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ABSTRACT: This article explores the understudied riots which occurred in Aberdeen in mid-October 1785. It charts the climate of politicization that characterized the burgh's civic life in the immediate aftermath of the American Revolution and before the outbreak of the equivalent process in France. In doing so, it challenges interpretations of the socially exclusive nature of the Scottish reform movement, the dynamics of continuity and change between this phenomenon and later politicaldoi:10.1017/s096392681600078x fatcat:pqamzwt4wjakxdf74yinyw37xa