Napoleon Series Archive 2015

The Right to Vote & The Rise of Democracy

The Right to Vote and the Rise of Democracy, 1787–1828

"As recently as September 2008 the distinguished historian Jill Lepore could write in the New Yorker that during Washington’s presidency only 6 percent of Americans could vote—which admittedly translates into about 15 percent of the free [e.g., white] adult population."

"In Britain property qualifications increasingly restricted the number qualified to vote. Whereas over 20 percent of adult males had enjoyed the franchise around 1700, population growth and the increasing concentration of wealth reduced the proportion to 17.2 percent by 1754, continuing down to 12.7 percent in England and Wales by the 1820s."