chapter  5
Winning Independence: The Wars of the American Revolution
Pages 20

The American War of Independence lasted eight and a half years, making it the longest armed conflict in the history of the United States with the exception of the Vietnam War. The war lasted twice as long as the Civil War or American participation in the Second World War, both of which have made a deeper imprint on the popular historical consciousness than the struggle for independence. Nonetheless, the War of Independence had a crucial impact on the outcome of the Revolution and the development of the United States. Indeed, eastern North America was characterized by a congeries of violent conflict between 1775 and 1794 that should properly be termed “the wars of the American Revolution”.1 These concurrent struggles reveal the complexity of the American Revolution.