Harry Watson

Professor of History,

Atlanta Distinguished Professor in Southern Culture

University of North Carolina · Chapel Hill, NC 27599 · (919) 962-0977 · harry@thelafayettetrail.org

Harry Watson’s research interests lie in the political, social, cultural, and intellectual history of the United States between the Revolution and the Civil War, with special attention to the antebellum South and Jacksonian America. His work has explored the intersection of social, economic, and political change in this period, the formation of political parties, the influence of market development on political mobilization, reform movements, uses of the environment, and the relationship between race and class under slavery. He directed the UNC Center for the Study of the American South from 1999 to 2012, and edited its quarterly journal, Southern Cultures, from 1993 to 2019. He served as president of the Society for Historians of the Early American Republic in 2010–2011. His most recent book is Building the American Republic, Vol. 1: A Narrative History to 1877 (University of Chicago Press, 2018).


Brown University

Bachelor of Arts

Northwestern University

Ph. D

Notable Publications

Building the American Republic, Vol. 1: A Narrative History to 1877 (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 2018).
Andrew Jackson vs. Henry Clay: Democracy and Development in Antebellum America. Boston: Bedford/St. Martins, 1998 [edited documents, with a 118-page introduction.].
Liberty and Power: The Politics of Jacksonian America. 2nd rev. ed., with new Preface and Afterword. New York: Hill & Wang, Inc., 2006.


Southern Cultures: The Fifteenth Anniversary Reader. (UNC Press, 2008).
Chasing the American Dream: Multidisciplinary Perspectives on Affordable Homeownership (Cornell University Press, 2007).


Southern Cultures (University of North Carolina Press, 1993-2019).