Encountering the Other on the Field of Battle : Global Conflict, Identity, and Archaeology in the Era of the American Revolution

Part of: Society for Historical Archaeology 2014

The War for American Independence (1775-1783) was an international conflict. In terms of antagonists, goals, and landscapes, the conflict was both familiar and foreign to it participants. Colonial wars of empire were common on the North American continent, pitting European nations against one another, supplemented by mixtures of native and colonial peoples. The American Revolution was thus a familiar war, bringing American (broadly-defined), English, German, French, Spanish, African, and native peoples into conflict with one another. Some of the landscapes traversed by the warring parties were well-known strategic or tactical battlegrounds. The goal of the conflict, however, was new ‘ national independence. Thus, the war was a transoceanic conflict between a European homeland and its descendants fighting for independence, and one where the concept of citizens under arms played a primary role. The papers included in this session approach the theme of ‘encountering the other’ through the lens of conflict archeology.

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