Disenfranchisement, or the revocation of the right to vote, has been a contentious issue throughout United States history. It has often been used as a tool to suppress the political [power](https://doctorparadox.net/category/politics/power/) of particular groups of people, such as African Americans, women, and the poor. Here is a broad overview: 1. **Early Disenfranchisement (1789-1865):** When the U.S. [[Constitution]] was ratified in 1789, voting was generally limited to [white male property owners](https://doctorparadox.net/property-vs-people/). This was based on the belief that only these individuals had a vested interest in the outcome of elections. Over time, property and tax requirements were gradually eliminated, leading to almost all adult white males being able to vote by the mid-19th century. 2. **African American Disenfranchisement (1865-1965):** After the [[Civil War]], the 15th Amendment (1870) granted African American men the right to vote. However, many Southern states implemented tactics during [[Reconstruction]] and [[Jim Crow]] like [[poll tax]]es, literacy tests, and grandfather clauses to effectively disenfranchise African American voters. Additionally, intimidation and violence from groups like the [[Ku Klux Klan (KKK)]] suppressed African American voting. 3. **Women's Disenfranchisement (1789-1920):** Women in the U.S. were generally denied the right to vote until the 19th Amendment was ratified in 1920, following years of activism by [[suffrage]]ttes. Some Western states, however, granted women the right to vote in the late 19th and early 20th centuries. 4. **Native American Disenfranchisement (1789-1924):** Native Americans were not considered U.S. citizens and therefore couldn't vote until the Indian Citizenship Act of 1924. Even then, states found ways to keep Native Americans disenfranchised with tactics similar to those used against African Americans. 5. **Disenfranchisement of Felons:** Many states have laws that prevent convicted felons from voting, sometimes permanently, but often only during incarceration and/or parole. These laws have disproportionately affected minority communities. 6. **Recent Disenfranchisement Issues:** More recently, issues such as Voter ID laws, purges of voter rolls, and limited access to polling places have been contentious. Critics argue that these practices disproportionately affect minority and lower-income voters, effectively leading to their disenfranchisement. The struggle against disenfranchisement has been a key part of the broader fight for [[civil rights]] in U.S. history, and it remains a significant issue today. See also: [[suffrage]]