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The Right to Vote is Hard Earned

When the U.S. Constitution was adopted in 1789, it was meant to be a means by which the states  ascribed powers to the federal government, but its first ten amendments -- the Bill of Rights -- defined limits on the federal government to enumerate constitutional protection for individual liberties.  The principle of representation was an intensely argued one when the Constitution was drafted, most particularly in how slaves would be counted (as three-fifths of a person) in a federal census every ten years.  In her book, These Truths, Jill Lepore notes “The most remarkable consequence of this remarkable arrangement was to grant slave states far greater representation in Congress than free states.” (125)