Of the People, by the People, for the People: A Documentary Record of Voting Rights and Electoral Reform, 1st Edition

  • Thomas J. Baldino
  • Published By:
  • ISBN-10: 0313385513
  • ISBN-13: 9780313385513
  • DDC: 324.60973
  • Grade Level Range: 9th Grade - College Senior
  • 1000 Pages | eBook
  • Original Copyright 2010 | Published/Released May 2010
  • This publication's content originally published in print form: 2010

  • Price:  Sign in for price



The hotly disputed election of 2000 roused a generally complacent electorate to recognize the erosion of a basic rite of citizenship many had long taken for granted: the exercise of their right to vote. Since then, controversial technology for casting and counting ballots, as well as numerous initiatives intended to increase voter participation (or, in the case of voter identification laws, arguably to restrict it), have ensured that possible flaws in our electoral system are never far from public consciousness. We perceive these troubling developments as new, yet from the colonial period onward, our history has been marked by fierce political battles over who is entitled to vote and how.

With over 100 documents, this book presents and analyzes the documentary record of this ongoing struggle. Organized chronologically, this volume traces the legislative evolution of the franchise in America, as well as the significant federal and state court decisions that interpret the law to either extend or contract access to the vote. In each chapter a distinctive section offers examples of disputed elections (presidential and congressional) and the reform proposals that resulted, such as proposed constitutional amendments to eliminate the Electoral College.

Table of Contents

Front Cover.
Half Title Page.
Title Page.
Copyright Page.
List of Tables, Charts, Pictures, and Cartoons.
List of Documents and Sidebars.
Reader's Guide to the Documents and Sidebars.
Preface: The Winding Road Toward a True Democratic Republic.
1: The Plan of the Book.
2: The Colonial Period: 1660–1775.
3: Voting Qualification Rules Passed by the Connecticut Assembly, known as the General Court (1689;1709).
4: North Carolina Statutes Relating to the Franchise.
5: Pennsylvania Statute Concerning the Franchise.
6: Fledgling Democracy: 1776–1828.
7: The Constitution of the State of New Jersey, 1776.
8: The Constitution of New Hampshire, 1784.
9: The Constitution of North Carolina, 1776.
10: The Constitution of Pennsylvania, 1776.
11: The Constitution of Pennsylvania, 1790.
12: The Articles of Confederation.
13: The Northwest Ordinance of 1787.
14: The United States Constitution, Article I.
15: The United States Constitution, Article II.
16: Electoral College Results for the Presidential Election, 1800.
17: The Twelfth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution.
18: Electoral College Results for the Presidential Election, 1824.
19: Democracy Challenged: 1829-1900.
20: The People's Constitution of Rhode Island.
21: The Rejected Constitution of the State of Wisconsin.
22: The Constitution of the State of Nevada.
23: The Constitution of California of 1849.
24: Idaho Territory Statute on Elections and the Qualifications of Voters.
25: The Constitution of Mississippi.
26: The 1895 Constitution of South Carolina.
27: The Fourteenth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution.
28: The Fifteenth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution.
29: The Civil Rights Acts of 1870 and 1871.
30: U.S. Supreme Court Decision, U.S. v. Reese.
31: U.S. Supreme Court Decision, Minor v. Happersett.
32: U.S. Supreme Court Decision, U.S. v. Cruikshank.
33: U.S. Supreme Court Decision, Davis v. Beason.
34: U.S. Supreme Court Decision, Williams v. Mississippi.
35: Declaration of Sentiments and Resolutions.
36: The Constitution of the National Woman Suffrage Association; The Constitution of the American Woman Suffrage Association.
37: The Apportionment Act of 1842.
38: An Act to Regulate the Times and Manner of Holding Elections for Senators in Congress.
39: The Report of the Joint Congressional Committee on the Counting of the Presidential Vote; An Act Creating an Electoral Commission.
40: The Electoral Count Act of 1887.
41: The Massachusetts Ballot Act of 1888.
42: Democracy Maturing: 1900–1960.
43: U.S. Supreme Court Decision, Pope v. Williams.
44: U.S. Supreme Court Decision, Guinn v. United States.
45: U.S. Supreme Court Decision, Myers v. Anderson.
46: U.S. Supreme Court Decision, Breedlove v. Suttles.
47: U.S. Supreme Court Decision, Lane v. Wilson.
48: U.S. Supreme Court Decision, Smith v. Allwright.
49: U.S. Supreme Court Decision, Terry v. Adams.
50: U.S. Supreme Court Decision, Lassiter v. Northampton County Board of Elections.
51: U.S. Supreme Court Decision, Gomillion v. Lightfoot.
52: The Civil Rights Act of 1957.
53: The Indian Citizenship Act.
54: The Seventeenth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution.
55: The Nineteenth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution.
56: The Initiative and Referendum Amendment to the Constitution of South Dakota.
57: The Recall Amendment to the Oregon Constitution.
58: The Wisconsin Direct Primary Law.
59: Oregon Presidential Preference Primary Ballot Question.
60: The Apportionment Act of 1901.
61: The Apportionment Act of 1911.
62: The Reapportionment Act of 1929.
63: The Self-Executing Reapportionment Act of 1941.
64: An Act to Hold Elections for the House and Senate on the Same Day.
65: The Soldiers Voting Act of 1942.