controlled New York City and New York. When the British arrived in New York in 1776 they had over thirty three thousand men controlled by General Howe. George Washington at the time was living in New York City at the time. The patriots had already lost Boston to the British. George Washington was worried that the British would attempt to occupy New York. In the Battle of Long Island the British one a huge victory one a huge victory over the continental army. After that George Washington and his men retreated from the city. In the battle of White Plains the Colonist lost again (Leonard 273).
At this point the British controlled New York City and all of New York. New York itself was a loyalist friendly state. Most people supported parliament and did not want to lose the kings protection. The patriots were scene more as a fringe rebel group. Many loyalists also create militia groups to protect the British military (Leonard 270).
The turning point of the war was when the British lost two defeats in Saratoga. Led by general Burgoyne, seven thousand soldiers were taken north to try to capture the Hudson River. Led by General Stark tow thousand militiamen were able to capture the British army. They took around five to six thousand prisoners. This defeat led to the British to attempt a new plan of getting loyalist support from the South (Leonard 286).
By 1783 the British were forced to leave New York City because of the treaty of Paris. After that New York was completely controlled by the Colonist. Many Loyalist did leave New york because they were worried of persecution (287 Leonard).
Leonard, John W. History of the City of New York. New York: Journal of Commerce and Commercial Bulletin, 1910. Print.