Universal manhood suffrage

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Universal manhood suffrage is a form of voting rights in which all adult males within a political system are allowed to vote, regardless of income, property, religion, race, or any other qualification. It is sometimes summarized by the slogan, "one man, one vote."

Biologically, an adult is a human or other organism that has reached sexual maturity. In human context, the term adult additionally has meanings associated with social and legal concepts. In contrast to a "minor", a legal adult is a person who has attained the age of majority and is therefore regarded as independent, self-sufficient, and responsible. The typical age of attaining legal adulthood is 18, although definition may vary by legal rights and country.

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History

The establishment of universal male suffrage in France in 1848 was an important milestone in the history of democracy. Suffrage universel 1848.jpg
The establishment of universal male suffrage in France in 1848 was an important milestone in the history of democracy.

In 1789, Revolutionary France adopted the Declaration of the Rights of Man and of the Citizen and, although short-lived, the National Convention was elected by all men in 1792. [1] It was revoked by the Directory in 1795. Universal male suffrage was re-established in France in the wake of the French Revolution of 1848. [2]

Declaration of the Rights of Man and of the Citizen foundational document of the French Revolution

The Declaration of the Rights of Man and of the Citizen, set by France's National Constituent Assembly in 1789, is a human civil rights document from the French Revolution.

National Convention single-chamber assembly in France from 21 September 1792 to 26 October 1795

The National Convention was the first government of the French Revolution, following the two-year National Constituent Assembly and the one-year Legislative Assembly. Created after the great insurrection of 10 August 1792, it was the first French government organized as a republic, abandoning the monarchy altogether. The Convention sat as a single-chamber assembly from 20 September 1792 to 26 October 1795.

French Directory Executive power of the French Constitution of 1795-1799

The Directory or Directorate was a five-member committee which governed France from 2 November 1795, when it replaced the Committee of Public Safety, until 9 November 1799, when it was overthrown by Napoleon Bonaparte in the Coup of 18 Brumaire, and replaced by the French Consulate. It gave its name to the final four years of the French Revolution.

In the United States, the rise of Jacksonian democracy from the 1820s to 1850s led to a close approximation of universal manhood suffrage among whites being adopted in all states by 1856. [3] Poorer white male citizens gained representation; however, tax-paying requirements remained in five states until 1860 and in two states until the 20th century. [3] The expansion of suffrage was largely peaceful, excepting the Rhode Island Dorr Rebellion. Most African-American males remained excluded; though the Fifteenth Amendment to the United States Constitution, ratified in 1870, upheld their voting rights, they were denied the right to vote in many places for another century until the Civil Rights Movement gained passage of the Voting Rights Act of 1965 through Congress.

United States federal republic in North America

The United States of America (USA), commonly known as the United States or America, is a country composed of 50 states, a federal district, five major self-governing territories, and various possessions. At 3.8 million square miles, the United States is the world's third or fourth largest country by total area and is slightly smaller than the entire continent of Europe's 3.9 million square miles. With a population of over 327 million people, the U.S. is the third most populous country. The capital is Washington, D.C., and the largest city by population is New York City. Forty-eight states and the capital's federal district are contiguous in North America between Canada and Mexico. The State of Alaska is in the northwest corner of North America, bordered by Canada to the east and across the Bering Strait from Russia to the west. The State of Hawaii is an archipelago in the mid-Pacific Ocean. The U.S. territories are scattered about the Pacific Ocean and the Caribbean Sea, stretching across nine official time zones. The extremely diverse geography, climate, and wildlife of the United States make it one of the world's 17 megadiverse countries.

Jacksonian democracy a 19th century American political philosophy

Jacksonian democracy is a 19th-century political philosophy in the United States that expanded suffrage to most white men and restructured a number of federal institutions. Originating with the seventh President Andrew Jackson and his supporters, it became the nation's dominant political worldview for a generation.

Dorr Rebellion attempt to force broader democracy in the U.S. state of Rhode Island

The Dorr Rebellion (1841–1842) was an attempt by middle-class residents to force broader democracy in the U.S. state of Rhode Island, where a small rural elite was in control of government. It was led by Thomas Wilson Dorr, who mobilized the disenfranchised to demand changes to the state's electoral rules. The state was still using its 1663 colonial charter as a constitution; it required that voters own land. A later legislative rule required that a man be white and own $134 in property in order to vote.

As women also began to win the right to vote during the late 19th and early 20th centuries, the goal of universal manhood suffrage was replaced by universal suffrage.

Universal suffrage concept

The concept of universal suffrage, also known as general suffrage or common suffrage, consists of the right to vote of all adult citizens, regardless of property ownership, income, race, or ethnicity, subject only to minor exceptions. In its original 19th-century usage by political reformers, universal suffrage was understood to mean only universal manhood suffrage; the vote was extended to women later, during the women's suffrage movement.

See also

Related Research Articles

Fifteenth Amendment to the United States Constitution Grants voting rights to all citizens of the United States, regardless of race

The Fifteenth Amendment to the United States Constitution prohibits the federal government and each state from denying a citizen the right to vote based on that citizen's "race, color, or previous condition of servitude". It was ratified on February 3, 1870, as the third and last of the Reconstruction Amendments.

Suffrage right to vote

Suffrage, political franchise, or simply franchise is the right to vote in public, political elections. In some languages, and occasionally in English, the right to vote is called active suffrage, as distinct from passive suffrage, which is the right to stand for election. The combination of active and passive suffrage is sometimes called full suffrage.

