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Contentious Gatherings in Britain, 1758-1834

Resource Type
Dataset : event/transaction data
  • Horn, Nancy (New School for Social Research)
  • Tilly, Charles (New School for Social Research)
Other Title
  • Version 1 (Subtitle)
Publication Date
Funding Reference
  • National Science Foundation
  • National Endowment for the Humanities
  • University of Michigan. Horace H. Rackham School of Graduate Studies
  • Guggenheim Foundation
  • German Marshall Fund of the United States
  • Maison des Sciences de l'Homme (France)
Free Keywords
civil disobedience; civil disorders; dissent; eighteenth century; nineteenth century; political action; political activism; political debate; protest demonstrations; riots; social attitudes; social conflict; social protest
  • Abstract

    This study records discontinuous, concerted, contentious forms of collective action occurring in the London region from 1758 to 1820 and in Britain as a whole from 1828 to 1834. These contentious gatherings are defined as occasions on which at least ten or more persons assembled in a publicly-accessible place and either by word or deed made claims that would, if realized, affect the interests of some person or group outside their own number. In the world of eighteenth and nineteenth century Britain such gatherings would include almost every event that an observer or historian would label disturbance, disorder, riot, or protest in addition to the numerous meetings, rallies, marches, processions, celebrations, and other sanctioned assemblies during which people made claims. One of the aims of the principal investigators was to study the structure of debate and political action among citizens in a major Western state during a period of transition to the more formal methods of modern popular collective action such as voting, petitioning, and participation in special-interest associations.
  • Methods

    ICPSR data undergo a confidentiality review and are altered when necessary to limit the risk of disclosure. ICPSR also routinely creates ready-to-go data files along with setups in the major statistical software formats as well as standard codebooks to accompany the data. In addition to these procedures, ICPSR performed the following processing steps for this data collection: Created variable labels and/or value labels..
  • Table of Contents


    • DS1: Event
Temporal Coverage
  • 1758 / 1834
    Time period: 1758--1834
  • 1975 / 1984
    Collection date: 1975--1984
Geographic Coverage
  • Global
  • Great Britain
Sampled Universe
Population of Britain, 1758-1834.
Collection Mode
  • This study represents one of 11 datasets which together constitute the BRIT database. This database was produced by research groups at the Center for Research on Social Organization at the University of Michigan and at the Center for Studies of Social Change (CSSC) at the New School for Social Research and combines two overlapping studies: the Great Britain Study and the Geography of Contention in London Study. Documentation provided with this dataset refers to all parts of the BRIT database. However, only the first dataset (EVENT), which contains coded descriptions of the contentious gathering as a whole, is available at present and is described in detail. Users who desire further information on the BRIT database should consult CSSC Working Paper #32, "Catalogs of Contention in Britain, 1758-1834" by Nancy Horn and Charles Tilly. The present documentation is excerpted from that working paper.

2009-08-14 SAS, SPSS, and Stata setups have been added to this data collection. Funding insitution(s): National Science Foundation. National Endowment for the Humanities. University of Michigan. Horace H. Rackham School of Graduate Studies. Guggenheim Foundation. German Marshall Fund of the United States. Maison des Sciences de l'Homme (France).
This version of the study is no longer available on the web. If you need to acquire this version of the data, you have to contact ICPSR User Support (
Alternative Identifiers
  • 8872 (Type: ICPSR Study Number)
  • Is previous version of
    DOI: 10.3886/ICPSR08872.v2
  • Chronopoulos, Themis. Numbering British Contention, 1758-1834. Center for Studies of Social Change (CSSC) Working Paper Series.. 1995.
  • Tilly, Charles. As Sociology Meets History. New York: Academic Press. 1981.
  • Tilly, Louise A., Tilly, Charles. Class Conflict and Collective Action. Beverly Hills, CA: Sage. 1981.
  • Schweitzer, R. A.. A Study of Contentious Gatherings in Early Nineteenth-Century Great Britain. Historical Methods.12, (3), 123-126.1979.
  • Tilly, Charles. From Mobilization to Revolution. Enlewood Cliffs: Prentice-Hall. 1978.

Update Metadata: 2015-08-05 | Issue Number: 3 | Registration Date: 2015-06-30

Horn, Nancy; Tilly, Charles (1988): Contentious Gatherings in Britain, 1758-1834. Version 1. Version: v1. ICPSR - Interuniversity Consortium for Political and Social Research. Dataset.