“[do] not determine the question of whether they shall vote anywhere else.” 41
In the 1870s, the twin premises of the New Departure—that suffrage was a right of citizenship and that this right was national in character— were rejected by legislators and jurists alike. In the 1880s, however, the task of bringing new states into the Union renewed legislative attention to the political status of Indians, Mormons, and enfranchised women within the territories, making voting rights a subject of national concern and debate. The legacy of expansionist politics on the woman suffrage movement was, however, mixed. While territorial expansion reopened the possibility of legislating voting rights at the national level for the first time since Minor, it also brought the woman question to a premature life and death in the Senate. Embroiled within the ongoing tensions of American federalism, suffrage politics in the 1880s points our attention toward some of the contradictions within a political consensus that treated the character of the electorate as an issue of national concern— increasingly policed through immigration and naturalization law into the twentieth century—but left control over voting rights in the hands of the states.