The Making of the American South: A short History, 1500-1877 / Edition 1

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This concise overview of the history and historiography of the American South puts the major problems and issues of that region into clear, accessible prose.

  • Examines the major problems and issues of the Old South in clear, accessible prose.
  • Covers the development of European outposts in the 16th Century, the Southern colonies, the Revolutionary War, and the Civil War and its aftermath.
  • Explores the underlying topics and themes of the Southern way of life.
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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
“J. William Harris’s text offers an excellent and long overdue synthesis of recent scholarship on many different aspects of Southern history from the early seventeenth century through the era of Civil War and Reconstruction. Sensibly organized and beautifully written, it is a work that students will find readily accessible. It is a must for the classroom.” B.C. Wood, University of Cambridge

“This slim volume provides a crisp, up-to-date account of the South’s emergence as a distinctive, self-conscious region. Harris writes an engrossing narrative that is as convincing as it is readable.” Jane T. Censer, George Mason University

“An uncommonly good book by an especially talented historian, J. William Harris’s The Making of the American South is the panoramic story of many Souths told crisply and elegantly and with searching clarity. Gracefully written and thoroughly edifying, it is a terrific read.” Mark M. Smith, University of South Carolina

“This rich and readable introduction to the South from early exploration through the Civil War and Reconstruction deserves a wide audience of both students and general readers. Full of fresh insights and reflecting the latest scholarship on the region, William Harris’s narrative is concise and fast-paced, yet never shirks from the complexity or diversity that has always made the southern past so intriguing.” John C. Inscoe, University of Georgia

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780631209645
  • Publisher: Wiley
  • Publication date: 9/28/2005
  • Series: Problems in American History Series
  • Edition description: REV
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 312
  • Sales rank: 1,151,581
  • Product dimensions: 5.50 (w) x 8.50 (h) x 0.89 (d)

Meet the Author

J. William Harris is Professor of History at the University of New Hampshire. He is the author of Plain Folk and Gentry in a Slave Society (1995) and Deep Souths: Delta, Piedmont, and Sea Island Society in the Age of Segregation (2001).

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Table of Contents



Map: The United States in 1860.


Part I: Before Southern History.

1. Before the South.

2. Colonials Become Americans.

3. Southern Power in the New Nation.


Part II: Making the Old South.

4. An American Slave Society.

5. The Politics of Slavery and the Road to Secession.

6. Civil Wars.

7. The Reconstruction of the South and the Construction of Southern History.


Bibliographical Note.


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