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How the French Learned to VoteA History of Electoral Practice in France$
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Malcolm Crook

Print publication date: 2021

Print ISBN-13: 9780192894786

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: April 2021

DOI: 10.1093/oso/9780192894786.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM OXFORD SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (oxford.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Oxford University Press, 2021. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in OSO for personal use. date: 21 September 2021

One Man, One Vote

One Man, One Vote

The Long March towards Universal Male Suffrage

(p.16) 1 One Man, One Vote
(p.iii) How the French Learned to Vote

Malcolm Crook

Oxford University Press

All adults are entitled to vote today, yet this principle was not established until relatively recently. Even in the case of men, who were invariably enfranchised before women, the recognition of universal male suffrage was far more problematic than is often realized, though much has been written about it. In fact, the belief that the franchise should be awarded on the basis of certain criteria, such as property ownership or tax payment, as opposed to constituting a right of citizenship, was widely accepted during the nineteenth century, in France as elsewhere. Universal manhood suffrage was proclaimed in the French Constitution of 1793, but not implemented, and its later foundation in 1848 was unanticipated. There were also periods of reversal as well as progress, with moments of disenfranchisement, notably under the restored monarchy after 1814, but also during the First and Second Republics. Even in the early 1870s, the principle of one man, one vote was still being challenged by conservatives and its consolidation under the Third Republic was by no means preordained; it had taken nearly a century to achieve.

Keywords:   suffrage, universal suffrage, male suffrage, citizenship, enfranchisement, disenfranchise, democracy, democratization, vote, constitutions

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