Gulliver is an English surgeon who loves to travel, and doesn't seem to enjoy spending much time with his family. On a solo trip to the South Seas, he gets caught in a nasty storm and washes up on the island of Lilliput, which is home to a population of extremely small people—as in six-inches-tall small.
While Gulliver sleeps, the Lilliputians take him prisoner and chain him up inside a temple just outside of town. He quickly makes friends and enemies amongst the Lilliputians. One friend is the Emperor of Lilliput, who enlists Gulliver to help the Lilliputians in their war with Blefuscu. It pays to have a giant on your side: Gulliver captures Blefuscu's entire navy. Gulliver also befriends the Empress, but she ultimately turns on him after he puts out a fire at her palace by urinating on it. Whoops.
Gulliver's friendship with the Emperor and Empress causes him to clash with two other high-ranking Lilliputians: Flimnap, the treasurer, and Skyresh Bolgolam, an admiral. They serve Gulliver with articles of impeachment, plan to starve him (to be fair, he eats a lot of food), accuse him of treason, and sentence him to death. Gulliver escapes to Blefuscu before they can carry out their plans for execution, ending his time amongst the Lilliputians.
On the whole, the Lilliputians don't treat Gulliver very well. They're also not the most rational bunch of islanders. For example, the Emperor's court is appointed not for their intellect or political experience but for their rope dancing prowess. Most of the court's time is dedicated to hatching nefarious plots against one another—and Gulliver.