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For most of American history, the right to vote has been
a privilege restricted by wealth, sex, race, and
literacy. Economic qualifications were finally
eliminated in the nineteenth century, but the ideal of a
White man’s republic persisted long after that. Women
and racial minorities had to fight hard and creatively
to secure their voices. This course examines the history
of voting and elections in America from the
constitutional era through the present from an
interdisciplinary perspective. It explores both theories
of voting and elections and struggles for the vote by
minority peoples, women, and other groups. These
struggles have taken place in the streets, in the halls
of legislatures, and in the courtrooms. It concludes by
investigating recent threats to American democracy and
considering ways to improve access to voting and ensure
the conduct of free and fair elections in the United
- Twelve lectures
Primary source readings that complement the lectures
A certificate of completion for 15 hours of
professional development credit
Readings: The suggested readings for
each session will be listed on the “Resources” link on
the course content page in the online learning system.
You are not required to read or purchase any print
materials. Quizzes are based on the lectures.
Course Access: After your
purchase, you may access your course by signing into the
Gilder Lehrman website and clicking on the MY COURSES
link under MY ACCOUNT in the navigation menu.
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LEAD SCHOLAR: Allan J. Lichtman
Allan J. Lichtman received his PhD from Harvard
University in 1973 with a specialty in modern American
history and quantitative methods. He became an Assistant
Professor of History at American University in 1973, a
Full Professor in 1980, and a Distinguished Professor in
2011. He has published eleven books and several hundred
popular and scholarly articles. He has lectured in the
US and internationally and provided commentary for major
US and foreign networks and leading newspapers and
magazines across the world. He has been an expert
witness in some 100 civil and voting rights cases.
Lichtman won the National Jewish Book Award Prize in
American Jewish History and was a finalist for the Los
Angeles Times book prize in history.