History of Voting Rights


Women lose the right to vote in all states

1777 - 1807

States like New York, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, and New Jersey which previously allowed women to vote took away the right. After 1807, no state allows women to vote.
Losing the right they were entitled to and stripped of led to women fighting for suffrage.

Struggle to remove property restrictions

1788 - 1856

In state elections like that of 1821, 3/4 of the males in New York City (because women could not vote anywhere) were not eligible to vote because they did not meet the property requirement. Over the next few years an intense and eventually successful political struggle is fought to remove all property requirements for male voters. But only for white men. The requirements for African-American men to vote are actually raised.

Citizenship limited to "whites."


The 1790 Naturalization Law says that only "free white" immigrants can become naturalized citizens. "White" was defined as being of pure European ancestry, this prevents immigrants and African-Americans from becoming naturalized citizens.
This shows the struggle African-Americans went through to vote because the voting requirement of being a United States citizen prevented them from being able to vote because citizenship was limited to whites.

Women's Rights Convention Meeting: Seneca Falls, New York

July 1848

The first women's rights convention in the United States is held in Seneca Falls, New York. The idea for the convention came from Lucretia Mott, Elizabeth Cady Stanton and three other women over tea. Many of the attendants signed a "Declaration of Sentiments and Resolutions" that described the main issues and goals for the movement these women were beginning.
This is an important event in the women's struggle for suffrage rights because after this women's rights meetings were held on a regular basis.

14th Amendment extends citizenship to Blacks


The 14th Amendment says that all states are required to recognize Black (and white) males as citizens.
This is an important event in the struggle for voting rights for African-Americans because the 1790 Naturalization Law says that only “free white” immigrants can become naturalized citizens. And only United States citizens could vote in elections so the granting of citizenship to blacks means they are eligible to vote.

15th Amendment extends vote to Blacks


The adoption of this amendment extends the voting rights to black men, in theory.
This gives African-American men more eligibility to vote. Slowly but surely earning them the rights they were fighting for.

Susan B. Anthony Arrest


"Susan B. Anthony is arrested and brought to trial in Rochester, New York, for attempting to vote for Ulysses S. Grant in the presidential election." Anthony was fined $100 and did not pay a cent. This shows that the women were determined and persistent to win the rights they deserve.

Suffrage Parade

March 3, 1913

Members of the Congressional Union organize a suffrage parade, scheduling it for the day before President Wilson's inauguration. Not all of the parade observers were suffrage supporters and hostile members of the crowd surround and insult the women. "The publicity resulting from this incident instigates an investigation by District of Columbia Commissioners and provides further momentum for the suffrage campaign."
This event is important because Wilson was notified of this parade and with that he became aware of the suffrage movement.

World War I

1918 - 1920

During this time, the suffragist campaign slowed down because the suffragists decided to put it on hold so they can focus on "war work."
It later on added another reason that women deserve the right to vote.

19th Amendment extends right to vote to women


After 72 years of fighting, women finally win the right to vote.

Passage of Voting Rights Act


The Voting Rights Act protects voters from phony "requirements" such as "literacy tests" (created to deny the vote to people based on their race or color, like Blacks, Indians, Asians, and Mexican-Americans). The act also authorizes the federal government to take over registration of voters in the 16 states where there was previously racial discrimination. Also, establishing that fluency in English cannot be made a requirement for voting eligibility.

Poll taxes outlawed in state elections


In 1964, The 24th Amendment prohibits poll taxes in federal elections.
The poll taxes in elections taxed every adult, without reference to their income or resources.
In this year, after years of people fighting to remove polls taxes, The Supreme Court finally rules that the use of poll taxes in state elections violates the equal protection clause of the 14th Amendment to the Constitution. And the last remaining poll taxes are eliminated.
This ruling, passed 47 years ago, protects all people from being taxed unfairly when they want to vote.