1770-1779, United States

Birth of a Nation

States ratified the U.S. Constitution, giving white male property owners at least 21 years of age the right to vote. During the American Revolution, property qualifications for voting were lowered in many states. Several granted suffrage rights to any white male who paid taxes.

1780-1799, United States

Form of Government

Article IV, section 4 of the U.S. Constitution: "The United States shall guarantee to every state in this Union a republican form of government". Thomas Jefferson argued "the true basis of a republic (representative democracy) is the equal right of every citizen to have an equal voice in the government's direction." Nevertheless, only white property owners were allowed to vote.

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