Removal of the property qualification for voting in the United States : strategy and suffrage

Moeller, Justin, author

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  • "In colonial America, democracy was centered in provincial assemblies, and based on the collection of neighbors whose freehold ownership made them permanent stakeholders in the community. The removal of the property qualification for voting in the United States occurred over three-quarters of a century and was among the more important events in the history of democratization, helping to shift voting from a corporate privilege to a human right. There are standard histories that trace the path of property qualification removal, both broadly over time and within each individual state. In this book, Justin Moeller and Ronald F. King adopt the theories and methods of formal analysis to discover patterns and regularities across historic cases, to attempt a more systematic understanding of the subject. While no social event has a single cause, party consolidation and partisan competition provided a necessary mechanism to background factors and make them politically relevant. Moeller and King argue that political parties used or rejected franchise rule reform strategically as a means of advancing their electoral position. This factor significantly helps to explain both temporal differences across states and the pattern of contestation within each state individually"--


  • Includes bibliographical references and index.


  • Property, participation, and the routes to reform -- The politics of partisan preemption : Pennsylvania, Georgia, and New Hampshire -- The politics of partisan cooptation : Delaware, South Carolina, Massachusetts, and Virginia -- The politics of partisan replacement : Maryland, New Jersey, Connecticut, New York, and North Carolina -- The politics of partisan rejection : Rhode Island -- Strategic incentives and franchise reform : an event history analysis -- The expansion and contraction of democratic rights
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