LHS 2024 Lecture Series: “For Britannia’s Glory and Wealth”

 Next in the Lovettsville Historical Society’s 2024 Lecture Series:

“For Britannia’s Glory and Wealth”

Presented by Glenn Williams, Ph.D.

Sunday, March 10, 2024, at 2:00 p.m.

St. James United Church of Christ,
10 East Broad Way, Lovettsville VA

On Sunday, March 10, the Lovettsville Historical Society will be honored to present military historian Glenn Williams, speaking on the topic “For Britannia’s Glory and Wealth.”

Williams is a retired U.S. Army officer, with a “second career” as an active military historian. He retired as a Senior Historian after 18 years at the U.S. Army Center of Military History at Fort McNair, and 3 1/2 years as the historian of the American Battlefield Protection Program of the U.S. National Park Service.

Williams will examine the political and economic causes of the American Revolution beginning at the end of the Seven Years War/French and Indian War up through the resistance movements.

Williams’s presentation will dispel or clarify some of the popular beliefs about the grievances that eventually led the thirteen colonies to break with the Mother Country. For example, it will cover and explain the political institutions of the American colonies, Britain’s system of mercantilism, the imperial relationship exemplified by the policy of “benign neglect,” the King’s proclamation of 1763 and diplomatic relationships with Indian nations, and what “taxation without representation is tyranny” actually meant.

It will discuss colonial resistance against Parliamentary taxation and legislation, particularly the Stamp Act, Townshend Duties, and the Tea Act. There will also be an explanation of the organization and effectiveness of American non-importation and non-exportation agreements, and the forming of local committees and “independent militia” companies to enforce and defend them from royal authority as the constitutional crisis deepened. 

This program will also introduce the audience to how the imperial crisis was reflected in the culture by analyzing the lyrics of patriotic songs of the era, particularly John Dickenson’s 1768 “Liberty Song.” Its lyrics seem to contradict what many Americans currently believe caused the Revolutionary War. For example, if it were about the refusal to pay taxes, why does the chorus say, “Our purses are ready … not as slaves but as Freemen our money we’ll give”? Also, if it were a revolt against the “tyrant” King George III and independence from Great Britain, why do the lyrics of one verse proclaim, “This bumper I crown for our Sovereign’s health, And this for Britannia’s glory and wealth”?

At the conclusion, participants will see that the Revolution was not about just “paying” taxes or a refusal to buy and drink tea.  

The presentation will be held at St. James United Church of Christ, 10 East Broad Way, in Lovettsville. The program will be followed, as is customary, by questions and discussion.

The program will not be live-streamed, but a video recording of the event will be posted on the Lovettsville Historical Society website.

Admission is free, but donations and are welcome to defray expenses of the program and to support the activities of the Lovettsville Historical Society.

For more information, visit www.LovettsvilleHistoricalSociety.org or email events@lovettsvillehistoricalsociety.org.