26Th Amendment Essay

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26th Amendment!

          Everyone in America who is over 18 is eligible to vote, no matter what race or gender they may be. In 1868 however only white, protestant, male property owners over 21 years of age had the privilege to vote. This was because the founders of America gave free rights to vote only to people like themselves, which were young white males. The magic age of 21 came about in medieval times. Knights in Europe believed if you were able to carry the heavy armor you were strong enough to take on the duties of a man. This was most often at age 21 and became known as the age of responsibility. Many young adults would soon try to change this “unfair” age for voting. The idea to lower the voting age to 18 was first proposed in World War II. The idea was ignored all the way up until the Vietnam War (http://www.usconstitution.net) Many states decided to reconsider the voting age and the idea of an amendment in the Constitution was not far away.
        During World War II the draft age was lowered to 18 (United States Government, Democracy in Action, Richard C. Remy, Ph.D pg 799). Republican senator Arthur Landenberg and Democratic Representative Randolph Jennings proposed an amendment in response. They brought to the attention of many young soldiers that ¼ of the Army, ½ of the Marine Corps, and over 1/2 of the Navy consisted of men under 21. Many states took this into consideration but Georgia was the only state to actually allow people under 21 to vote. When the Vietnam War started many 18 year olds brought up the idea of changing the voting age once again. This derived from their resistance to the draft and support of the war. Many war protests were being held across the nation during the Vietnam War. One of the main themes of protest during the time was against the fact that many of the soldiers drafted were forced to fight for their country but were not allowed to vote for their leaders because they weren’t 21, the legal voting age. In fact, the...

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