Contentious Gatherings in Britain, 1758-1834 (ICPSR 8872)

Version Date: Aug 14, 2009 View help for published

Principal Investigator(s): View help for Principal Investigator(s)
Nancy Horn, New School for Social Research; Charles Tilly, New School for Social Research

Version V2

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.

Horn, Nancy, and Tilly, Charles. Contentious Gatherings in Britain, 1758-1834. Ann Arbor, MI: Inter-university Consortium for Political and Social Research [distributor], 2009-08-14.

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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)

The values for certain variables, mentioned in the codebook, are available only from Charles Tilly.

Inter-university Consortium for Political and Social Research
1758 -- 1834
1975 -- 1984

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.

Population of Britain, 1758-1834.


event/transaction data


2018-02-15 The citation of this study may have changed due to the new version control system that has been implemented. The previous citation was:
  • Horn, Nancy, and Charles Tilly. Contentious Gatherings in Britain, 1758-1834. ICPSR08872-v2. Ann Arbor, MI: Inter-university Consortium for Political and Social Research [distributor], 2009-08-14.

2009-08-14 SAS, SPSS, and Stata setups have been added to this data collection.

1988-03-16 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.


  • Data in this collection are available only to users at ICPSR member institutions.

  • The citation of this study may have changed due to the new version control system that has been implemented. Please see version history for more details.
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