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The United States Constitution has been amended 27 times since its ratification. Rights such as freedom of speech, religion, and press, for example, are granted by the First Amendment. This passage focuses on the Nineteenth Amendment, which gave women the right to vote.
The American political landscape is constantlyshifting on a myriad of issues, but the voting processitself has changed over the years as well. Electronicballot casting, for example, provides the public with05instantaneous results, and statisticians are moreaccurate than ever at forecasting our next presi-dent. Voting has always been viewed as an intrinsicAmerican right and was one of the major reasonsfor the nation's secession from Britain's monarchical10rule. Unfortunately, although all men were consti-tutionally deemed "equal," true equality of the sexeswas not extended to the voting booths until 1920.The American women's suffrage movement beganin 1848, when Elizabeth Cady Stanton and Lucretia15Mott organized the Seneca Falls Convention. Themeeting, initially an attempt to have an open dia-logue about women's rights, drew a crowd of nearlythree hundred women and included several dozenmen. Topics ranged from a woman's role in society20to law, but the issue of voting remained a conten-tious one. A freed slave named Frederick Douglassspoke eloquently about the importance of women inpolitics and swayed the opinion of those in attend-ance. At the end of the convention, one hundred25people signed the Seneca Falls Declaration, whichlisted "immediate admission to all the rights andprivileges which belong to [women] as citizens ofthe United States."Stanton and Mott's first victory came thirty years30later when a constitutional amendment allowingwomen to vote was proposed to Congress in 1878.Unfortunately, election practices were already acontroversial issue, as unfair laws that diminishedthe African American vote had been passed during35Reconstruction. Questionable literacy tests and a"vote tax" levied against the poor kept minorityturnout to a minimum. And while several statesallowed women to vote, federal consensus washardly as equitable. The rest of the world, however,40was taking note—and women were ready to act.In 1893, New Zealand allowed women the rightto vote, although women could not run for office inNew Zealand. Other countries began reviewing andratifying their own laws as well. The United King-45dom took small steps by allowing married women tovote in local elections in 1894. By 1902, all womenin Australia could vote in elections, both local andparliamentary.The suffrage movement in America slowly built50momentum throughout the early twentieth centuryand exploded during World War I. President Wood-row Wilson called the fight abroad a war for democ-racy, which many suffragettes viewed as hypocritical.Democracy, after all, was hardly worth fighting for55when half of a nation's population was disqualifiedbased on gender. Public acts of civil disobedience,rallies, and marches galvanized pro-women advo-cates while undermining defenders of the status quo.Posters read "Kaiser Wilson" and called into ques-60tion the authenticity of a free country with unjustlaws. The cry for equality was impossible to ignoreand, in 1919, with the support of President Wilson,Congress passed the Nineteenth Amendment to theConstitution. It was ratified one year later by two-65thirds of the states, effectively changing the Consti-tution. Only one signatory from the original SenecaFalls Declaration lived long enough to cast her firstballot in a federal election.America's election laws were far from equal70for all, as tactics to dissuade or prohibit AfricanAmericans from effectively voting were still rou-tinely employed. However, the suffrage movementlaid the groundwork for future generations. Laws,like people's minds, could change over time. The75civil rights movement in the mid- to late twentiethcentury brought an end to segregation and so-called Jim Crow laws that stifled African Americanadvancement. The Voting Rights Act of 1965 wasthe final nail in the coffin; what emerged was a free80nation guided by elections determined not by skincolor or gender, but by the ballot box.
1. The stance the author takes in the passage is best described as that of
2. Lines 69-70 ("America's election laws…equal for all") most clearly support which explicit claim?
3. Which choice provides the best evidence for the answer to the previous question?
4. As used in line 57, "galvanized" most nearly means
5. The main rhetorical effect of lines 73-74 ("Laws, like…could change") is to
6. As a whole, the passage most strongly suggests which conclusion?
7. Which choice provides the best evidence for the answer to the previous question?
8. The graphic most clearly illustrates which idea?
9. In line 60, the word "authenticity" most nearly means
10. The passage suggests that President Wilson contributed to the success of the women's suffrage movement by
11. The graphic helps support which statement referred to in the passage?
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