"Among the natural rights of the Colonists are these: First, a right to life; Secondly, to liberty; Thirdly, to property; together with the right to support and defend them in the best manner they can. These are evident branches of, rather than deductions from, the duty of self-preservation, commonly called the first law of nature." -- Samuel Adams, The Report of the Committee of Correspondence to the Boston Town Meeting. Nov. 20, 1772
American Minute with Bill Federer
In Medieval Europe, most countries had only one person vote - the king.
In colonial America only landowners voted, then those owning a certain amount of personal property.
After the Revolution, States gradually let those without land vote if they paid taxes, but many States continued religious and literacy tests.
In 1870, the 15th Amendment let former slaves vote.
In 1920, the 19th Amendment let women vote.
In 1924, American Indians could vote in Federal Elections.
In 1961, the 23rd Amendment let District of Columbia residents vote in Federal Elections.
In 1964, the 24th Amendment let vote those who could not pay a poll tax.
In 1965, the Voting Rights Act removed literacy tests.
On JUNE 22, 1970, President Nixon extended the Voting Rights Act to let 18-year-olds vote.
The Supreme Court, in Oregon v Mitchell, limited this right so the 26th Amendment was passed in 1971 to confirm it.
President Nixon stated March 24, 1970:
"In other areas, too, there were long struggles to eliminate discrimination...Property and even religious qualifications for voting persisted well into the 19th century - and not until 1920 were women finally guaranteed the right to vote."
On August 24, 1972, Nixon said:
"For the first time in the 195 year history of this country, men and women 18 to 21 years of age will have the chance to vote."
In 1832, Noah Webster wrote in his History of the United States:
"When you become entitled to exercise the right of voting for public officers, let it be impressed on your mind that God commands you to choose for rulers 'just men who will rule in the fear of God. The preservation of a republican government depends on the faithful discharge of this duty."
Noah Webster continued:
"If the citizens neglect their duty and place unprincipled men in office, the government will soon be corrupted; laws will be made not for the public good so much as for the selfish or local purposes; corrupt or incompetent men will be appointed to execute the laws; the public revenues will be squandered on unworthy men; and the rights of the citizens will be violated or disregarded. If a republican government fails to secure public prosperity and happiness, it must be because the citizens neglect the divine commands, and elect bad men to make and administer the laws."
“Always vote for principle, though you may vote alone, and you may cherish the sweetest reflection that your vote is never lost.”
-- John Quincy Adams