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Opinions Throughout History: Voters' Rights

Opinions Throughout History: Voters’ Rights provides readers with an in-depth exploration of not only the topic of voter suppression, but how public opinion influenced action on voters' rights, from the founding of the country, when most states limited the right to vote to property-owning males, to the establishment in 2017 of the Presidential Advisory Commission of Election Integrity, and beyond, to how voter suppression efforts affected the 2018 elections.

This edition starts with a detailed Introduction that highlights the important topics that have shaped the right to vote in the United States. A comprehensive Timeline follows, highlighting significant events in voter enfranchisement from the first vote held in 1607 in the New World to elect a leader of the Virginia Colony to the 2019 delay in North Carolina to implement voter ID requirements.

Following the timeline are 28 chapters that comprehensively and chronologically trace the history of the right to vote from white, male, property-owning Christians to every American, with an exception or two, to this day. The detailed Table of Contents summarizes the depth of topics covered:

  • Short time in Colonial America when women, people of color, and noncitizens were allowed to vote
  • History of religious disenfranchisement
  • Connection between basic rights established by the abolition, women’s rights, suffrage and civil rights movements, and enfranchisement
  • Expansion of the vote and its accompanying resistance in the form of Jim Crow laws, including poll taxes and literacy tests
  • Unique history of Native Americans disenfranchisement
  • Electoral College from Colonial America to today
  • Voting rights for felons, physically and mentally disabled
  • Political polling, voting age, voter fraud, residency requirements, voter ID laws
  • History of voter participation
  • Voting methods, from bean counting to digital technology
  • Interference in the American election process from domestic and foreign entities

Each chapter starts with a brief Introduction, List of Topics Covered, and complete citation for the source document discussed in the chapter. The body of the chapter includes analysis of the source document, which is reprinted in its entirety (with a few exceptions) and clearly distinguished by a shaded title bar. Dozens of photos, charts and other images support the text. Sidebars, pull-quotes and other visual elements increase accessibility. Each chapter ends with a brief conclusion, thoughtful discussion questions, and list of works used.

This exciting new series offers a wide range of insights into long-standing issues that Americans are most concerned about, and those that have encouraged vigorous debate among politicians and citizens at large. Using carefully chosen original documents that cover a wide time span, Opinions Throughout History weaves a thoughtful and easy-to-understand analysis of how public opinion is formed and evolves, starting the discussion at an historical, seminal moment, and ending with where we stand today.

This comprehensive, timely volume is a must for large public libraries, university libraries and social science departments, along with high school libraries.


Buyers of Opinions Throughout History: Voters’ Rights receive FREE ONLINE ACCESS on the popular Salem Press/Grey House Platform, With unlimited users and remote access included, your students and researchers can now search this amazing collection of data, anytime & anywhere, all just a click away.

View a Full List of Titles from the Opinions Throughout History Series