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How did Americans transform the democratic systems of the United States?

Americans transformed the democratic process in the United States by opening voting to more groups of people and removing barriers to suffrage.

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The United States has become more democratic since its inception. One of the early ways that the United States became more democratic was the removal of property requirements to vote. Not only were these removed for voters, but they were also removed for office-seekers in many states as well. While it was not likely, theoretically a poor person could aspire to public office. After the Civil War African American males could vote thanks to the Fifteenth Amendment; however, there were impediments to this such as literacy tests and poll taxes which were passed at the state level. These ensured low black voter turnout in many Southern states until the 1960s with the abolition of the poll tax. Women gained the right to vote after years of demonstrations and their work during WWI. Eighteen-year old citizens also attained the right to vote due to their protests during the Vietnam War, a war that one could not vote on but still be called on to fight due to the draft.

In addition to removing barriers to voting, American media has sought to popularize the voting process. Since the 1800s, many successful presidential candidates have tried to appeal to middle-class Americans. Andrew Jackson and William Henry Harrison tried to appeal to frontiersmen who lived in log cabins. Bill Clinton was notable for his television appearances during the 1992 campaign, famously playing a saxophone on a late-night talk show. Americans insist on having approachable candidates; in addition to removing voting barriers, this is another way that Americans have opened the democratic process for more people.

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