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November 27, 2021

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History

1  The Obstructed Giant

When George III acceded to the throne in 1760, his English subjects were singing with spirit once more. “Rule Britannia” burst from their mouths—words twenty years old (they originally formed a patriotic poem)—and they went like this:

When Britain first, at heaven’s command,
Arose from out the azure main;
This was the charter of the land,
And guardian angels sung this strain

“Rule Britannia, rule the waves;
Britons never will be slaves.”

The call to rule seemed natural in 1760; a few years earlier it had mocked the realities of British power and influence in Asia and America. For in these years of war with France, British arms took a terrible beating—and so did British pride.

READ  MORE:  MAKINGS OF THE CONTINENTAL CONGRESS

The Glorious Cause : Robert Middlekauff

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