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the enjoyment of the franchise in the states where they were
numerous. It is enacted, in the passage referred to, that
"when the right to vote at any election for the choice of
electors for President and Vice-President of the United
States, representatives in congress, the executive or judiciary
officers of a state, or the members of the legislature thereof,
is denied to any of the male inhabitants of such state, being
twenty-one years of age, and citizens of the United States, or
in any way abridged except for participation in rebellion or
other crime, the basis of representation therein shall be re-
duced in the proportion which the number of such male citi
zens shall bear to the whole number of male citizens twenty -
one years of age in such state."

There was probably no other way of protecting the colored
race from discriminating laws in favor of the whites. And it
was still competent for every state to introduce restrictions
on suffrage to any extent into its constitution, if they should
affect equally all colors and conditions. Yet after this amend -
ment, to abridge suffrage, by any rule affecting blacks and
whites both, would exclude from the polls multitudes of the
latter, and would reduce the representation in congress ma-
terially in the case of those states where slavery before the
late war was most prevalent.

Restrictions on eligibility to office are endured far more
readily by the democratic spirit than in the mat-
EUgibihty to office.                   *.      J                                               L
ter of suffrage, and some of them, such as a
maturer age than is necessary for the electoral franchise, are
so very reasonable that there will be a general acquiescence in
them. So nativity in the republic may be insisted upon by
the citizens who have that qualification, as setting aside for-
eign-born citizens of whom they feel jealous. But the pos-
session of a certain amount of property, in order to represent
a constituency or to fill a public office, is not at all in accord-
ance with the democratic spirit.