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Who qualified as ''men'' in the term ''all men are created equal''?

By Curt Anderson
July 4, 2021 7:22 am
Category: History

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We all know "men" at the time of America's founding meant white males only. But it wasn't all white males, not even most white males.

1789: The Constitution grants the states the power to set voting requirements. Generally, states limited this right to property-owning or tax-paying white males (about 6% of the population).

1790: The Naturalization Act of 1790 allows free white men born outside of the United States to become citizens, though not necessarily the right to vote.



When people say "make America great again", perhaps they want to return to the days when only 6% of the population could vote. That would certainly suit the Republican Party fine.

Happy Fourth of July everybody!

Cited and related links:

  1. en.wikipedia.org

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Comments on "Who qualified as ''men'' in the term ''all men are created equal''?":

  1. by HatetheSwamp on July 4, 2021 7:57 am
    Remember all of that next time someone claims that this is a democracy. Eh?


  2. by Curt Anderson on July 4, 2021 8:08 am
    We also did not universally meet the definition of republic: "a state in which supreme power is held by the people and their elected representatives, and which has an elected or nominated president rather than a monarch."

    The "people" were an exclusive group.


  3. by HatetheSwamp on July 4, 2021 9:20 am
    Even then, in a republic, who a citizen is must be defined.


  4. by HatetheSwamp on July 5, 2021 5:32 am
    As I think you know, my degree is in history. I think many people would be stunned by the facts you included in your post.

    Two things impress me about our founding documents.

    One of them is the degree to which they are truly revolutionary for that time in history. Think of the power of the monarch and the nobility in England, worse in France, between 1776 and 1789.

    The other is the philosophical vision they created. These documents are as close to being timeless as any ever composed. They truly provided the foundation for what has come since.


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