Popular Contention in Great Britain, 1758-1834

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9780674689800: Popular Contention in Great Britain, 1758-1834
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The author elucidates four distinct phases in the transformation to mass political participation and identifies the forms and occasions for collective action that characterized and dominated each. He provides descriptions not only of a wide variety of popular protests but also of such influential figures as John Wilkes, Lord George Gordon, William Cobbett, and Daniel O'Connell.

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Review:

Popular contentions in 18th- and 19th-century Britain have attracted considerable scholarly attention, but they have rarely been approached with the thoroughness the Tilly brings to the subject...In an original and persuasive argument, Tilly connects the changing character of contention with the concentration of capital and the augmentation of British state power.

ÝA¨n impressive effort has been made by Tilly to prove his point, that the changeover from one mode of protest to another, deeply influenced the political system of that day and led to some lasting and meaningful socio-political changes in Great Britain. From his conclusions it appears that the greater the incorporation of the masses in Great Britain into the accepted political dispensation of that time, the greater appeared their inclination to change their methods of contention...ÝA¨n interesting, well researched and thought provoking work. -- Professor M. Roth "South African Journal of Sociology"

in Britain...It is a thoughtful book, often innovative.

change their methods of contention...[A]n interesting, well researched and thought provoking work.

Norbert Elias..It is not often that historical scholarship is so effectively harnesses to the sociological imagination.

persuasive argument, Tilly connects the changing character of contention with the concentration of capital and the augmentation of British state power.

vocation completely. Tilly reminds us, with John Cornford, that 'facts are stubborn things'--and that history without facts is a peculiar discipline indeed.

Tilly discerns a new variety of claim-making taking shape, which in turn shares many features with our present-day modes of contention...[A] short review can hardly do justice to the complexity of Tilly's detailed argument and evidence.

Charles Tilly is one of the most important historians of recent years...This [book] is a breath of fresh air in the increasingly dusty room of texts without human agents behind them...It is an important [book]. In its restatement of 'hard' history against cultural studies, many will see it as backward-looking. They would be very foolish...Historians have gone too far down the road with cultural theory and are in danger of negating their own vocation completely. Tilly reminds us, with John Cornford, that 'facts are stubborn things'--and that history without facts is a peculiar discipline indeed.--Alun Howkins "New Statesman and Society "

[A]n impressive effort has been made by Tilly to prove his point, that the changeover from one mode of protest to another, deeply influenced the political system of that day and led to some lasting and meaningful socio-political changes in Great Britain. From his conclusions it appears that the greater the incorporation of the masses in Great Britain into the accepted political dispensation of that time, the greater appeared their inclination to change their methods of contention...[A]n interesting, well researched and thought provoking work.--Professor M. Roth "South African Journal of Sociology "

From the Back Cover:

Between 1750 and 1840 ordinary British people abandoned such time-honored forms of protest as collective seizures of grain, the sacking of buildings, public humiliation, and physical abuse in favor of marches, petition drives, public meetings, and other sanctioned routines of social movement politics. The change created - perhaps for the first time anywhere - mass participation in national politics. Charles Tilly is the first to address the depth and significance of the transmutations in popular collective action during this period. As he unravels the story of thousands of popular struggles and their consequences, he illuminates the dynamic relationships among an industrializing, capitalizing, proletarianizing economy; a war-making, growing, increasingly interventionist state; and the internal history of contention that spawned such political entrepreneurs as Francis Place and Henry Hunt. Tilly's research rests on a catalog of more than 8,000 "contentious gatherings" described in British periodicals, plus ample documentation from British archives and historical monographs. The author elucidates four distinct phases in the transformation to mass political participation, and identifies the forms and occasions for collective action that characterized and dominated each. He provides rich descriptions not only of a wide variety of popular protests but also of such influential figures as John Wilkes, Lord George Gordon, William Cobbett, and Daniel O'Connell. This engaging study offers a vivid picture of Great Britain during a pivotal era.

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9781594511202: Popular Contention in Great Britain, 1758-1834

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ISBN 10:  1594511209 ISBN 13:  9781594511202
Publisher: Routledge, 2005
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