We the People: The Citizen & the Constitution, Level 3
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Howard Chandler Christy, Signing of the Constitution, Architect of the Capitol, House wing, east stairway
http://www.civiced.org/wtpcompanion/hs/image/0809/0809webwtphs_cvr.jpg
Lesson 20 Purpose
During the colonial period and the early years of the nation, suffrage?the right to vote?was generally restricted to white men who owned property. The majority of adult white men met this requirement, especially in rural areas. Other people?women, Native Americans, African Americans, indentured servants, and members of certain religious groups?usually were denied the right to vote. This lesson examines how the right to vote has been extended since 1787. The expansion of the franchise to include almost all citizens eighteen years of age or older represents one of the great themes in American history, in some respects the most important theme.

When you have finished this lesson, you should be able to describe the extension of the franchise as a result of changes in voting laws in Congress and various states, amendments to the Constitution, and decisions of the Supreme Court. You should be able to evaluate, take, and defend positions on how extending the right to vote is related to fundamental ideas and principles of American constitutional government. Audio ]
Lesson 20      How Has the Right to Vote Been Expanded since the Adoption of the Constitution?
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