U.S. CitiesCity-Data Forum Index
Go Back   City-Data Forum > General Forums > Politics and Other Controversies > Elections
 [Register]
Please register to participate in our discussions with 2 million other members - it's free and quick! Some forums can only be seen by registered members. After you create your account, you'll be able to customize options and access all our 15,000 new posts/day with fewer ads.
View detailed profile (Advanced) or search
site with Google Custom Search

Search Forums  (Advanced)
Reply Start New Thread
 
Old 08-29-2017, 04:18 PM
 
9,807 posts, read 10,045,721 times
Reputation: 5248

Advertisements

While it is fairly well known that women and slaves could not vote for President at the founding of this country, did you realize that men who didn't own property also couldn't vote? In fact the first ten presidential elections all had fewer than 4% of the population vote in the election. Particularly boring elections like the 2nd term of George Washington and James Madison had less than 1% of the population turn out.

In fact it wasn't until 1828 (11th election) where the candidate from the newly formed Democratic Party, Andrew Jackson, was elected that turnout exceeded 20% of the free male population.

In reality the framers of the constitution expected delegates to vote their conscience, and not just mirror the votes of their congressional district. They expected a large percent of elections to not result in a majority of electoral college votes, and thought that the contingent election in the House would be a regular occurrence.

In a contingent election each state gets a single vote regardless of the size of the state.

=============================
In the election of 1824, Andrew Jackson had won the electoral college vote and the popular vote, but he earned less than 50% of the electoral college (only 99 votes). John Quincy Adams who earned 84 electoral college votes won the contingent election in the House of Representatives.

In the election of 1828 John Quincy Adams once again earned 83 electoral college votes, but now Andrew Jackson was the only opposing candidate. Jackson earned all of the remaining 178 electoral college votes, giving him the presidency without the need for a contingent election. But the turnout for the 1828 election was 3X that of the 1824 election.

Last edited by PacoMartin; 08-29-2017 at 04:33 PM..
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message

 
Old 08-29-2017, 07:28 PM
 
Location: NY/LA
3,337 posts, read 2,810,819 times
Reputation: 2587
For those first few elections, I believe that each state could determine who was eligible for voting, (except for women and slaves). For instance, there were a few New England states where freed slaves were allowed to vote. However you're right in that most states only granted the right to vote to white, male landowners.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 08-29-2017, 08:46 PM
 
9,807 posts, read 10,045,721 times
Reputation: 5248
As late as 1820 the incumbent President, James Monroe could run for President with nobody even bothering to oppose him.

As late as 1824 in 6 out of 24 states there was no vote at all, and electors were appointed by state legislature free to vote their conscience.

It wasn't until 1856 that all requirements to own property and nearly all requirements to pay taxes had been dropped in order to vote.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 08-29-2017, 09:28 PM
 
2,019 posts, read 744,697 times
Reputation: 2124
Trust me our founding fathers would ALL be conservatives. They would essentially be libertarians, along the lines of Rand Paul. They would be nationalistic but would advocate for more individualistic policy. They would despise the current left. The current left represents everything they fled.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 08-29-2017, 10:55 PM
 
9,807 posts, read 10,045,721 times
Reputation: 5248
Right now I am interested in suffrage.

It seems that universal male suffrage briefly existed in the Republic of Liege and in the First French Republic(founded 21 September 1792). It was short lived as Napoleon would become Emperor in 1804.

Greece recognized full male suffrage in 1830. As I said earlier, the US greatly expanded suffrage by 1828 .

But, I am still a little shocked that the founding fathers did not recognize the right of all white males to vote.
% turnout of voting Age Population
1828 57.6%
1832 55.4%
1836 57.8%
1840 80.2%
1844 78.9%
1848 72.7%
1852 69.6%
1856 78.9%
1860 81.2%
1864 73.8%
1868 78.1%
1872 71.3%
1876 81.8% <=====Peak before women could vote
1880 79.4%
1884 77.5%
1888 79.3%
1892 74.7%
1896 79.3%
1900 73.2%
1904 65.2%
1908 65.4%
1912 58.8%
1916 61.6%
1920 49.2% <= women permitted to vote
1924 48.9%
1928 56.9%
1932 52.6%
1936 56.9%
1940 58.8%
1944 56.1%
1948 51.1%
1952 61.6%
1956 59.3%
1960 62.8% <=====Peak since women could vote
1964 61.4%
1968 60.7%
1972 55.1%
1976 53.6%
1980 52.8%
1984 53.3%
1988 50.3%
1992 55.2%
1996 49.0%
2000 50.3%
2004 55.7%
2008 58.2%
2012 54.9%
2016 55.5%

Last edited by PacoMartin; 08-29-2017 at 11:05 PM..
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 08-30-2017, 07:48 AM
 
Location: NY/LA
3,337 posts, read 2,810,819 times
Reputation: 2587
Quote:
Originally Posted by PacoMartin View Post
But, I am still a little shocked that the founding fathers did not recognize the right of all white males to vote.
In the end, they were still just humans: as imperfect and subject to biases then as we are now. The founding fathers were all white men with property, so is it really that much of a surprise that their perspective might be skewed, even if their intentions might have been noble?

