Thesis on Expansion of Voting Rights in the United States

The voting rights can be perceived as the result of the state’s ability to determine registration procedures and eligibility requirements. In terms of changes in registration procedures and eligibility requirements, the expansion of suffrage, i.e., the right to vote must be understood.

The right granted to a group of individuals or an individual by a corporation or government is referred to as a franchise. It is also a privilege of a public nature conferred by a government on a company, group or individual. On the other hand, a vote given in favor of a proposed candidate or measure is referred to as suffrage. Especially in a political election, it is the right to vote. It is an act or a prayer of supplication or intersection.

States were prohibited by three Amendments to the U.S. Constitution, i.e., 15th, 19th, and 26th from denying individuals the right to vote based on particular criteria. According to the 15th Amendment, on account of previous condition of servitude, color, or race, no State or the United States can abridge or deny the U.S. citizens’ right to vote. According to the 19th Amendment, on account of sex no State or the United States can abridge or deny the U.S. citizens’ right to vote. According to the 26th Amendment, on account of age no State or the United States can abridge or deny the U.S. citizens’ right to vote, especially those who are 18 years of age or older. Suffrage was expanded by these three Amendments to the U.S. Constitution. African-Americans were not allowed to perform on stage, instead, entertainers used to perform in ‘blackface’.

In most professions, women were not accepted. In 1869, 15th Amendment got ratifies that the right to vote is available to males of all races. For women to finally get suffrage, with the ratification of the 19th Amendment, it took another fifty years. Women were disenfranchised by most states until the 1910s. To end the culmination of the suffrage movement of women in the United States, the 19th Amendment was passed. To achieve the vote, this suffrage was fought at both national and state levels. During the bitter years of the Vietnam War, it was realized by Americans that leaders must be chosen by young people and they can be ordered to die and fight. The voting age to eighteen years got lowered by the 26th Amendment.   

To reduce the ability of African Americans to vote, several state policies and actions such as literacy tests and poll taxes subsequent to the passage of the 15th Amendment were taken. It also involved some of the devices such as outright racial gerrymandering and discriminatory enforcement of registration rules. The 15th Amendment had to be ratified by twenty-eight or 3/4ths of the states, once approved by the required 2/3rds majorities in the Senate and House. In eleven Southern states, black male suffrage already existed due to the reconstruction laws.

However, these reconstruction laws were also again passed by along with the 15th Amendment. The 15th Amendment had to be ratified by these states as they were mostly controlled by Republican reconstruction governments. The National Voter Registration Act of 1993, the Voting Rights Act of 1965 and the passage of the 24th Amendment were also several actions taken at the national level. These national actions did affected suffrage. The African American suffrage was ensuring by the Voting Rights Act of 1965 and its later amendments.