Universal Suffrage

One freedom Foner talked about was the freedom to vote. Former slaves believed that the right to vote was vital in their vision of freedom. Blacks being denied the right to vote would mean that they are unequal to whites. For blacks to have significant political power they needed the right to vote. Having the right to vote would allow more blacks to be elected to public office.

The Fifteenth Amendement was ratified in 1870 which gave blacks the right to vote. Although blacks were given the right to vote, many blacks were intimidated and assaulted to deter and prevent them from voting.

After the end of Reconstruction in 1877 laws were made to disenfranchise blacks. Poll taxes and literacy tests prevented many blacks from voting. But in 1964 the Twenty-Fourth Amendment was ratified, prohibiting poll taxes, and the Voting rights Act of 1865 outlawed literacy tests. In 2010 African Americans have reached their goal of political freedom.

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