History Of Voting Rights


US Constitution


In 1987 there was no federal voting standard, states were able to decide who has the ability to vote and who does not. So in this time period is when the U.S Constitution was adopted because there was not any type of agreement on a national standard for voting rights so this gave them the power to choose. Although some states had the rights to choose in most cases they would give the opportunity to white male landowners only. And because of this decision not until 1971, large numbers of American citizens were not able to vote. But the 14th, 15th, 19th, 24th and 26th Amendments were there for protection, protection of voting rights and that they cant be denied that right what so ever.

14th Amendment

July 9, 1868

The 14th Amendment was passed as one of the Reconstruction Amendments. This Amendment's purpose was to assure that every men regardless of race had the rights to vote and that they were equal to white men. It also guaranteed citizenship to both white and black males. Which was meant to guaranteed that nobody can keep them from voting or from any privileges that this amendment guaranteed them. Before this Amendment was passed many African American men as well as many other people who struggled to gain their voting rights.

15th Amendment


This Amendment gives the right of citizens to vote shall not be denied or abridged by the United States or any state based on race, color, or previous condition of servitude. This granted African American men the right to vote because before this Amendment they were denied the rights to vote by other White American men. Although this Amendment was passed by the constitution it took centuries for it to be realized. It was not fully in use because Southern states disenfranchised African Americans rights to vote through the use of poll taxes, literacy tests and other means. Until the Voting Rights Act in 1965 is when the majority of African Americans were registered to vote.

Suffrage Parade


At this time period Woodrow Wilson was president and in 1913 which was when his first inauguration was being celebrated and many women saw this day as an advantage to march and protest. They found this day as an advantage to protest because everybody seemed to be out on this day and their were many women watching their parade and were impressed and seemed interested while on the other hand men were being sexist and became aggressive towards the women involved in the parade. Men feared that if women gained the rights to vote that they would lose power and control over them. Eventually after all the chaos this protest has both a good and bad ending, the women were arrested but on the good hand it did grab a lot of other women attention.

Picket Outside White House of Women Suffrage


On 1917, 4 years later after the suffrage parade march there was another event by women protesting for the rights to taken place in front of the white house. Women were picketing outside the white house to grab the president's attention on how bad women wanted the rights to vote and become part of the society instead of just being considered as an ordinary housewife. They wanted to show that they were more than just what men treated them to be or known to be and prove that they had the same strength as men and should be able to vote just like them. While women were still picketing later white male cops came and arrested them without a charge while women physically tried to resist the arrest it didn't work because the male cops were stronger than them. Later they were taken to court and were charged for making traffic and this was just a silly accusation because there was nothing to charge them for and as it may be obvious they were found guilty because the judge was a male and as every other male he feared of losing control and power. Once they were charged they all denied in paying the fine because of two reasons; first because they didn't break any law and they were sure that everything they did was legal, secondly because if they were to pay that find then they accepted the fact that they were guilty and they did not agree with that so they refused. Because of their refusal they were locked up and were treated like animals as if they were not still women. On the positive side more and more women continued to join these protests because they thought that it was wrong to treat a women the way they were being treated in prison and realized that they did need the rights to vote and had to have it.

19th Amendment


Before this Amendment the 15th Amendment was adopted which didn't grant the rights to vote for women. At this period of time it has almost been 52 years of women fighting for their rights to vote. When the 15th Amendment was adopted and granted African American men the rights to vote it gave women's hope that their time was close. Also when African Americans men got the rights to vote more and more women attention were grabbed which is when the 19th Amendment came into consideration but women continued to protest to make the opportunity for a women to vote happen. Later then the 19th Amendment was adopted and granted their rights to vote which was a successful feeling to those women who worked and struggled to make this happen.

Freedom Rides


In 1961, the Congress of Racial Equality (CORE) sent seven African Americans and six whites on a "Freedom Ride" on two buses from Washington DC. They were on their way to the deep South to test the Supreme Court's ruling in Boynton v. Virginia, which declared segregation in interstate bus and rail stations unconstitutional.On the bound for New Orleans a couple of angry segregationists attacked them outside of Anniston, Alabama. One of the buses was even bombed. U.S. Attorney General Robert F. Kennedy eventually ordered State Highway Patrol protection for the freedom riders to have a safe travel to Montgomery, Alabama, where they again encountered violent resistance. In Montgomery they were attacked by more than 1000 whites but after all they continued their trip to Mississippi where they were continued to be attacked and brutally beaten and jail terms. However they generated more publicity and many other freedom riders were inspired.

Voting Rights As Civil Rights

1963 - 1964

Even after a couple of Amendments being adopted in the favor of African Americans states still found ways to deny African Americans voting rights especially in the South which was were slavery was popular back in the past. State officials refused to allow African Americans to vote by using voting taxes, literacy tests and violent intimidation. Behind these tricks there would be more tricks to it, the literacy test they would have a child who may not be able to read to read during the literacy test which was a big affect to African Americans, taxes African Americans did not get paid a good amount of wages which also had a big impact on voting and most importantly whites would try to intimidate African Americans and provoke them to fight or defend which automatically loses the right to even register to vote. Because of all these tricks African Americans were likely not to past these "tests" which led into them not voting. Later on, on Freedom Summer, almost a thousand civil rights workers of all races and backgrounds converge on the South to support voting rights.

26th Amendment


In 1971 Congress passed the 26th Amendment to the Constitution which was useful to those young adults who were 21 to18 because it granted them the rights to vote. Before this was issued there was a long debate whether or not to lower the voting age and began during World War 2 and intensified during the Vietnam War. This Amendment was passed because young men were being denied the rights to vote and conscripted to fight for their country. The 26th Amendment gave states the right to regulate minimum age the fights to vote. After all some of these young men thought that if they were old enough to fight for their country then they should be old enough to vote and thanks to this amendment signed and passed by President Richard Nixon their rights to vote was granted and guaranteed.