The 26th Amendment
The 26th Amendment was one the most fought over Constitutional Amendments in history. Passed in 1971, it gave citizens 18 years old the right we all hope to have - the right to vote. The amendment states two things: 1. The right of citizens of the United States, who are eighteen years of age or older, to vote shall not be denied or abridged by the United States or by any State on account of age. 2.The Congress shall have the power to enforce this article by appropriate legislation. But the debate over lowering the voting age had been going for a long time, more than a decade before the Vietnam War.
In the 1950's, Dwight Eisenhower was the first U.S President to show his public support of the 26th amendment and agreed with families whose children were drafted into war. Before the amendment was passed into law, the government could choose the voting age for states, usually 21 years of age. Many U.S. citizens were upset that the governement could choose such a high voting age and draft men into the war under 18. Young men were risking their lives for our country... but didn't have the right to vote. This triggered a whole new movement set on lowering the voting age and ending the Vietnam War, known as students activism. People of all ages protested to show their disapproval of the government's actions. At colleges across the United States, students led marches and protests through the streets, shouting and chanting, "OLD ENOUGH TO FIGHT, OLD ENOUGH TO VOTE," eventually causing the states to become involved with the dispute. Most states believed that Congress should have the power to regulate the voting age in national elections, but had no business regulating it during state elections.
In the case Oregon V.S Mitchell, the Supreme Court agreed with this view, which allowed states to pick their own voting age. In order to comply, Congress finally passed the amendment in March 1971. It was promptly ratified and President Nixon passed it into law later that July. The 26th amendment is still in affect today, and thanks to it, anxious 18 year olds are lining up, to cast their ballots in the next election.
In this website you will find several links that lead to different subpages. Each subpage has its own unique way of telling you information on and about the 26th Amendment. The Art & Photographs link will show you, through pictures, what the 26th Amendment is. Encylopedia Articles, Literature & Poetry, Music Clips & Videos, and the Virtual Field Trip will also give you important information on the subject. If you want even more information, the Additional Websites link will guide you to other sites about the amendment.
Here are subpages about the 26th Amendment. We hope you find them helpful!
18 year olds lining up to vote at their local highschool
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