Monday Poli-Sci Seminar

In a post last week I rashly said the following thing in reference to the scope of the franchise:

Mentally surveying the history of constitutional republics world-wide, I can’t think of a single … case where some right to representation, once gained, has been lost through orderly constitutional change.

Several readers took this as a challenge, as I should have foreseen.

The most popular counterexample was Massachusetts withdrawing the vote from incarcerated felons in 2000.

A reader native to the Garden State offered this:

If you will consult your bedside copy of Howard Zinn’s A People’s History of the United States … you will note that New Jersey … disenfranchised its women in 1807. As it turns out, this is correct (Even a stopped clock is correct twice a day).

Here is a bibliography for this bit of trivia, so that you know that I don’t depend on Zinn:

Proceedings of the New Jersey Historical Society

Drinker, Sophie H. “Votes for Women in 18th Century New Jersey,” January 1962, LXXX:1

Pole, J.R. “The Suffrage in New Jersey, 1790-1807,” January 1953, LXXI:1

Pole, J.R. “Suffrage Reform and the American Revolution in New Jersey,” July 1956, LXXIV:3

The less I say about that the better, having once scandalized Alan Colmes and his listeners, and the Trotskyite leprechauns who control my Wikipedia page, by telling them I didn’t give a fig about female suffrage.

A different reader wanted to know if this episode from the history of Newfoundland counts. Seems to me it does, but decide for yourself.

Most Popular

Elections

Romney Is a Misfit for America

Mitt’s back. The former governor of Massachusetts and occasional native son of Michigan has a new persona: Mr. Utah. He’s going to bring Utah conservatism to the whole Republican party and to the country at large. Wholesome, efficient, industrious, faithful. “Utah has a lot to teach the politicians in ... Read More
Law & the Courts

What the Second Amendment Means Today

The horrifying school massacre in Parkland, Fla., has prompted another national debate about guns. Unfortunately, it seems that these conversations are never terribly constructive — they are too often dominated by screeching extremists on both sides of the aisle and armchair pundits who offer sweeping opinions ... Read More
U.S.

Fire the FBI Chief

American government is supposed to look and sound like George Washington. What it actually looks and sounds like is Henry Hill from Goodfellas: bad suit, hand out, intoning the eternal mantra: “F*** you, pay me.” American government mostly works by interposition, standing between us, the free people at ... Read More
Film & TV

Black Panther’s Circle of Hype

The Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU) first infantilizes its audience, then banalizes it, and, finally, controls it through marketing. This commercial strategy, geared toward adolescents of all ages, resembles the Democratic party’s political manipulation of black Americans, targeting that audience through its ... Read More