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Everyone who lives in the United States has the right to vote, and when given the opportunity it should be taken advantage of. By voting, you are participating in being a U.S. citizen if one has a strong opinion on a certain subject or a person it is important to let it be known. In the presidential election, each president had strong views on several different topics.
If you do not vote based on your beliefs, for example in the 2016 presidential election, then you could have a man like Donald J Trump in charge of the country who is ignorant and putting United States at risk. Each person has a right to his or her own opinion and it should be expressed properly and freely at all times. For this reason it is important to vote in an election because you are not only expressing your right for freedom of speech but also your vote will count and can make a significant difference in an election. During the 1900s not everyone had the right to vote even though they were legalized citizens. Prior to the 15th Amendment, African-American men were not seen as equal to white men when it came to how they were represented in the government and their legal rights as a citizen of United States. Not only were African Americans discriminated against but also were women. The Nineteenth amendment granted women over the age of 21 the right to vote in 1920. The amendment came after years of women fighting like hell for women’s right to vote.
Therefore the African American men and the women who didn’t have privilege of voting like white men did, created ideal groups to protest against thief own government for this act of injustice. After the Civil War many African Americans Received citizenship rights do to a number of legislative achievements including the 15th amendment in 1870 which gave African-Americans the right to vote and prohibited racial discrimination in voting. Even with these protections in place, many southern states resisted racial equality and skirted past the law by administering test which were literally impossible to pass, designed to prevent African Americans from registering to vote thus keeping them from participating in the electoral process. But in March 1965 several rights activist led by Martin Luther King Jr and other leaders came together for a peaceful protest for voting rights for African Americans. Due to this and other forms of protest against the government African Americans were killed and hung by the KKK and hate groups this was all done simply for trying to register to vote which caused the government to create even more tests like the literacy tests and poll taxes to prevent them from voting once again. The literacy test which was given to each African American who registered to vote involved having to interpret part of the constitution, as well as to provide written answers to a twenty page test. Many of them knew they wouldn’t pass these test but they still registered which showed their hard work and dedication for fighting for their rights as an American citizen.
In Selma Bridge to freedom it showed the amount of violence that was used against African Americans who stood for their rights in a peaceful manner. “I was hit in the head by a state trooper with a nightstick.. I thought I saw death” (John Lewis the SNCC leader stated.) This not only showed how disgusting African Americans were treated but it showed what real life was for them. Even though they were discouraged by police, the government and society, they came together and continued to fight. They held the biggest protest of American History led by MLK Jr called the movement act march from Selma to Montgomery.Due to the bloody attack in Selma Alabama and the March from Selma to Montgomery. President Lyndon Baines Johnson, five days after the incident spoke out to congress and gave the idea of the voting rights act. He held a speech, in which may be considered to be one of the greatest speeches ever to be written. He quoted “Every American citizen must have an equal right to vote. Yet the harsh fact is that in many places, in this country men and women are kept from voting simply because they are negroes.” (The Civil Rights Act of 1964, Constitutional Rights Foundation) This piece stood out to every negro man and women across the nation. It showed sympathy and compassion for them which they’ve never felt from the president. He talked about what every other government leaders were afraid to talk about, he talks about how the government comes up with many ways to prevent African Americans to vote with test and poll taxes. The voting right act which was signed by president Johnson on August 6, 1965 which became the best accomplishment for the black community in history. The act outlawed literacy test and poll taxes which gave African Americans a fair chance to vote. All that was needed in order to vote was American citizenship and the registration of your name on a electoral list. No form of hinderance would be tolerable by the courts.
African Americans weren’t only the ones who didn’t have the right to vote but also women didn’t have the privilege as well. Throughout human history women have always been classified as weaker gender and their duty was to always take care of the household and husband. For over 72 years women have been fighting for their rights to vote. In 1848 the first women’s convention was held in Seneca Falls, New York. Roughly around 300 activist groups came together, Iron Jawed Angels. Among these participants stood out Elizabeth Cady Stanton and Lucretia Mott, these two women signed the declaration of sentiments and resolutions, which was printed on the Declaration of Independence. This signing called for equal treatment of women and men under the law and voting rights. Although this revolution was started all women still didn’t have the privilege of voting, this was just the beginning of something bigger. Disagreements over the 13th 14th and 15th amendments and relationship between women suffrage and the movement for racial equality divided the women’s rights movement between two organizations.
The National Woman Suffrage Association and the American Woman Suffrage Association. The two Groups joined together in 1890 to form the (National American Women’s Suffrage Association). Susan B. Anthony, a long time leader in the suffrage movement, became the new leader for NAWSA. She started to invite rich members for the women’s club movement, their time, money and experience helped build the suffrage movement. After the Senate rejected the proposed women’s suffrage amendment to the U.S. Constitution in 1887, Carrie Chapman Catt became president and soon after the Congress passed and ratified the 19th amendment which granted women the right to vote, (Voting Rights 906, pg 2) Throughout the course of American history both African Americans and women suffered from inequality and discrimination from society and the government. All they wanted were the same equal rights that every white male citizen had, that right was the right to vote. Their sacrifices and determination both African Americans and women went through payed off eventually. With such sacrifice made by the people of America over history to vote we should take advantage of such a right given to us by the government that we have today and take the time to vote.
By voting we will impact every part of our lives from schools, human services, country security, and global warming. Voting is a critical right in our society. I believe the ability to vote is a privilege given to us by those who fought for it through war, march/movements, and legislative battles. The struggles we as a nation have gone through has made the United States an independent nation and gave us the right to vote with the many amendments we take advantage of such as the 15th, 19th, 24th, and 26th amendment, as well as the Voting Rights Act of 1965. People in society nowadays don’t take the time to really realize what an amazing privilege we have now, by having the right to vote for our leaders we are able to change the course of history and lead it onto a brightful future that many other countries do not have. By voting, you are making your voice heard and choosing how the government should be run. Right now our government is ran by a racist, sexis, bigoit idiot who has no respect for the people of America. We as a country need to remember such a traumatizing event and really take the time to vote in the next 2018 election.
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