The Power to Make the Rules: Federalism and Voting Rights

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This resource is an Inquiry Pack to accompany the Suffrage Timeline on, which explores the history of voting rights in the United States, from its early influences to constitutional amendments and landmark Supreme Court cases.

Built around primary sources from the Library of Congress and other collections, this Inquiry Pack facilitates a deep dive into an important aspect of the history of suffrage and voting rights in the United States.

Each Inquiry Pack includes a background reading, several primary sources (documents, articles, images), discussion questions about the sources, an inquiry question, and an inquiry extension question.

This pack includes the following components:

  • Introduction: Federalism and Voting Rights
  • The Power of the State Government
  • The Power of the Federal Government
  • Inquiry Question: Should the federal government have more power than state governments to set and enforce voting rules?
  • Inquiry Extension Question: Have state governments or the federal government have been more instrumental in expanding access to voting rights in the course of American history? In the future, should the states or the federal government have primary responsibility for determining who has the right to vote?
  • Inquiry Question Graphic Organizer

© 2022 Street Law, Inc.

This resource was developed with funding provided by the Library of Congress Teaching with Primary Sources program. Content created and featured in partnership the TPS program does not indicate an endorsement by the Library of Congress.  

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