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Major-Minor Power Wars, 1495-1815 (ICPSR 6321)

Principal Investigator(s): Midlarsky, Manus I.; Park, Kun Y.


The purpose of this data collection was to identify and to date wars between major and minor powers. Data were collected and collated on initiation of wars, participation and termination date for each participant, outcome, and, whenever possible, total casualties suffered in the conflict. The individual battle was taken as the basic unit of analysis. If contestants were the same, but more than six months separated each individual battle, and battles met certain other criteria, each was treated as a separate war. If not, they were coded as part of one larger conflict. A total of 65 wars that involved one major and one minor power on opposing sides were identified for this collection.

Access Notes

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DS1:  Data File - Download All Files (0.08 MB)
ASCII + SPSS Setup   
DS2:  SAS Data Definition Statements - Download All Files (0.012 MB)

ASCII + SAS Setup   

Study Description


Midlarsky, Manus I., and Kun Y. Park. MAJOR-MINOR POWER WARS, 1495-1815. Champaign-Urbana, IL: Data Development in International Research [producer], 1991. Ann Arbor, MI: Inter-university Consortium for Political and Social Research [distributor], 1994. https://doi.org/10.3886/ICPSR06321.v1

Persistent URL: https://doi.org/10.3886/ICPSR06321.v1

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This study was funded by:

  • National Science Foundation (SES-86-10567)

Scope of Study

Subject Terms:    armed conflict, international conflict, military operations, war, war casualties

Geographic Coverage:    Global

Time Period:   

  • 1495--1815

Date of Collection:   

  • 1986--1989

Universe:    All wars from 1495 to 1815 involving one major and one minor power on opposing sides.

Data Type(s):    event/transaction data


Data Source:

Monographs, encyclopedias, and journals. See the list of sources at the end of the codebook for full citations.

Extent of Processing:   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:

  • Standardized missing values.


Original ICPSR Release:   1994-10-17

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