What the Media and the Gov’t Won’t Tell You; When Young, Poor White Men Could NOT Vote

If you were educated by the public school system, you’re probably under the impression that as of July 4, 1776, all white men at least 21-years-old had the right to vote.

Well, that’s just wrong. First of all, the Constitution wasn’t America’s guiding document until 1789. That was 13-years after the United States declared their independence from King George and Great Britain.

But back to the topic at hand.

While our Constitution does declare the right to vote, the same Constitution leaves the details up to the individual states. Suffice it to say that federal elections on a state-by-state status are literally all over the place when it came to who exactly has the free exercise of that same right.

It wasn’t until 1870 (five-years after the War Between the States) that all men (black, white, foreign-born, rich or poor, etc.) over 21 finally had the right to vote in every and all elections. That’s when the 15th Amendment became the law of the land.

Some of the actual wording of the 15th Amendment should raise the eyebrows of those who mistakenly believe that all adult, Christian white males over 21 have has the right to vote since the War of Independence.

Section 1. The right of citizens of the United States to vote shall not be denied or abridged by the United States or by any State on account of race, color, or previous condition of servitude—

Wait a sec, the 15thA specifies race, color or previous condition of servitude? But in gubmint skool, the curriculum was emphasized that this only pertained to the recently-freed black male slaves over 21… right?

Well, no. Here are just a handful of examples showing how the many states made sure that if you weren’t 21, weren’t a bond slave (better known as: “Indentured servitude“), weren’t a man of certain wealth, etc., could NOT vote, as noted by the University of Wisconsin;

  • In New Jersey, until 1844, if you were over 21, white, and a dude, you had no right to vote unless you met the previous qualifications AND were a propertied man.
  • In New York, adult black freemen had the right to vote. That is until 1821. That’s when NY adopted an impossibly high wealth requirement that pertained to blacks only.
  • In 1855, three states (Rhode Island, New York, and South Carolina) still retained certain property qualifications aimed at poor whites.
  • In 1842 Rhode Island, if you were free, white, over 21, and a man of means, voting wasn’t a problem. But you had to be born on US soil. Foreign born? Forget it. Keep in mind that RI was suddenly swamped with Irish-Catholic immigrants due to the Great Famine of 1841.

Keep in mind that the above are just a few examples. I didn’t go deep regarding laws that denied the vote to Catholics and Jews; white males still in a state of servitude; poll taxes; literacy requirements; etc.

The site I cited as source information is certainly fascinating and sure to lead you down more than a few rabbit holes of things you were never taught in school.