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worth £500 in real and personal property could be assemblymen in New Jersey under the fundamental law of 1776, and whoever aspired to the place of senator had to have £500 more. In Delaware (1776), representatives had to be freeholders believing in the Trinity and the inspiration of the Scriptures. All except Protestants possessing two hundred and fifty acres of land or £250 in personal property were excluded from the Georgia legislature under the constitution of 1777; and in Pennsylvania only taxpayers acknowledging the being of God and believing in a future state of rewards and punishments could enter the legislature.

As the dignity and responsibility of office in the early state governments increased, the property qualifications generally mounted upwards. The office of governor in Massachusetts and North Carolina was reserved to the possessors of freeholds worth £1000. "No person," says the Maryland Constitution of 1776, "unless above twenty-five years of age, a resident of this state above five years next preceding the election, and having in the state real and personal property above the value of £5000, current money (£1000 whereof, at least, to be freehold estate), shall be eligible as governor." The law-makers of South Carolina, in 1778, swept away the comparatively slight qualifications imposed on the governor two years before, and declared that the governor, lieutenant-governor, and members of the privy council must have "a settled plantation or freehold in their and each of their own right of the value of at least ten thousand pounds currency, clear of debt." In Massachusetts and Maryland, the highest executive office was closed to all except Christians, and in New Hampshire, New Jersey, North Carolina, and South Carolina to all except Protestants.1

1 Property qualifications of governors under the early state constitutions: New Hampshire (1784), £500, one-half freehold; Massachusetts (1780), £1000 freehold; New York (1777), freehold; Maryland (1776), £5000, at least £1000 of which is freehold; North Carolina (1776), £1000 freehold; South Carolina (1778), £10,000 freehold; Georgia (1789), 500 acres freehold, or £1000 other property. Property qualifications of members of state senates under the early constitutions: New Hampshire (1784), £200 freehold; Massachusetts, £300 freehold or £600 personalty; New York (1777), freeholder; New Jersey (1776), £1000; Delaware (1792), 200 acres freehold or £1000 real and personal property; Maryland, £1000 real and personal property; Virginia (1776), freeholder; North Carolina (1776), 300 acres in fee;


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for city councillors in Rhode Island are required to be taxpayers on property worth $134; and in a few states the suffrage, in local matters, especially involving expenses for improvements, is restricted to property-owners.

Property qualifications for office-holders have also practically disappeared; but some remnants of religious restrictions are to be found in the constitutions of at least eight states Arkansas, Mississippi, Maryland, North Carolina, South Carolina, Texas, Pennsylvania, and Tennessee - all of which require belief in God as a qualification for office. The two states named last, Pennsylvania and Tennessee, require belief not only in God, but also in a future state of rewards and punishments. Nevertheless, broadly speaking, we may say that a century's political development has opened the electorate and public offices to all adult white males (and in four states to women), regardless of their wealth or religious views. Its widening effect is revealed in the fact that, whereas about four per cent of the population possessed the right to vote just after the revolutionary period, about twenty per cent are now given the ballot.

The story of the process by which this more democratic political system has been secured is a long and complicated one, and it cannot be told here.' It has not been the result of any spontaneous and general action, but rather of many halting measures, tentative experiments, and minor modifications. Contrary to popular impressions, Americans were not all convinced by the early arguments in favor of universal manhood suffrage; even Lincoln, in 1836, would go no further than to admit “all whites to the right of suffrage who pay taxes or bear burdens (by no means excluding females)." The only measures relating to suffrage which are applicable to the whole country are the Fourteenth and Fifteenth amendments to the federal Constitu

