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EXPANSION OF POLITICAL RIGHTS. Voting rights far from universal in the colonial and early national periods Franchise typically restricted to white, male property-owners over twenty-one Why were others excluded? The U.S. Constitution and voting rights. EXPANSION OF POLITICAL RIGHTS.

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expansion of political rights
EXPANSION OF POLITICAL RIGHTS
  • Voting rights far from universal in the colonial and early national periods
    • Franchise typically restricted to white, male property-owners over twenty-one
    • Why were others excluded?
    • The U.S. Constitution and voting rights
expansion of political rights1
EXPANSION OF POLITICAL RIGHTS
  • Expansion of democratic politics in first half of the 19th century
    • Most property requirements for voting removed
    • Property requirements for office holding often remained
    • Some expansion of types of offices elected by “popular” vote
      • Presidential electors
  • During the first half of the 19th century, racial restrictions for voting made explicit
    • New Jersey’s 17-year experiment allowing women to vote abandoned
slide3

In many states, voting by voice replaced by printed ballot

George Caleb Bingham, The County Election

The secret ballot is a reform that is not widely adopted until the

late 19th century

expansion of political rights2
EXPANSION OF POLITICAL RIGHTS
  • THE 15TH AMENDMENT: “The right of citizens of the United States to vote shall not be denied or abridged by the United States or by any State on account of race, color, or previous condition of servitude.”

Freedmen voting, SC, 1868

expansion of political rights3
EXPANSION OF POLITICAL RIGHTS
  • Black voting and political power during Reconstruction

Hiram Revels

expansion of political rights4
EXPANSION OF POLITICAL RIGHTS
  • White backlash to the myth of “black rule”
  • Birth of a Nation (1915)
  • Disfranchisement
    • Residency requirements
    • Literacy test
      • “Understanding clause”
    • “Negro crimes”
    • Poll tax
    • Williams v. Mississippi (1898)
    • White primary
expansion of political rights5
EXPANSION OF POLITICAL RIGHTS
  • Woman Suffrage and the 19th Amendment

Seneca Falls Convention, 1848

expansion of political rights6
EXPANSION OF POLITICAL RIGHTS
  • 17th Amendment – Direct election of U.S. Senators
  • Other voting restrictions in the early twentieth century
    • English-literacy requirements for immigrants
    • Pauper exclusion laws – 1930s
expansion of political rights7
EXPANSION OF POLITICAL RIGHTS
  • Part of Civil Rights Movement included the struggle to end legal disfranchisement of black voters in the South

Attempting to register to vote in Forrest County, MS, 1964

expansion of political rights8
EXPANSION OF POLITICAL RIGHTS
  • Voting Rights Act of 1965