American History. Is It a Crime to Vote?

Subject: History
Pages: 7
Words: 1994
Reading time:
7 min
Study level: Undergraduate


Inalienable human rights have different ways of expression, but voting remains the most important way that people can exercise such rights. When people choose the right leader through a fair, objective, and free process in a democratic election, they are not to blame for any consequences thereafter. Susan B. Anthony felt bad that American women lacked the right to vote. Women suffrage prevailed in a better part of the 19th century until the ratification process that led to the 19th constitutional amendment that would see women enjoy this very evasive constitutional right (Nyland and Dimand 18). Voting was the only source of empowerment because lack of popular representation in the political arena would mean that they had no ability to enjoy basic human rights. Women had no opportunity to partake in any constitutional reform process, leaving men with the judgment of how women would live and work without voting. In reference to Susan, voting is a responsibility and a privilege by constitution. On the other hand, it gives immunity through birth. Americans have the right to vote irrespective of gender differences, color, or demographic backgrounds.

Susan B Anthony and the Right to Vote

Susan, just like other women, wanted to know how the state power influenced constitutional decision-making. Besides, she also to know what fear the government had in empowering women through the ballot box. It was not until 1872 that Susan developed the right to register as a voter and two years later voted illegally causing her arrest (Susan B. Anthony Speech: Is it a Crime for a Citizen of the United States to Vote? par. 1). However, the level of boldness only generated a new form of energy in her, which awakened her spirit of writing and fighting for women’s rights. Syracuse was the first place Susan ever declared her intentions to fight for the constitutional rights of women. At 32 in 1852, the activist realized that there was no difference between women and slaves. They had to work hard and some even sought for financial stability through brothel businesses. Through writings, public campaigns, women forums, and petitions, Susan got the attention of most American women who shared similar sentiments in relation to women suffrage. Other issues equally emerged during the campaigns because race and age also determined the individual voting rights.

Inability to vote makes it very impossible for an individual to exercise his or her civic rights in any country. Dictatorial leaders normally use such avenues to avoid oversight for their unscrupulous activities. Even though Susan never had the ability to enjoy the right to vote legally, her dreams posthumously came true. American women were capable of voting in the 1906 elections following the endorsement of the 19th amendment of the constitution that initially denied women the right to vote. In 1872, Susan faced an arrest for illegal voting in Rochester, and her indictment empowered women to fight for the right to vote. Equated to the disabled, the women, and Negroes only lived to see the government pass bills into law while they had to live with high taxation rates. America was in the process of a major political metamorphosis and several other public figures including Elizabeth Cady Stanton, Frederick Douglas, and Benjamin Franklin fought for similar causes. Most critics questioned the Americans rights to vote. They wanted to know if it was a privilege or an immunity since the government used the ballot box as a tool to protect the interest of the few leaders. America’s transformation began with slavery abolition, meaning that women suffrage would end, and Negroes would equally enjoy the rights to vote in future. The hopeful population and the functional activism systems would later see Americans enjoy the hard-earned freedom, which they enjoy to date even amidst political disparities.

Women Suffrage and the Women Rights to Vote

The 17th amendment of the constitution meant that the constitution experienced changes through history, and it was subject to further modification when deemed necessary. Markedly, the amendment provided room for election of different leaders including senators. However, it was difficult to conceive the people that enjoyed the inalienable right to voting since women lacked the privileges. Quaker movements, writers such as Cady Stanton, poets including Maya Angelou, and activists like Susan B. Anthony fought for the rights of women. Women were the home keepers; they would provide food to men in battlefields while binding their wounds. In addition, women were in charge of the economy when men went into war outside America. As such, women played numerous roles, but the society did not appreciate their input towards socio-economic developments. Subjected to prostitution and high levies, women had no other choice, but to fight for their rights through a constitutional process (Susan B. Anthony Speech: Is it a Crime for a Citizen of the United States to Vote? par. 1). They had to start from somewhere, and Susan was one of the most aggressive women who took the difficult position. With her three female siblings, Susan registered for voting in a barbershop in New York. The procedure would later lead into her indictment, arrest, sentencing, and an unfair trial. During such a period, it was almost impossible for a case of a similar nature to go through affair trail following the government stake in the outcome of the case.