1 "Eleven of the thirteen original states have abolished the tax and property tests, as follows: New Hampshire, the tax test in 1792; Georgia, the property test in 1789; Maryland, the property test in 1801 and 1809; Massachusetts, the property test in 1821; New York, the property test in 1821 and the tax test in 1826; Delaware, the property test in 1831; New Jersey, the property test in 1844; Connecticut, the property test in 1845; South Carolina, the property test in 1865; North Carolina, the property test in 1854 and 1868; Virginia, the property test in 1850 and the tax test estab lished in 1864, in 1882." Lalor, Cyclopædia of Political Science, Vol. III, pp. 825-826. Details cannot be given here. Consult Thorpe, op. cit.

tion. The latter amendment forbids states to deprive citizens of the vote on account of race, color, or previous condition of servitude. The former stipulates that whenever a state, for general purposes, denies the suffrage1 to adult male citizens, its representation in the House of Representatives shall be reduced proportionately; but as this provision remains unenforced, its practical effect has not been to secure the results contemplated.? In the original states, the property and religious qualifications have been removed by many separate measures. The process may be illustrated by some passages in the constitutional history of New York. The first constitution of that state, as we have seen, provided a property qualification for all voters (excepting the freemen of New York City and Albany), and for the governor and members of the legislature. The constitution of 1821 still required the senators and governor to be freeholders, but widened the suffrage by the following provision: "Every male citizen of the age of twenty-one years, who shall have been an inhabitant of this state one year preceding any election, and for the last six months a resident of the town or county where he may offer to vote; and shall have, within the year next preceding the election, paid a tax to the state or county, assessed upon his real or personal property; or shall by law be exempted from taxation; or being armed and equipped according to law, shall have performed within that year military duty in the militia of this state; or who shall be exempted from performing militia duty in consequence of being a fireman in any city, town, or village in this state; and also, every male citizen of the age of twenty-one years, who shall have been, for three years next preceding such election, an inhabitant of this state; and for the last year a resident in the town or county where he may offer his vote; and shall have been, within the last year, assessed to labor upon the public highways, and shall have performed the labor, or paid an equivalent therefor, according to law, shall be entitled to vote in the town or ward where he actually resides, and not elsewhere, for all officers that now are, or hereafter may be, elective by the people; but no man of color, unless he shall have been for three years a citizen of this state, and for one year

1 Except for participation in rebellion or other crime.
* See below, chap. xxii.

next preceding any election, shall be seized and possessed of a freehold estate of the value of two hundred and fifty dollars, over and above all debts and incumbrances charged thereon, and shall have been actually rated, and paid a tax thereon, shall be entitled to vote at any such election. And no person of color shall be subject to direct taxation unless he shall be seized and possessed of such real estate as aforesaid."

Finally in an amendment adopted in 1826 popular suffrage was established by the provision that "every male citizen of the age of twenty-one years, who shall have been an inhabitant of this state one year, next preceding any election, and for the last six months a resident of the county where he may offer his vote, shall be entitled to vote . . . for all officers that now are or hereafter may be elective by the people." The special property qualifications imposed on "persons of color" by the constitution of 1821 were continued and were retained until after the Civil War. By an amendment in 1845 it was added that "no property qualification shall be required to render a person eligible to, or capable of holding any public office or public trust in this state."

Even many of the western states began their history with a restricted suffrage. Ohio came into the Union in 1802, with a constitution limiting the suffrage to "all white males above the age of twenty-one years, having resided in the state one year next preceding the election, and who have paid or are charged with, a state or county tax." Senators and representatives likewise had to be state or county taxpayers. It was expressly declared, however, that "no religious test shall be required as a qualification to any office of trust or profit." These property qualifications were abolished by the new constitution of 1851; but negro suffrage was not granted until after the adoption of the Fourteenth Amendment. Illinois, admitted in 1818, imposed no religious tests, and admitted free white males to the ballot, but required her representatives and senators to be taxpayers, a restriction which was swept away in 1870.2 Michigan came into the Union in 1835, without any religious or property qualifications for electors or officers. This example was soon followed by

1 Removed by an amendment ratified in 1874.

'Indiana, admitted in 1816, had similar qualifications.

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