Harry L. Watson



Harry L. Watson is the Atlanta Distinguished Professor of Southern Culture at the University of North Carolina. He is the author of Liberty and Power: The Politics of Jacksonian America and An Independent People: The Way We Lived in North Carolina, 1770–1820. His coedited books include Southern Cultures: The Fifteenth Anniversary Reader and The American South in a Global World.

Average rating: 3.71 · 358 ratings · 29 reviews · 55 distinct worksSimilar authors
Liberty and Power: The Poli...

3.73 avg rating — 267 ratings — published 1990 — 4 editions
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Andrew Jackson vs. Henry Cl...

3.49 avg rating — 51 ratings — published 1998 — 4 editions
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Building the American Repub...

3.81 avg rating — 27 ratings3 editions
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Southern Cultures: The Fift...

4.50 avg rating — 2 ratings — published 2008 — 8 editions
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Southern Cultures: The Help...

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Southern Cultures: Volume 1...

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Andrew Jackson vs. Henry Cl...

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Southern Cultures: The Fift...

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Southern Cultures: Southern...

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Southern Cultures: Summer 2...

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“When Benjamin Franklin left the Constitutional Convention in Philadelphia in July 1787, a bystander reportedly asked him what sort of government the delegates had created. “A republic,” he replied, “if you can keep it.” Keeping a republic is no easy task. The most important requirement is the active involvement of an informed people committed to honesty, civility, and selflessness—what the Founders called “republican virtue.” Anchored by its Constitution, the American republic has endured for more than 220 years, longer than any other republic in modern history. But the road has not been smooth. The American nation came apart in a violent civil war only 73 years after ratification of the Constitution. When it was reborn five years later, both the republic and its Constitution were transformed. Since then, the nation has had its ups and downs, depending largely on the capacity of the American people to tame, as Franklin put it, “their prejudices, their passions, their errors of opinion, their local interests, and their selfish views.”
Harry L. Watson, Building the American Republic, Volume 1: A Narrative History to 1877

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