How did the Patriots differ from the Loyalists during the American Revolution?
On the most basic level, Patriots wanted independence and Loyalists were loyal to the crown.
In addition, there were a lot more Patriots among the common yeomen than there were Loyalists. Even in the upper echelons of the Patriot cause, there were more self-made men than there were on the Loyalist side. There were some Patriots were born rich and stayed that way, like Thomas Jefferson, but many, like Alexander Hamilton, Aaron Burr, and Benjamin Franklin, carved out fortunes for themselves.
So Patriotism was much more a trait among the common people than Loyalism.