Historian Harry Watson Addresses the Legacy of Andrew Jackson at Barton College on Feb. 24


WILSON, N.C. – Barton College will welcome historian Harry L. Watson, director of the Center for the Study of the American South at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, on Tuesday, Feb. 24. The program, titled “Majority Rule, Equal Rights, and Limited Government: The Complex Legacy of Andrew Jackson,” will be held in the Sam and Marjorie Ragan Writing Center at 7 p.m.

Sponsored by the Barton College Heritage Committee, the Department of History and Social Sciences at Barton and the Wilson County Historical Association, this event is open to the public free of charge. The community is invited to attend.

“Today, Andrew Jackson is more remembered for his Indian policies than his ideas about government, but whether we realize it or not, Jackson left a complex cultural legacy, especially in the realm of ‘political culture’ or how we think about freedom and democracy and self government,” shared Dr. Watson. “My talk will look at some of the core Jacksonian principles of majority rule, equality, and limited government, explore what he meant by them and why they were so popular in his day, and then suggest how their meanings have changed between Jackson’s day and our own.”

A native of Greensboro, Dr. Watson earned a Bachelor of Arts degree from Brown University in 1971 and a doctorate in history from Northwestern University in 1976. His teaching and research interests focus on the antebellum South, the early American republic, and the state of North Carolina. He joined the History Department of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill in 1976 and now holds the rank of professor. Since 1999, he has served as Director of the UNC Center for the Study of the American South.

Dr. Watson is the author of four books, including “Liberty and Power: The Politics of Jacksonian America” (1990) and “Andrew Jackson vs. Henry Clay: Democracy and Development in Antebellum America” (1997). A revised edition of “Liberty and Power” appeared in 2006. He and Professor Larry Griffin, also at UNC-CH, edit “Southern Cultures,” the quarterly journal of the Center for the Study of the American South, and he has joined in editing two book-length collections of essays: “The American South in a Global World” (2005), with James L. Peacock and Carrie R. Matthews, and “Chasing the American Dream: New Perspectives on Affordable Homeownership” (2007), with William M. Rohe. Dr. Watson and Professor Jane Dailey of the University of Chicago are currently at work on a history of the United States, to be titled “The American Republic.” He also was a commentator on the History Channel documentary, “The Presidents.”

For additional information, contact Dr. Jeff Broadwater, chair of the Department of History and Social Sciences, at 252-399-6443 or email: ojbroadwater@barton.edu.


Questions? Please contact Kathy Daughety, director of public relations, at 252-399-6529 or kdaughety@barton.edu.