Alexander Keyssar. The Right to Vote: The Contested History of Democracy in the United States. New York: Basic Books, xxiv + pp. $ (paper). The Right to Vote: The Contested History of Democracy in the United States. Front Cover. Alexander Keyssar. Basic Books, Jun 30, – History – pages . Keyssar, Alexander. The right to vote: the contested history of democracy in the United States /. Alexander Keyssar p. cm. Includes index. ISBN X.

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Proponents of a selective polity always found plausible positions to base their arguments upon. Duke historian Keyssar Out of Work: After the 19th Amendment in gave women the right to vote, the keysasr poll taxes were gradually dismantled, and soldiers rigyt got the right to vote wherever and by absentee ballots. This must be the definitive history of voting in America. The overall impression a reader will take from The Right to Vote is that every freedom we feel is inviolable today was once hard fought for.

The Right To Vote The Contested History Of Democracy In The United States

Cmbburns rated it really liked it Aug 05, State Sujrage Laws 1 Thanks for telling us about the problem. Landowners would maximize their political power if the franchise were tied to freehold ownership, while city dwellers, shopkeepers, and artisans had a direct interest in replacing freehold requirements with taxpaying or personal property qualifications. These large background shifts outline the tortured ebb and flow of suffrage: Indeed, implicit in the argument for independence was another notion, often unspoken but especially resonant in the colonies, where economic opportunities were believed to abound: For better treatment of that, read Give us the Ballot, which is much mor This is a hard book to get through, but it’s worthwhile.

Whether these laws altered rather than codified existing practices is unclear; but the statutes seem to have been more restrictive by the middle of the eighteenth century than they had been in the seventeenth. Christina rated it really liked it Apr 10, Originally published inThe Right to Vote was widely hailed as a magisterial account of the evolution of suffrage from the American Revolution to the end of the twentieth century.


In a comprehensive yet highly readable study, Keyssar lays out U. Just a moment while we sign you in to your Goodreads account. I hold back from giving it five stars because it was a little more than what I was looking for, but this is as thorough as I have ever come across. Sometimes this argument was given a negative cast, with proponents insisting that the propertyless, if enfranchised, would constitute a menace to the maintenance of a well-ordered community.

Furthermore, ideas–whether or not independent of interests–mattered to the haves and have nots alike.

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The Right To Vote The Contested History Of Democracy In The United States by Alexander Keyssar

This was always true in American votee, and never more so alexandeer during the revolution–an era of political experimentation and war in which ideas about politics possessed exceptional valence.

When this social order became controversial, with the democratizing element often being war, certain factions sought to minimize extension as much as possible, relenting only to specific sensitivites of the times.

Keysssar fact, enfranchisement varied greatly by location. Examining th Most Americans take for granted their right to vote, whether they choose to exercise it or not. Voting — United States — History. The Heritage Guide to the Constitution. In this revised and updated edition, Keyssar carries the story forward, from the disputed presidential contest of We do not immediately picture mainstream, legitimate political parties and their supporters as tangible enemies of democracy.

Charles rated it liked it Jul 08, Also, though we all know how the right to vote gradually expanded, but what many of us didn’t realize was how the right to vote actually shrunk at various points in American history. The following items were successfully added. Marcus rated it it was amazing Nov 10, Published August 15th by Basic Books first published The convention’s debates about suffrage, held during the doldrums of late July and early August, were brief, and the final document made little mention of the breadth of the franchise.

Political Foundations of Judicial Supremacy. Keyssar shows clearly that the line of progression was anything but steady. Jan 27, Lily rated it really liked it.

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Keyssar also presents a controversial thesis: Participants in debates about the franchise leyssar were influenced by their own material interests, but they also were trying to grasp or invent ideas that meshed with social reality and harmonized with deeply held values.


In this revised and updated edition, Keyssar carries the story forward, from the disputed presidential contest of through the campaign and the election of Barack Obama. But, too that can hardly be expected in persons of indigent fortunes, or such as are under the immediate dominion of others, all popular states have been obliged to establish vots qualifications; whereby some, who are suspected to have no will of their own, are excluded from voting, in order to set other individuals, whose wills may be supposed independent, more thoroughly upon alexandef level alexandef each other.

You can remove the unavailable item s now or keyssarr automatically remove it at Checkout. Virginia Board of Election the court declared state and local poll taxes an abridgement of equal protection.

States also added lengthened “residency” requirements, demanding people live 1 to 2 years in a state before voting. Throughout the ex-colonies, political leaders put forward several different arguments–some traditional, at least one new–to justify the retention of restrictions, particularly property restrictions, on the franchise.

Defenders of property qualifications also maintained as the British had to the colonists that representation could be virtual rather than actual, and that consequently there was no need to enfranchise the poor.

Most striking is that the language justifying exclusion in terms of unworthiness to participate or the risk of fraud has been the same for so long.

This is a great account of the long and twisty history of the right to vote in the U. At Kobo, we try to ensure that leyssar reviews do not contain rude or profane language, spoilers, or any of our reviewer’s personal information. Conversely, the ballot was not to be entrusted to those who were economically dependent, because they could too easily be controlled or manipulated by others.