This first episode all takes place before the revolution begins. Following the completion of the French-Indian War (also called the Seven Years War), the British have a huge debt and they decide that the Colonies should help pay for the war--since, after all, much of the war had to do with protecting these Americans. However, the British made a fundamental mistake. Up until then, like all British citizens, the Americans were taxed but by their own elected officials. Instead of going through colonial assemblies, the British IMPOSED taxes on the colonists--and not surprisingly, these folks balked at their loss of personal rights. This Act, while written with reasonable motives, was hated and resulted in boycotts as well as protests to the King and Parliament. In hindsight, Britain totally mishandled the situation. Had they simply asked the colonial governments to enact a tax, it almost certainly would have been enacted and followed. Instead, they repeatedly made the wrong moves and antagonized the colonists. Among the topics covered here are the Stamp Act, the Declaratory Act, the Boston 'Massacre' and the Boston Tea Party. By the end of the show, Massachusetts colony is nearly in rebellion and the British decide that they've had enough.
Overall, a very succinct explanation of the problems that led to rebellion. Much of it was from the viewpoint of Americans though some British folks were interviewed as well--contributing a counter-point. Well written, interesting and about as good an explanation on the road to rebellion as you'll find.