Universal manhood suffrage
Universal manhood suffrage is a form of voting rights in which all adult males within a political system are allowed to vote, regardless of income, property, religion, race, or any other qualification. It is sometimes summarized by the slogan, "one man, one vote."
In the United States, the rise of Jacksonian democracy from the 1820s to 1850s led to a close approximation of universal manhood suffrage among whites being adopted in most states (notably excepting Rhode Island until the aftermath of the Dorr Rebellion), and poorer citizens being better represented. Most African-American males remained excluded; though the Fifteenth Amendment to the United States Constitution, ratified in 1870, upheld their voting rights, they were denied the right to vote in many places for another century until the Civil Rights Movement gained passage of the Voting Rights Act of 1965 through Congress.
As women began to win the right to vote in the late 19th century and early 20th century, the goal of universal manhood suffrage was replaced by universal suffrage.
- Stanley L. Engerman, University of Rochester and NBER; Kenneth L. Sokoloff, University of California, Los Angeles and NBER (February 2005). "The Evolution of Suffrage Institutions in the New World" (PDF): 16, 35–36.
By 1840, only three states retained a property qualification, North Carolina (for some state-wide offices only), Rhode Island, and Virginia. In 1856 North Carolina was the last state to end the practice. Tax-paying qualifications were also gone in all but a few states by the Civil War, but they survived into the 20th century in Pennsylvania and Rhode Island.