The American Revolution is principal in the American psyche as the founding of our nation. As such, it is covered in the schools, memorialized by a national holiday and commemorated in monuments. Yet, the sentiments that led to the war and ultimately to independence were by no means universal among the colonies. Historians estimate that about 25% of the population was either loyal to the crown or neutral. Victory at the Battle of Saratoga, often considered the turning point in the war, might not have occurred without great luck and French intervention. Given that England was the most powerful nation on Earth in the late eighteenth century, with the most powerful army and navy, with colonies circumventing the globe, it is a wonder, even a miracle that a bunch of upstart, rabble-rousing colonists, dumped in a wilderness to forge out a life, would ever think about becoming their own nation. But that is exactly what happened. We’ll examine, year by year, the reasons the impossible not only became possible but an actual reality.