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Virtual Lecture – For Britannia’s Glory and Wealth: The Constitutional Crisis that Led to the American Revolution 

Date: Tuesday, June 18, 2024

Location: Zoom Virtual Lecture

Time: 7:30 pm (EST)

This presentation examines the political and economic causes of the American Revolution beginning at the end of the Seven Years War / French and Indian War through the resistance movements. It 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 Tea Act.

There will 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.

Registration required. Registration closes one half hour prior to lecture.

Cost: $15 per household for General Admission; $10 per household for HA Members, Military, and HA Docents


Can’t watch the lecture live? We invite you to register; all registrants will receive a link to the recording of the lecture to watch at their convenience. The lecture recording will be available for two weeks. Live closed captioning is available for all lectures.

This lecture will be offered virtually by Zoom. Upon registration, you will be sent the link for the video conference to join on the evening of the lecture. If you do not receive your confirmation email after you register, please check your Spam folder, or email Cara Garside at To learn more about Zoom and to download the app to your computer, visit the Zoom website.


Glenn WilliamsAbout Our Presenter: Dr. Glenn F. Williams is a retired Army officer who entered public history as a second career. He is currently a Senior Historian at the U.S. Army Center of Military History, Fort McNair, DC, where his previous positions included Historian of the National Museum of the U.S. Army Project and Historian of the Army Lewis and Clark Bicentennial Commemoration. He has also served as Historian of the American Battlefield Protection Program of the National Park Service, Curator/ Historian of the USS Constellation Museum, and Assistant Curator of the Baltimore Civil War Museum – President Street Station. He is the author of several books, including Year of the Hangman: George Washington’s Campaign Against the Iroquois (Westholme), recipient of the Thomas J. Fleming Award for the Outstanding Revolutionary War Book of 2005, and named one of “The 100 Best American Revolution Books of All Time” by the Journal of the American Revolution in the spring 2017 issue. His newest book, Dunmore’s War: The Last Conflict of America’s Colonial Era, was released in May 2017. In 2018 he was recognized for contributions to the study of 18th Century American military history with the Shelby Cullom Davis Award of the Society of Colonial Wars and the Judge Robert K. Woltz Award of the French and Indian War Foundation. He holds a Ph.D. in History from the University of Maryland, College Park.


The information contained in the HA Virtual Lecture series represents the historical research, views and opinions of the lecture presenter and may not represent the views or opinions of Historic Annapolis, Inc.

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