Suffrage During The Age of Jackson


US History Age of Jackson and Westward Expansion Suffrage During the Age of Jackson
Students learn about the changes to and expansion of voting rights during the 1800s. Then, students evaluate the arguments in favor of and against the changes involving white manhood suffrage.

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Overview

In this experience, students learn about the changes to and expansion of voting rights during the 1800s. Then, students evaluate the arguments in favor of and against the changes involving white manhood suffrage.

Objective:

  • Describe who gained suffrage by the 1820s.


Ever since the new nation of the United States was formed in 1776, there has been a dispute over who should have the right to vote in government elections.

Objective:

  • Describe who gained suffrage by the 1820s.




Think back to what you have already learned about voting in the colonial period and the early republic. In most states, who could vote in the presidential election of 1820? Choose all that apply.

A) white male property owners
B) poor white men
C) African Americans
D) women

After students have answered the poll, unlock the next part of this scene.

Initially, voting was limited to only rich and educated white males, but throughout the 1800s and early 1900s, voting rights in America changed dramatically.

In 1787, when the Constitution was ratified, voting rights were determined by the individual state and were often limited to white males who owned property or paid taxes. These qualifications limited the voting population to about one third of all white males. Additionally, in many states voting regulations excluded women and African Americans—slave or free.


Why do you think voting was limited to property owners?

Post your answer

Review your classmates’ posts and respond to at least two of them with a question or a positive comment.


Discuss with students some of their answers. Then explain to students that many states thought that property owners had a legitimate interest in the country’s success and that they deserved a voice in what was going on in their government. Additionally, states also believed that landowners had demonstrated that they were intelligent and hardworking enough not to be swayed in their opinions about who to vote for.


When everyone is ready to continue, unlock the next scene.

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