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Lesson 20: How Has the Right to Vote Been Expanded since the Adoption of the Constitution?


What is the rationale for the right to vote in the American constitutional system?   (Video)

Rationale for right to vote; right to vote during colonial period; justification for property requirement; suffrage in the United States compared with European nations; African American and women's suffrage; state battles for voting rights; treatment of voting in federal Constitution.

Student Questions: Unit 3, Lesson 20, Sections 1-3 (pdf download)

Image credits: Suffragists Mrs. Stanley McCormick and Mrs. Charles Parker, April 22, 1913, Prints and Photographs Division, Library of Congress, LC-USZ62-93552; Population of American Colonies, 1790, by Mapping Specialists/Center for Civic Education.

How was the right to vote extended to African-Americans, women, and eighteen year olds?   (Video)

History of extension of suffrage in the United States; Civil War and Fifteenth Amendment; Republican Party and suffrage; end of Reconstruction Era and suppression of African American male voting; women?s suffrage movement; military service and extension of the right to vote.

Image credits: Company E, 4th United States Colored Infantry, 1864, Prints and Photographs Division, Library of Congress, LC-DIG-cwpb-04294; Klansmen JOe Gosiniak watches a cross burn along with his children by Paul M. Walsh, 1987, Wikimedia Commons/CC BY-SA 3.0; March on Washington by United States Information Agency, 1963, Wikimedia Commons/National Archives; A woman working in a wartime factory, 1914, Wikimedia Commons; Don?t Ask, Don?t Tell Campaign by Nick, 2010, Flickr/nicksarebi/CC BY 2.0; The Winner: Corporal William W. Sessions smiles as he displays the holes in his helmet by Private First Class E. E. Hildreth, 1968, Wikimedia Commons/USMC Archives/CC BY 2.0.

When did the United States become a democracy or democratic republic?   (Video)

Extension of suffrage and emergence of a full democracy or democratic republic; lens of popular sovereignty; meaning of popular sovereignty; delivering on the promises of the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution.

Susan B Anthony   (Video)
A speech by Susan B Anthony on suffrage rights presented by Learn Out Loud.

Not For Ourselves Alone   (Video)
Women suffrage movement video.

American Diversity: Women   (Video)
A video about Elizabeth Cady Stanton and Susan B. Anthony.

Civil Rights: Demanding Equality   (Video)
A video on political and social equality by Annenberg Media.

Passage of 26th Amendment   (Video)
Discussion about allowing 18 year olds to vote by the History Channel.

The Progressive Era: Suffrage   (Video)
A video about women's struggle for the right to vote.

Harper v. Virginia State Board of Elections (1966)   (Audio)
Part one of the oral argument of the case.

Harper v. Virginia State Board of Elections (1966)   (Audio)
Part two of the oral argument of the case.

Reynolds v. Sims (1964)   (Audio)
The oral argument of the case.

Federick Douglass   (Audio)
A biography of his life and his speech for woman suffrage. From Learn Out Loud.

Voting Rights Act of 1965   (Audio)
A podcast discussing the development of voting rights by Georgetown Law podcast from Learn Out Loud.