American Minute with Bill Federer
‘If the citizens…place unprincipled men in office… government will soon be corrupted’ -Noah Webster
The most common form of government in all of recorded world history is monarchy, where only one person’s vote really mattered – the king’s.
In colonial America, landowners were granted a right to vote on certain issues.
After the Revolution, States gradually let those without land vote if they paid taxes, but many States continued religious and literacy tests.
In 1920, the 19th Amendment let women vote.
In 1924, American Indians could vote in Federal Elections.
In 1964, the 24th Amendment let vote those who could not pay a poll tax.
In 1965, the Voting Rights Act removed literacy tests.
The Supreme Court, in Oregon v Mitchell, limited this right so the 26th Amendment was passed in 1971 to confirm it.
“In other areas, too, there were long struggles to eliminate discrimination…
Property and even religious qualifications for voting persisted well into the 19th century – and not until 1920 were women finally guaranteed the right to vote.”
“For the first time in the 195 year history of this country, men and women 18 to 21 years of age will have the chance to vote.”
Noah Webster wrote in an article titled, Letters to a Young Gentleman Commencing His Education, New Haven, 1823:
“When a citizen gives his suffrage (vote) to a man of known immorality, he abuses his trust; he sacrifices not only his own interest, but that of his neighbor, and he betrays the interest of his country.”
“When you become entitled to exercise the right of voting for public officers, let it be impressed on your mind that God commands you to choose for rulers ‘just men who will rule in the fear of God.’
The preservation of a republican government depends on the faithful discharge of this duty.
If the citizens neglect their duty and place unprincipled men in office, the government will soon be corrupted;
laws will be made not for the public good so much as for the selfish or local purposes;
the public revenues will be squandered on unworthy men;
and the rights of the citizens will be violated or disregarded.
If a republican government fails to secure public prosperity and happiness, it must be because the citizens neglect the divine commands, and elect bad men to make and administer the laws.”
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