解析库 > 2020年新阅读100篇
In 1776, the state of New Jersey adopted a constitution that ignored gender in its suffrage clause, defining voters simply as adult residents worth at least fifty pounds. After 1776 women routinely participated in the state's electoral process, until, in 1801, the state legislature passed a law redefining voters solely as adult White male taxpaying citizens. Political historians have been perplexed by New Jersey's deviation from the established norm of exclusive male suffrage, finding no sign of public agitation either for or against the voting rights of women prior to their enfranchisement in 1776 or disenfranchisement in 1801. Consequently historians, downplaying the extent to which suffrage as the result of careless constitutional construction and viewed the 1801 disenfranchisement as a legislative effort to remedy this carelessness. Yet examination of revolutionary-era manuscripts indicates that the 1776 suffrage clause underwent close legislative scrutiny that led to several significant changes, thus, the absence of gender references in the final version was probably not accidental. Indeed, the evidence suggests that New Jersey's legislators believed that all who possessed sufficient net worth were entitled to vote. However, they also saw the net worth qualification as serving to prevent an overdemocratization of the voting process.