The Significance of Voting Rights to Women

Such trials in the history of America majorly relied on an outcome that would see the government support equality. Gender-based inequality and racial discrimination represented an assassination of American privileges, and the only way to ensure that justice prevailed was through civic empowerment. According to Charles Summer, freed slaves (Negroes and Blacks) had the right to vote because they needed to choose leaders, and the leaders had to experience the civic rights resulting from societal choice. The 13th and 14th constitutional amendments gave women the optimism that they would get the freedom they wanted. Most women felt that the positions they held in the society intimidated the natural state of womanhood. For instance, they had to work tirelessly in their homes, and some equated them to horses or oxen, instead of wives. Others became servitudes in their homes while several other women had to be prostitutes (Susan B. Anthony Speech: Is it a Crime for a Citizen of the United States to Vote? par. 7). Forced marriages to unfaithful husbands exposed women to emotional distress, but all solutions rested in the constitution, whose control they did not have before the 19th constitutional amendment. However, all of them became servitudes in America. Women suffrage later culminated into improper representation of women in politics. Even though the US is in the process of integrating the same since Condoleezza Rice and Hillary Clinton among other women held powerful state positions in the past. Sarah Palin also became a running mate during McCain versus Obama campaigns, meaning that women are slowly getting into the political arena; they could enjoy the proceeds of Susan’s trial and indictment in 1872. Today, elements of disparity in voting include racial representation, minority viewpoints, and women involvement in politics actively.

Americans should vote because the process is an exercise of constitutional and natural rights

Inalienable Basic Human Rights

Voting should be a driver of the natural rights so that when one reaches the age of accountability, he/she can contest for a political office. Commonly known as the birthrights, Jeremy Bentham and John Locke once mentioned that each person born and raised within a sovereign state has natural rights achieved through birth. Without taking any racial or ethnic standpoints, the scholars mentioned that everyone has the right to life, association, and speech. Notably, no one should be denied these rights since God gave humanity the privileges. These God given rights appreciated by the founding fathers of America enabled different activists to organize convections in order to oppose various public policies that favored the societal minorities (Nyland and Dimand 23). The founding fathers of the US were yet to establish whether the state had the capability to manipulate the constitution in favor of the minority. John Locke established that setting up one unit of governance would transform the world into a Leviathan, which represented a very destructive state of nature. The argument explained why the government had to exist in three different forms including the judiciary, legislature, and the executive. As such, the legislature through lobbyists would have the opportunity to address the pleas of the electorate while the judiciary consulted with the executive concerning its ability to approve a bill into law. The changes meant that the executive would not work alone because it would exercise maximum authority on people while incorporating dictatorial governance principles. Quaker preachers who were largely women also conquered with the argument; they believed that nobody had the right to deny the citizens a God-given right. When the US gained independence, all people had to enjoy the fruits of their labor irrespective of their socio-cultural backgrounds (Susan B. Anthony Speech: Is it a Crime for a Citizen of the United States to Vote? par. 3).

Constitutional Rights

Voting rights in the US was at its infancy in the early 19th century. Through constitutional maturity and changes in government structures, the country is capable of handling different challenges of similar magnitude today. The local and state laws are categorical about voting rights. It explains the high levels of austerity when the state denies Caucasians and other minorities the right to vote. Even though it is not an open denial procedure, minorities still have difficulties in acquiring voting documents while some of their records fail to match with the records in the voter registry during the voting day. Americans have a right to vote because the process assists in providing oversight for chosen leaders. When the leaders fail to perform well, the US can organize a referendum to dissolve a county government. Additionally, they can support the ratification of a constitutional close or the abolition of an act of parliament in favor of the realistic majority. Free, fair, and independent elections characterize the voting process that Americas seek. Martin Luther Jr. was an ardent supporter of constitutional rights. He always mentioned that the power to change structures in the US majorly depended on the voting process. Today, it is impossible to enjoy freedom, education, or get jobs based on skills when a constitution does not act as oversight for the government.

Equality and Empowering People

In 2013, the US government underwent a 2-week temporary shutdown following political disagreements between the Democrats and the Republicans. The greatest cause of disagreement was the expenses the people of America would incur while investing in ObamaCare. People organized demonstrations because they wanted to return to work. Laid-off workers had to go back to work since they did not have compensation packages to cover for lost time. Without a functional constitution, it would be impossible for the Democrats and the Republicans to come to a logical conclusion concerning the matter. The shutdown displayed certain levels of political inequalities evidenced by unfair representation of temporary and permanent workers. Most demonstrators were women who worked in the private sector. Most women still take up casual jobs in order to pay the increasing taxes while providing for their families (Marcovici 44). The government equally fears over empowering people through the constitution since some countries overturned the government for holding radical views about their leaders. As such, everyone who is above the age of 18, and is of sound mind has the right to vote, but the freedoms should not infringe on the privileges that other people should similarly enjoy.


In review, Americans have the right to vote. The clamor for women’s suffrage amplified when many women later joined Susan’s cause for justice. Currently, Americans provide oversight for the government through the constitution while the government provides the same through the judiciary, the legislature, and the executive who have the ability of approving a bill into a law.

Works Cited

Marcovici, Michael. The Obamacare Case: Where the New Healthcare System Will Lead Us. Norderstedt: Books on Demand, 2013. Print.

Nyland, Chris, and Robert Dimand. The Status of Women in Classical Economic Thought. Cheltenham: Edward Elgar Pub, 2003. Print.

Susan B. Anthony Speech: Is it a Crime for a Citizen of the United States to Vote?. 2009. Web.