Thread: I can't even.
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Old 09 November 2018, 11:18 PM
ganzfeld's Avatar
ganzfeld ganzfeld is offline
Join Date: 05 September 2005
Location: Kyoto, Japan
Posts: 23,788

I don't find the argument that their silence was tacit approval the least bit convincing for several reasons. 1) When we do have a record of founders' opinions on the matter they were opposed or ambivalent. 2) Cases of actual voting would have been rare for the reasons discussed in the articles you linked to so it's unlikely they were even aware it was going on. In many cases it was simply an oversight in the first place and other prohibitions, such as wealth or land ownership would have kept out all but a very very few brave and wealthy women and people of color. (In most of these cases, no record of such voting survives.) 3) As soon as it became apparent there would actually be any such voting once wealth and property restrictions were removed, nearly all of those states immediately explicitly revoked the right — causing, as far as the record shows, little or no reaction at all, never mind opposition. It wouldn't be for another 50 years or so before it was even seriously considered in most cases. If "many thought they should" why did they not at least a very few leave a record of any debate or discussion? The most plausible explanation is that very very few cared about the disenfranchisement of people they never knew had the right in the first place.

I guess what the cases mentioned show is that it is plausible that more than a few (maybe even many) privately were not opposed to the idea. It's possible (although given the evidence I think it unlikely) that many privately supported the idea. It certainly doesn't show that many or even a good number were definitely in favor of it.

Last edited by ganzfeld; 09 November 2018 at 11:26 PM.
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