GOVT311 Lecture 3 Right to Vote

GOVT311 Lecture 3 Right to Vote - Voting A Right or...

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Voting: A Right or Privilege? GOVT311 Lecture 3
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Voting Depend upon it, Sir, it is dangerous to open so fruitful a source of controversy and altercation as would be opened by attempting to alter the qualifications of voters; there will be no end of it…it tends to confound and destroy all distinctions, and prostrate all ranks to one common level. – John Adams, 1776. Every man having evidence of attachment to, and permanent common interest with, the society, ought to share in its rights and privileges. – George Mason, 1787. The ultimate end of all freedom is the enjoyment of a right of free suffrage. – Maryland Gazette , 1776.
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Suffrage in Colonial Times
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Suffrage in Colonial Times Property: seven states explicitly set a value or acreage requirement of real estate. The remainder required a minimum personal property requirement (in SC, the payment of taxes was sufficient).
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Suffrage in Colonial Times Property provides: Stake in society Independence from others A signal of competence
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Suffrage in Colonial Times Residency: Many colonies instituted residency requirements. Some made citizenship of the colony or England a requirement. People who were explicitly barred: Servants Paupers Women (some New England towns allowed widows) Non-White (African-Americans and Indians) Religion MA: must be member of Congregational Church Catholics could not vote in 5 states Jews could not vote in 4 states
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Suffrage in Colonial Times Cities and Towns differed from Colony (or
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