The Right to Vote: Early American Contexts – Oct 9

by admin - October 4th, 2018

Reading: Course Reader, Day 10. ALSO – we will talk about the material I placed in Day 9 besides Kerber, i.e. the controversy regarding birthright citizenship and the 14th Amendment that started earlier this summer with an July 18, 2018 op-ed in the Washington Post titled “Citizenship Shouldn’t be a Birthright.”

Reminder: Your CITIZEN Project Proposal is due in class, in printed hard copy. Don’t forget to add your topic to our Google doc and/or check to make sure that no one else is doing the exact same thing.

As we start Unit 2, with its focus on the history of voting rights in America, we’ll return again to early America and look at the status of voting rights in the U.S. between 1790 and 1850. Harvard professor Alex Keyssar calls this period “Democracy Ascendant,” but his very next chapter describes the ways that voting rights were also “Backsliding and Sideslipping.”

In class we’ll try to answer: when it comes to voting rights 1790-1850 is the glass half full, or half empty?

Bonus: for some examples of printed early American ballots, here’s a digital collection of them at the American Antiquarian Society (a research library here in Worcester)

Looking ahead: Soapbox presenters for Thurs Oct 11 will be – Sean, Francis, Jaymi, Kyle and Noah

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