White Manhood and Voter Suppression

Voter suppression has a long history in America. This is particularly true in the American South, where this history is indelibly linked to voting as an expression of white manhood. The American Experiment is unique for its time and place, but long before the Revolution, voting had become cemented as a social and racial marker of caste in the south.

The first elected legislature in the American colonies was located in Virginia. The colony originated as a chartered offspring of the Virginia Company and foundered so badly during its first years that the Crown rescinded…