History of Voting in America
1776 North Carolina ConstitutionThe 1776 NC Constitution gave a new government to the state. It allowed freemen who had lived in a county for twelve months before that election and who has owned fifty acres of land for six months before and on the day of that election.
The significance of this was that it limited the democracy of NC. This made it harder for poorer citizens to vote. This was most likely made to restrict certain people from voting. It not only excluded the poor, but it also excluded women.
Seneca Falls ConventionThe Seneca Falls Convention was the first women's rights convention. It was led by Elizabeth Cady Stanton.
The significance of this convention was that it led to the ratification of the 19th Amendment. It is also seen as the start of feminism in America. This would lead to the expansion of democracy. It would also increase the total amount of voters once the convention gained popularity.
Passage of the Fifteenth AmendmentThe 15th Amendment stated that race could not be used to determine who was allowed to vote. This event was inspired by the fact that African Americans were not able to vote before this amendment was passed.
This is an important act because it made it so that discrimination could be eliminated. However, it did not entirely work because people came up with new ways to prevent this right. The poll tax was created. Literacy tests were also passed to prevent African Americans from voting.
Jim Crow LawsJim Crow laws included poll taxes (annual), literacy tests (reading a section of the constitution), and grandfather clauses (registered anyone with a grandfather who could vote before the Civil War). They were passed to make it harder for certain people to vote.
The significance of these laws was that it made limited democracy. It denied citizens of their right to vote. If someone could not read, they were not allowed to vote. It mattered who you were related to as well.
Passage of the 17th AmendmentThe 17th Amendment gave the people the power to directly vote for their senators. This was passed because the people were not allowed to vote for their senators during the first 125 years of their Federal Government.
This event was significant because it allowed the senators to be chosen by the people's popular voice. It gave citizens the right to choose their senators. This expanded democracy because it gave more power to the people. Previously, senators were chosen by state legislatures.
Passage of the 19th AmendmentThe 19th Amendment gave women the right to vote. Before this amendment, voting was left to the men. The Seneca Falls Convention was what started this event.
The significance of this amendment is that it gave women a right that they were not granted previously. This amendment also gave women the right to run for office. This led to the expansion of democracy because both genders were eligible to hold an office position. Voting was also something that both genders could partake in.
Indian Citizenship ActThis act stated that all Native Americans that were born into the United States were citizens. This act was passed because previously not all Native Americans were recognized as citizens.
This expanded democracy because if Native Americans were given citizenship they were also given the right to vote. However, even though they were given this right, they could still be barred from it. This act was important because it gave citizenship to the Indians. It was no longer limited to certain Indians.
Passage of the 23rd AmendmentThe 23rd Amendment gave citizens in Washington DC and in the District of Columbia the right to vote in the Electoral College for representatives. This was created partially because of the civil rights movement. The significance of this amendment was that it helped African Americans get more voter representation. Washington DC was mostly populated by African Americans. This changed democracy because it raised the number of voters. It was viewed negatively because it supported the movement.
Passage of the 24th AmendmentThe 24th Amendment outlawed the poll tax. This was introduced because of the discrimination against people in poverty.
By making it so that a poll tax was not required, democracy changed yet again. This time, it allowed poor whites and African Americans to use their right to vote. The small poll tax that was a significant amount on many was gone. This was an expansion of the total amount of voters.
Voting Rights Act of 1965The Voting Rights Act of 1965 made it easier for African-Americans and non-English speaking citizens to vote. This was passed because of the unfair trials that these citizens had to go through to vote.
This was significant because it increased the total amount of voters. This would lead to an expansion of democracy. It made it so that social injustices were rectified. It increased equality between citizens.
Passage of the 26th AmendmentThe 26th Amendment changed the required age for voting. This event happened because men between eighteen and twenty one could not vote for their leaders but they were old enough to be drafted into the war.
The significance of this amendment was that it changed the voting age from twenty one to eighteen. It allowed younger people to voice their opinions. It also started movements that would include other groups that were not allowed to vote previously. This movement would lead to other movements.