Alexander Keyssar. The Right to Vote: The Contested History of Democracy in the United States. New York: Basic Books, xxiv + pp. $ (paper). The Right to Vote: The Contested History of Democracy in the United States. Front Cover. Alexander Keyssar. Basic Books, Jun 30, – History – pages . Keyssar, Alexander. The right to vote: the contested history of democracy in the United States /. Alexander Keyssar p. cm. Includes index. ISBN X.

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Some broadening of the franchise certainly occurred: In the man or in the jackass? This is a hard book to get through, but it’s worthwhile.

Ratings and Reviews 0 0 star ratings 0 reviews. The Articles of Confederation were to be scrapped; the increased–but restrained–powers of the federal government had been specified; the issues of state representation and slavery had been compromised; and a great many details outlining the operation of a new republican government had been etched in parchment.

Ashley rated it it was ok Sep 01, Remarkably, this new constitution, born in celebration of “republican government,” did not grant anyone the right to vote.

The Ultimate Federalist Papers Collection. I was also surprised by the groups that are still not allowed to vote. Account Options Sign in. But the history of suffrage in the U.

Union Free School District they struck down property or parentage requirements for voting in school districts and declared all voting restrictions would have to meet “strict scrutiny” standards. It is at least reassuring that it is usually two steps forward and one step back, not the other way around. These laws almost everywhere were shaped by colonial precedents and traditional English patterns of thought.

Indeed, in early English usage, the word franchise referred to a privilege, immunity, or freedom that a state could keywsar, while the term suffrage alluded to intercessory prayers.


The real narrative of the history of American liberty takes a surprising form, with clearly delineated pickets and factions alligned in favor of or opposition to democracy itself.

The Judicial Branch of the Federal Government. The Soul of the First Amendment. From Jim Crow to Civil Rights.

Women were barred expressly in several colonies, including Virginia, but statutes elsewhere made no reference to gender, and in at least a few Massachusetts towns and New York counties propertied widows did legally vote.

The question loomed large, and in many of the former colonies, the revolutionary period–stretching from the mids to the ratification of the Constitution–witnessed heated public exchanges and sharp political conflict over the franchise; in some locales, men voted–or were prevented from voting–through the use or threat of force. Sep 26, Susan is currently reading it. Voting — United States — History. No trivia or quizzes yet.

Interesting tidbit was the role war played throughout American history in expanding the right to vote. Want to Read Currently Reading Read.

The true reason of requiring any qualification, with regard to property, aexander voters, is to exclude such persons as are in so mean a situation that they are esteemed to have no will of their own. Many states in this period also began placing explicit race-based requirements on voting, which hadn’t existed before, and added restrictions on “paupers,” or people receiving government relief, and felons. Jan 27, Lily rated it really liked it.

The right to vote : the contested history of democracy in the United States

The breadth of the franchise in New York City, Perth Amboy, New Jersey, and Norfolk, Virginia, for example, was determined not by colonial general assemblies but by royal declaration and by the appointed ho who controlled the municipal corporations. What also is unclear alexandre just how many people could and did vote. The planters, merchants, and prosperous farmers who wielded power and influence in late-eighteenth-century affairs had an unmistakable interest in keeping the franchise narrow: Other editions – View all The Right to Vote: On the eve of the American Revolution, in seven colonies men had to own land of specified acreage or monetary value in order to participate in elections; elsewhere, the ownership of personal property of a designated value or in South Carolina, the payment of taxes could substitute for real estate.


Also, though we all know how the right to vote gradually expanded, but what many of us didn’t realize was how th This must be the definitive history of voting in America. To guarantee that those who were dependent could not vote, several colonies formally barred righh servants from the polls, while others expressly excluded paupers.

The Heritage Guide to the Constitution. Although the Revolutionary War had been won and independence achieved, a great deal still appeared to be hanging in the balance: Blumstein the court said that there was no “compelling state interest” in residency requirements longer than about 30 days which was later added to the Voting Rights Act of Most Americans take for granted their right to vote, whether they choose to exercise it or not.

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Lists with This Book. The nationalization of voting was made more so by the “Motor Voter Act” ofwhich expanded absentee registration and voting. Absentee landowners were enfranchised ribht Virginia inwhich often meant that they could vote in more than one place. The Right to Vote: