Talk:American Revolutionary War

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Former good article American Revolutionary War was one of the History good articles, but it has been removed from the list. There are suggestions below for improving the article to meet the good article criteria. Once these issues have been addressed, the article can be renominated. Editors may also seek a reassessment of the decision if they believe there was a mistake.


This article focuses on the military campaign, while the American Revolution covers the origins of the war, as well as other social and political issues.

Please try to keep this article at a reasonable length. The current approach has been to summarize the war in a way that will be clearly understandable to the general reader, without cluttering it up with too many details. Concentrate on the major figures and actions, and try to leave detailed discussion of war strategies, battle casualties, historical debates, etc. to linked articles about specific battles or actions.

Instead of adding additional detail to this lengthy article, consider adding your information to an article on a specific battle, or to one of these campaign articles currently in development. Additionally, one campaign, Northern theater of the American Revolutionary War after Saratoga (box at right), does not yet have an article specifically about those operations.

WP:PAGESIZE issues[edit]

The Pagesize tool says that this article is now clocking in at 108kb readable prose size, above the "100kb almost certainly should be divided" or WP:TOOBIG (two days ago this article was at 89kb). Because of the article's present size we are now running into accessibility issues especially considering WIkipedia's worldwide audience and the amount of people who access this encyclopedia on mobile platforms and with older browsers. Shearonink (talk) 23:28, 25 May 2017 (UTC)

@Shearonink: Sorry it's taken so long to get back to you! I agree; I've been trimming the sections to summarise them far better than they were before, and re-writing whole sections to improve their quality of English, information they include, and formatting. I would suggest we split the "Analysis of Combatants" section into an article unto itself. It's a massive chunk of this article as it is, and it's a topic that could be explored in so much depth that it could rightly deserve its own page. It needs a lot of work, but I'll gladly take on that task in due course. (Anaruna (talk) 02:20, 1 June 2017 (UTC))
@Dbrote: @Moxy: @Rjensen: - What are your thoughts on this? The article is pretty large for its focus as it is, there's quite a bit of detail to cover. I think we could split "Analysis of Combatants" into its own article. As I say above, it would need a lot of work to get it up to scratch on quality of English and references, but it's an effort I'll gladly undertake! (Anaruna (talk) 23:10, 2 June 2017 (UTC))
I think the topic is so important as to justify length--but I will try to trim it down. I count 93,000 bytes, or under 15,000 words. the advice at wp:toobig is badly flawed: it assumes people will 1) only read the entire article straight through and 2) that 30 minutes is the maximum attention span. that's probably advice for articles on video games. Both are false for a serious article pitched at a university-undergraduate audience. I think readers will focus on the specific topics they are interested in and will spend the time they need for that in several blocks. 3) the advice about dial-up connections slowing readers down is a 10 years out of date--and false--not many people will want to read this advanced material at faster speed than a dial-up connection. Rjensen (talk) 04:34, 3 June 2017 (UTC)
I think length is a consideration to at least keep in mind in terms of providing accessibility for our worldwide readership. I know people in the United States who still only have dial-up so yes, article-length would still be a consideration for them. Not everyone can afford an updated machine or browser. Shearonink (talk) 05:15, 3 June 2017 (UTC)
I agree with Shearonink; it is a consideration we need to be mindful of. Especially when we consider those who are accessing via mobile or outdated modems etc. The Analysis of Combatants could definitely merit its own article, it's a rather hefty topic to get into. I could write out a draft page (but leave it un-linked on other pages so nobody accesses it yet) and post it here, see what people think? (Anaruna (talk) 22:51, 4 June 2017 (UTC))
the old-modem argument does not work. Anyone with a 1200 baud modem can download the whole article in the 30 minutes that we are allocating to them and will not be inconvenienced. Rjensen (talk) 23:56, 4 June 2017 (UTC)

Semi-protected edit request on 29 May 2017[edit]

Why does the second paragraph in the header describing the background to the war say "after 1785"? This seems like an obvious typo and is very confusing for those trying to gain a rough sense of the war's timeline. I'm guessing they meant to say 1765, since in 1785 the war was already over. 2601:19B:B00:9DBD:15DD:FBC5:C3C:88BC (talk) 17:48, 29 May 2017 (UTC)

Done Shearonink (talk) 18:08, 29 May 2017 (UTC)

Main Leaders[edit]

User Charles Lindberg is, yet again, engaging in pointless edit warring, this time over the inclusion of "Main Leaders" in the commanders section of the infobox. I would like to point out a few things:
  1. - This very same user objected to there being too many commanders in the list, which is why it was reduced to main leaders in the first place.
  2. - "Main Leaders" are not just headings - they are links. Links to the rest of the field commanders of the war, which, due to the objection in point one, could not be included in the infobox. There is no other link in the main body of the article to the commanders of the American Revolutionary War - what better place to include it than the commanders section of the infobox? Similarly used over on the page for World War II.
  3. - Inclusion of these headings were decided by consensus here on the talk page. No-one objected to their inclusion. I might add, this was a discussion Charles Lindberg barely participated in.
  4. - This user seems to be under the impression that edits from others require consensus, but him reverting edits agreed by consensus by others does not require a consensus.
Some may feel this is bad faith; but I am simply stating the facts. How is it "redundant" to include a heading-link that leads one to a more detailed list of commanders of the war? There is no other edit explanation provided besides "redundant", when one is actually offered at all. Why is it redundant? (Anaruna (talk) 23:20, 1 June 2017 (UTC))

Strengths / Casualties[edit]

I've been thinking; the strength and casualties box is looking a little cluttered now that total figures have been added. Is there any way we can remedy this? Perhaps have the figures in collapsible lists? Or should we scrap the two boxes altogether, as is the case on pages such as World War II, and simply have the figures for casualties and strengths in the main body of the article itself? Casualties already has its own section after all, and strengths can easily go into the overhaul of analysis of combatants. What do we think? (Anaruna (talk) 22:15, 12 June 2017 (UTC))

French Empire[edit]

If you need to say "France and its colonies", just write "France and its colonies". It makes no sense to write about a French Empire, because French Empire is a specialized concept referring to how France was ruled, instead of whether or not France ruled over other countries. It just doesn't work like British Empire. The infobox right now does a worse job than if there were just written "France" instead, because it's misleading.

Vorodan (talk) 22:47, 24 June 2017 (UTC)