Presentation is loading. Please wait.

Presentation is loading. Please wait.

Presentation by Dr. Kevin Lasher. Extension of voting rights is a 200 year process Concept of “universal suffrage” is resisted by various groups throughout.

Similar presentations

Presentation on theme: "Presentation by Dr. Kevin Lasher. Extension of voting rights is a 200 year process Concept of “universal suffrage” is resisted by various groups throughout."— Presentation transcript:

1 Presentation by Dr. Kevin Lasher


3 Extension of voting rights is a 200 year process Concept of “universal suffrage” is resisted by various groups throughout American history Some citizens (women, African Americans) had to “struggle” to win voting rights Historical factors (wars) and political dynamics influence timing of changes in suffrage History of American suffrage “complicates” the view of American democracy

4 Founding Period (late 1700s)

5 No democracies existed in late 1700s In England, 5%-10% of men could vote for Parliament Idea that only property owners should be allowed to vote; property owners were “tied” to community and were sufficiently independent Revolutionary rhetoric about freedom, equality, natural rights “Idea” of equal citizenship rights for all free male citizens Conflict between “fear of democracy” and revolutionary ideals

6 Founding Period (late 1700s) Colonies/states had different rules for voting; most had some property-owning or tax-paying qualifications Founding period saw considerable changes in voting requirements Framers at constitutional convention were “ambivalent” about democracy and suffrage Shay’s rebellion (1786-1787) was extreme example of “mob democracy” in action Founding fathers created a republic over a democracy

7 Founding Period (late 1700s) Constitution grants states the power to decide rules for suffrage Voting was a “privilege” more than a “right” 14 th Amendment is first instance of concept of a “right to vote” HOWEVER – by 1790s about 50-60% of white males could vote (free black men could vote in 10/13 states) USA as “quasi-democracy” in a world of no democracies

8 Jacksonian Democracy (1828-1850s)

9 Most property-owning or tax-paying requirements are dropped; most white men can vote Population increases from 4 million in 1790 to 20 million in 1850 Fewer male citizens met property-owning/tax-paying requirements; smaller farms or leased farms; rise of urban workers New states encourage settlement by “granting” universal suffrage Creation of new mass parties which must “compete” for votes Intensification of “democratic” ideals

10 Jacksonian Democracy (1820s-1850s) USA achieved universal white male suffrage (nearly) Women’s suffrage movement begins Free black men disenfranchised in most states (could vote in only 5/35 states by 1850s)

11 Post-Civil War Period (1865-1900)

12 Abolition of slavery does not necessarily imply voting rights for freed slaves (eventually it did) Idealistic and practical reasons to support black male suffrage Northern Republicans view freed slaves as new “voting bloc” for themselves Black men in North and South “enfranchised” via 14 th and 15 th Amendments; 15 th Amendment prevents disenfranchisement on basis of race

13 Post-Civil War Period (1865-1900) Southern states undertake series of “informal means” to limit black voting in decades following 15 th Amendment “Formal procedures” (literacy tests, poll taxes, white primaries) created in 1890s Southern black males “disenfranchised” by early 1900s Northern Republicans grow tired of suffrage issue Major failure of American democracy

14 Women’s Suffrage Period (1848-1920)

15 Argument against women voting based on “traditional” view of women’s role in society; women not independent; politics “beneath” women; politics “harm” family life 1 st women’s rights convention held in NY in 1848; calls for women’s suffrage Two separate women’s suffrage organizations formed in 1869 Women hope that 14 th and 15 th Amendment will include voting rights for women – does not happen Supreme Court rules that 14 th Amendment does not guarantee voting rights for women in 1874

16 Women’s Suffrage Period (1848-1920) Wyoming enters union with women’s suffrage in 1890 New Zealand becomes first country to give women the right to vote in 1890; a dozen or so countries follow suit before USA Suffrage movement expands to include working women during early 1900s 15 states grant voting rights to women before 1920; 11 states during 1910s Women’s assistance in WWI helps win support for voting rights 19 th Amendment passed in 1920

17 Civil Rights Period (1900-1970)

18 Disenfranchisement of Southern black men “complete” by early 1900s NAACP formed in 1909 Early civil rights movement focuses on courts and on “separate but equal” over voting rights African Americans’ participation in WW2 raises new concerns about lack of voting rights in South; nature of WW2 raises “democratic ideals” White primary declared unconstitutional in 1944; black registration rises slightly President’s Committee on Civil Rights calls for voting rights for southern blacks in 1947; national government should expand and protect such rights

19 Civil Rights Period (1900-1970) Civil rights protests of 1950s Perhaps 25% of southern blacks registered to vote by 1956 Civil Rights Act of 1964 ends “overt” discrimination 24 th Amendment bans poll tax in 1964 Voting Rights Act of 1965 guarantees voting rights for African American men and women in South; federal government empowered to oversee elections Extension of Voting Rights Act bans all literacy tests in 1970 Black turnout in Southern states approaches that of whites by late 1960s

20 Vietnam Period (1960s)

21 Voting age is 21 – based on British and colonial tradition In 1942 draft age lowered to 18; weak attempts to lower voting age to 18 Protests against Vietnam War by college students who can be drafted but cannot vote; student protesters demand voting rights Mixed motives for supporting 18-21 year old voting 26 th Amendment passed in 1971 (4 months time)

22 Conclusion USA achieves near-universal voting rights by 1971 HOWEVER Felons temporarily or permanently disenfranchised in many states; 40 states temporarily and 10 states permanently; high affect on minority males Political participation requires more than voting Voting turnout is low in USA; around 60% for presidential elections Election disputes in 2000 and 2004 New voter ID laws in states


Download ppt "Presentation by Dr. Kevin Lasher. Extension of voting rights is a 200 year process Concept of “universal suffrage” is resisted by various groups throughout."

Similar presentations

Ads by Google