Womens suffrage the legal right of women to vote

Women's suffrage is the right of women to vote in elections; a person who advocates the extension of suffrage, particularly to women, is called a suffragist. Limited voting rights were gained by women in Tuscany, Finland, Iceland, Sweden and some Australian colonies and western U.S. states in the late 19th century. National and international organizations formed to coordinate efforts to gain voting rights, especially the International Woman Suffrage Alliance, and also worked for equal civil rights for women.

Rhode Island General Assembly

The State of Rhode Island General Assembly is the state legislature of the U.S. state of Rhode Island. A bicameral body, it is composed of the lower Rhode Island House of Representatives with 75 representatives, and the upper Rhode Island Senate with 38 senators. Members are elected in the general election immediately preceding the beginning of the term or in special elections called to fill vacancies. There are no term limits for either chamber.

Voting rights in the United States

The issue of voting rights in the United States, specifically the enfranchisement and disenfranchisement of different groups, has been contested throughout United States history.

Thomas Wilson Dorr American politician

Thomas Wilson Dorr, was an American politician and reformer in Rhode Island, best known for leading the Dorr Rebellion, an effort to broaden the franchise in the state for white males and to change apportionment in the legislature for better representation of urban populations.

A democracy is a political system, or a system of decision-making within an institution or organization or a country, in which all members have an equal share of power. Modern democracies are characterized by two capabilities that differentiate them fundamentally from earlier forms of government: the capacity to intervene in their own societies and the recognition of their sovereignty by an international legalistic framework of similarly sovereign states. Democratic government is commonly juxtaposed with oligarchic and monarchic systems, which are ruled by a minority and a sole monarch respectively.

Timeline of womens suffrage

Women's suffrage – the right of women to vote – has been achieved at various times in countries throughout the world. In many nations, women's suffrage was granted before universal suffrage, so women and men from certain classes or races were still unable to vote. Some countries granted suffrage to both sexes at the same time. This timeline lists years when women's suffrage was enacted. Some countries are listed more than once, as the right was extended to more women according to age, land ownership, etc. In many cases, the first voting took place in a subsequent year.

The right to property or right to own property is often classified as a human right for natural persons regarding their possessions. A general recognition of a right to private property is found more rarely and is typically heavily constrained insofar as property is owned by legal persons and where it is used for production rather than consumption.

Disenfranchisement after the Reconstruction Era in the United States of America was based on a series of laws, new constitutions, and practices in the South that were deliberately used to prevent black citizens from registering to vote and voting. These measures were enacted by the former Confederate states at the turn of the 20th century, and by Oklahoma when it gained statehood in 1907, although not by the former border slave states. Their actions were designed to frustrate the objective of the Fifteenth Amendment to the United States Constitution, ratified in 1870, which sought to protect the suffrage of freedmen after the American Civil War.

Constitution of Rhode Island

The Constitution of the State of Rhode Island and Providence Plantations is a document describing the structure and function of the government of the U.S. State of Rhode Island.

The right of foreigners to vote in the United States has historically been a contentious issue. A foreigner, in this context, is an alien or a person who is not a citizen of the United States.

Black suffrage is Black people's right to vote. Black suffrage has been at issue in countries established under conditions of white supremacy. It may be limited through official or informal discrimination. In many places, black people have obtained suffrage through national independence. It should also be pointed out that "Black suffrage" in the United States in the aftermath of the American Civil War explicitly refers to "Black Male Suffrage". While women citizens, regardless of race, held rights to vote in some states, at the federal level, the U.S. Constitution was not interpreted to prohibit discrimination against women in voting, regardless of their race, until the passage of the 19th Amendment which was ratified by the United States Congress on August 18 and then certified by law on August 26, 1920.

Poll taxes in the United States

A poll tax is a [tax] levied as a fixed sum on every liable individual. Although often associated with states of the former Confederate States of America Confederacy, poll taxes were also in place in some northern and western states, including California, Connecticut, Maine, Massachusetts, Minnesota, New Hampshire, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Vermont and Wisconsin. Poll taxes had been a major source of government funding among the colonies which formed the United States. Poll taxes made up from one-third to one-half of the tax revenue of colonial Massachusetts. Various privileges of citizenship, including voter registration or issuance of driving licenses and resident hunting and fishing licenses, were conditioned on payment of poll taxes to encourage collection of this tax revenue. Property taxes assumed a larger share of tax revenues as land values rose when population increases encouraged settlement of the American west. Some western states found no need for poll tax requirements; but poll taxes and payment incentives remained in eastern states, and some links to voter registration were modified following the American Civil War until court action following ratification of the 24th Amendment in 1964.

American Equal Rights Association

The American Equal Rights Association (AERA) was formed in 1866 in the United States. According to its constitution, its purpose was "to secure Equal Rights to all American citizens, especially the right of suffrage, irrespective of race, color or sex." Some of the more prominent reform activists of that time were members, including women and men, blacks and whites.

This is a timeline of voting rights in the United States.

References

  1. "The French Revolution II". Mars.wnec.edu. Archived from the original on 2008-08-27. Retrieved 2010-08-22.
  2. French National Assembly. "1848 " Désormais le bulletin de vote doit remplacer le fusil "" (in French). Retrieved 2009-09-26.
  3. 1 2 Stanley L. Engerman, University of Rochester and NBER; Kenneth L. Sokoloff, University of California, Los Angeles and NBER (February 2005). "The Evolution of Suffrage Institutions in the New World" (PDF): 16, 35–36. By 1840, only three states retained a property qualification, North Carolina (for some state-wide offices only), Rhode Island, and Virginia. In 1856 North Carolina was the last state to end the practice. Tax-paying qualifications were also gone in all but a few states by the Civil War, but they survived into the 20th century in Pennsylvania and Rhode Island.CS1 maint: Multiple names: authors list (link)