I've read that one of the arguments behind the property requirement was that men without property have less of a stake in society, and would be willing to sell their votes to men with means to buy them. So some of founders actually thought they were limiting the ability of the wealthy to exercise undue influence, which is far different from how we would view similar restrictions today.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 08-30-2017, 08:32 AM
 
5,116 posts, read 4,606,218 times
Reputation: 4375
Technically speaking, the citizenry doesn't vote for POTUS, even today. They vote for slates of presidential electors sponsored by political parties.

The US Constitution leaves it up to each state to determine how their presidential electors are chosen. There's nothing that requires that those electors are themselves chosen by the citizens of each state.

Wrap your head around this - up until the Civil War, the presidential electors from South Carolina were selected by the state government.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 08-30-2017, 08:37 AM
 
5,116 posts, read 4,606,218 times
Reputation: 4375
Quote:
Originally Posted by PacoMartin View Post
But, I am still a little shocked that the founding fathers did not recognize the right of all white males to vote.
Not so surprising when you consider that the founding fathers who created the US Constitution were anti-democratic. They considered democracy the path to demagoguery, and crafted a national government that was a republic. The only nod to democracy was the House of Representatives, and even then the manner of selecting members of the House of Representatives was left up to each of the states. The founding fathers left a lot of delegated powers in the hands of the state governments, such as voting suffrage or slavery, because the power elites at the state level were reluctant to cede even more power to a centralized government.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 08-30-2017, 08:45 AM
 
Location: NY/LA
3,337 posts, read 2,810,819 times
Reputation: 2587
Quote:
Originally Posted by djmilf View Post
Not so surprising when you consider that the founding fathers who created the US Constitution were anti-democratic. They considered democracy the path to demagoguery, and crafted a national government that was a republic. The only nod to democracy was the House of Representatives, and even then the manner of selecting members of the House of Representatives was left up to each of the states.
At the very least, many of the founding fathers were pretty paternalistic, even if they didn't consider themselves elitist or authoritarian. Government might not have been a "nanny state", but there was definitely a vibe of "father knows best".
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 08-30-2017, 10:16 AM
 
Location: Old Mother Idaho
21,232 posts, read 14,256,943 times
Reputation: 15725
The founding fathers understood they were creating an imperfect compact, so they allowed the United States to be flexible enough to allow change when change was needed. Our constitution is the rare instrument that takes human nature, the times, and human frailties into account and makes allowance for them. Our Constitution can be changed, and a Constitutional change can be undone.
That's a remarkable difference between our government and all the others that came before it. But the founding fathers understood the hazards of a rigid democracy, one where nobility was still pitted against the commoners. That was what they had all lived under their entire lives, and wanted to end forever.

Suffrage was one of those needed changes. Susan B. Anthony was vital in gaining the right for women to vote, but she never wanted a black man allowed the vote. She was adamantly against that. And she thought a black woman was even less fit for suffrage. No one, man or woman, black or white, wanted the Native Americans to vote.

It just goes to show even those who seek to perfect our union have their own problems with what 'perfection' means.

Perfection means what most living people think it means at the present moment. What is good for all right now may not be what was good for all in the past.

What is good for all right now is good for all in the future. If that assumption turns out differently in the future, then it is up to those people living then, in the future, to change it.

Perfection is evolutionary. It allows us room to experiment, and we have experimented, many times, since 1787. One of those experiments, prohibition, failed, and was repealed. That shows just how wise the founding fathers were.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Please register to post and access all features of our very popular forum. It is free and quick. Over $68,000 in prizes has already been given out to active posters on our forum. Additional giveaways are planned.

Detailed information about all U.S. cities, counties, and zip codes on our site: City-data.com.


Reply
Please update this thread with any new information or opinions. This open thread is still read by thousands of people, so we encourage all additional points of view.

Quick Reply
Message:

Over $104,000 in prizes was already given out to active posters on our forum and additional giveaways are planned!

Go Back   City-Data Forum > General Forums > Politics and Other Controversies > Elections
Similar Threads
Follow City-Data.com founder on our Forum or

All times are GMT -6.

© 2005-2019, Advameg, Inc. · Please obey Forum Rules · Terms of Use and Privacy Policy · Bug Bounty

City-Data.com - Archive 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21, 22, 23, 24, 25, 26, 27, 28, 29, 30, 31, 32, 33, 34, 35 - Top