European nations came to the Americas to increase their wealth, claim territory, and broaden their influence over world affairs. By 1650 England had established a dominant presence on the Atlantic coast. In 1770, more than 2 million people lived and worked in Great Britain’s 13 North American colonies. The British colonists formed the First Continental Congress in 1774 seeking representation in British parliament. The English crown scoffed at the idea. When the American colonists refused to back down, a fierce war ensued. This lecture looks at how a band of settlers fought and won against the most powerful empire in the world.