In France, municipal elections took place this year. The new mayors as well as the municipal councilors of each French commune were elected this Sunday, June 28, 2020. The vote in the municipal elections is important. Indeed, the change of municipal councils only takes place every 6 years and the grand voters of the Senate are 95% determined by municipal elections.
Beyond the French or European border, the American presidential elections are fast approaching!
These political events mark the occasion for the Grunge News team to trace in this last article of the season the origin of the right to vote in the United States and in France. In addition, surprising information about the upcoming US presidential elections recently surfaced and we had to explain everything to you!
In France, the right to vote was born during the French revolution, at the end of the absolute monarchy.
In 1789, Louis XVI implemented censal suffrage. It is a form of suffrage in which only citizens whose total direct taxes exceed a certain threshold, called cens, are voters. Then France becomes in 1791, a constitutional monarchy. Thus, sovereignty belongs to the Nation but the right to vote is restricted. Then, with the French Revolution, the First Republic then succeeded the constitutional monarchy. This monarchy which was abolished on August 10, 1792 by the assault on the Tuileries Palace of the sans-culottes.
"The Capture of the Tuileries Palace" by Jean Duplessis-Bertaux
Decades of political instability passed in France but in 1848, Universal Male Suffrage was established. To vote, you must be at least 21 years old and have lived for at least six months in the same place. This year is also the beginning of the Second Republic, which was replaced by the Third Republic in 1870. This regime only lasted a while because it was forgotten in 1940.
It was only just after the end of this regime, in 1944, that the right to vote was finally granted to women and to the French colonies! A major advance in mentalities is then felt in France. Women therefore use this right for the first time in the municipal elections of April 29, 1945. However, France is one of the last countries in Europe to make these decisions.
Italy, Belgium, Greece and Switzerland will follow the French example soon after.
At the end of World War II, universal suffrage was reinstated for the entire population. The military also finally obtained the right to vote. Indeed, these Men had hitherto been excluded from Universal suffrage on the pretext that they should not take sides in political struggles because of their status.
While the Fourth Republic did not satisfy the French people in any way, the Fifth Republic (still in force today) was set up in 1958. Finally, the year 1962 marked the establishment of Universal Direct Suffrage during the election of President of the Republic. 8 years later Valéry Giscard d'Estaing lowers the voting age from 21 to 18.
Now let's travel and land on the American continent! The history of the franchise in the United States is very different from that of France. In the United States, the right to vote is governed by a series of federal and state laws. When the United States gained independence, each of the founding states had its own legislation. This state autonomy still exists, but is strictly framed by a certain number of federal constitutional and legislative texts.
Regarding the right to vote, the differences currently existing between the States are above all:
- The forfeiture of this right following a criminal conviction
- The right to vote of foreigners
In the 18th century, the right to vote in the thirteen founding states was limited to white male owners. Catholics, Jews, Quakers, non-whites and many other categories of American citizens are therefore excluded from this right.
In some states, property, which is a symbol of wealth, also counts towards being eligible.
In the 19th century, more precisely until 1822, no man of color had the right to vote in the country. That year, the Ratification of the New York State constitution provided for the right to vote for males aged 21 or older. A specific clause for "Men of color", subject to more restrictive conditions in terms of residence (three years instead of one) and property is added.
In 1866, The Civil Rights Act granted nationality, but not yet the right to vote, to all Americans born in the United States. 4 years later, Congress passed the Fifteenth Amendment stating that "The right to vote of citizens of the United States shall not be denied or restricted by the United States, or by any state, for reasons of race, color, or previous condition of servitude. ". This amendment is then ratified by the founding states. However, some regions adopt various measures to exclude the right to vote. The Florida example of dropping the turnout of African-American voters from 62% to 11% over the next four years. These measures include numerous taxes,… In 1965, President Lyndon Johnson prohibited direct barriers to political participation by racial and ethnic minorities, and prohibited any electoral practice that denies the right to vote on the basis of race. Literacy tests and all other barriers to voter registration are removed.
Women, meanwhile, were officially incorporated into the country's political life in 1869, when the state of Wyoming granted them the right to vote. Other states like Utah and California followed suit, and in 1920 the Nineteenth Amendment was ratified, giving women the right to vote across the country.
March for women's rights in the United States in New York City in 1917
As the American elections approach, current President Donald Trump sees his meetings being destabilized by groups of students who want at all costs to lower his scores in the presidential elections! In addition, supporters of the slogan “Make America Great Again” are getting a lot of attention! Recently, on July 4, 2020, 2 individuals of white skin color vandalized the slogan “Black Lives Matter” painted in the streets of Martinez in California! The police are actively looking for the culprits! You can watch the video that is currently touring the globe, right there:
While Trump's tenure has seen many lows, his pop-culture supporter, rapper Kanye West turns his back on him! The first speculations about this decision date back to June when the artist was seen on the streets of his country demonstrating for “Black Lives Matter”. A movement that Donald Trump did not support in any way. But it was on July 5, the day after National Day, that the rapper pulled out all the stops. In a tweet, he announced that he would officially be a candidate in the 2020 US presidential elections!
What do you think ? Will he become the 46th President of the United States?
After this article you are now up to date on the history of the right to vote! You can now teach your loved ones during the discussions on the American presidential elections how this right came about and what the current situation is! Isn't it crazy that a rapper is showing up? Tell us in the comments how you feel!
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