The Right to Vote: The Contested History of Democracy in the United States

By Alexander Keyssar | Go to book overview

APPENDIX
State Suffrage Laws, 1775-1920

A Note on the Tables and Sources

The tables presented in this appendix represent an effort to assemble, as completely as possible, a factual skeleton of the evolution of suffrage in the United States. That no similar compilation exists anywhere in print is a remarkable fact-and the rationale for publishing these tables here.

Three limits to this collection should be noted. First is that the tables deal largely with the years prior to 1920. This chronological limit was set because state laws changed relatively little after that date, federal law became paramount by the 1960s, and legal materials for the post-1920 period are more readily accessible in reference volumes. Second, this assembly does not include detailed presentations of all of the disfranchising laws passed in the South between 1890 and 1920: this is so because such presentations previously have been published in the work of other historians (cited in chapter 4). Finally, this collection omits data regarding registration laws. This decision was made for reasons of feasibility: state voter registration laws for the last century generally have been complex, lengthy, and subject to frequent changes. A preliminary attempt to produce such a tabular presentation yielded an incomplete document more than fifty pages long.

The sources listed at the end of these tables are those in which constitutional provisions, statutes, and court cases mentioned in the tables were found. The list does not include the hundreds, perhaps thousands, of vol-

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The Right to Vote: The Contested History of Democracy in the United States
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page iii
  • Contents vii
  • Preface xi
  • Part I - The Road to Partial Democracy 1
  • One - In the Beginning 3
  • Two - Democracy Ascendant 26
  • Three - Backsliding and Sideslipping 53
  • Part II - Narrowing the Portals 77
  • Four - Know-Nothings, Radicals, and Redeemers 81
  • Five - The Redemption of the North 117
  • Six - Women's Suffrage 172
  • Part III - Toward Universal Suffrage -- and Beyond 223
  • Seven - The Quiet Years 225
  • Eight - Breaking Barriers 256
  • Conclusion - The Project of Democracy 316
  • Appendix - State Suffrage Laws, 1775-1920 325
  • Appendix - Sources 391
  • Notes 403
  • Index 453
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