With inspiring bravery and determination, people of the world have demanded the right to have their voices heard. We record and highlight key events in the journey through the ages to the creation of democracies intertwined with political activism and inequalities in this dynamic visual timeline that captures the intersections of expressing political views within various cultural, political, and artistic contexts.

You can navigate the timeline by dragging the viewfinder at the bottom of the timeline. You can also click anywhere in the time scale at the bottom to jump quickly to that point in time.;xNLx;;xNLx;The events on this timeline have been divided into the following categories: World History, The Right to Vote, Political Leaders, Political Action, Effect of Technology, and Utah History. Each category has its own color. For further information (including videos and images) about a particular event, click the 'more' button.

1239-06-15 20:58:28

The Magna Carta

Magna Carta was written by a group of 13th-century barons to protect their rights and property against a tyrannical king. It is concerned with many practical matters and specific grievances relevant to the feudal system under which they lived. The interests of the common man were hardly apparent in the minds of the men who brokered the agreement. But there are two principles expressed in Magna Carta that resonate to this day: "No freeman shall be taken, imprisoned, disseised, outlawed, banished, or in any way destroyed, nor will We proceed against or prosecute him, except by the lawful judgment of his peers and by the law of the land." "To no one will We sell, to no one will We deny or delay, right or justice."

1297-01-01 20:58:28

1297 Magna Carta.

On display at the National Archives, courtesy of David M. Rubenstein, is one of four surviving originals of the 1297 Magna Carta. This version was entered into the official Statute Rolls of England.

1645-01-01 21:06:06

One vote changed everything

One vote gave Oliver Cromwell control of England.

1775-10-01 00:00:00

Magna Carta - Inspiration for Americans

During the American Revolution, Magna Carta served to inspire and justify action in liberty’s defense. The colonists believed they were entitled to the same rights as Englishmen, rights guaranteed in Magna Carta. They embedded those rights into the laws of their states and later into the Constitution and Bill of Rights. The Fifth Amendment to the Constitution ("no person shall . . . be deprived of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law.") is a direct descendant of Magna Carta's guarantee of proceedings according to the "law of the land."

1776-01-01 21:06:06

Americans almost spoke German.

One vote gave America the English language instead of German.

1787-01-01 20:58:28

White Male Property Owners can vote

The passage of the U.S. Constitution giving white male property owners age 21 and over the right to vote.

1788-01-01 11:58:10

Electoral College established

The founding fathers of the United States establish the Electoral College. The American people do not directly elect the President. Instead, the Electoral College elects the President.

1789-01-01 09:11:15

First US president elected

The U.S. elects George Washington as its first President.

1789-01-01 15:34:59

First US election

Ratification of the U.S. Constitution; first elections held

1791-11-01 09:20:21

First Presidential Sex Scandal

In 1791, Hamilton became involved in an affair with Maria Reynolds. When rumors began spreading after his retirement, Hamilton published a confession of his affair, shocking his family and supporters by not merely confessing but also by inexplicably narrating the affair at an unexpected level of detail. This public revelation damaged Hamilton's reputation for the rest of his life.

1801-01-01 17:24:32

Nineteenth Century Voting Change

Voting changes from voice to written in the nineteenth century.

1841-10-01 16:25:02

Dorr Rebellion

Thomas Dorr created a convention to frame a new constitution granting the right to vote to all white men with one year of residency

1845-01-01 04:23:19

Official election day Declared

The second Tuesday after the first Monday in November was declared Election Day by federal law in 1845.

1850-01-01 09:11:15

voting literacy laws

Groups like the "No-Nothings" create literacy laws that state that those who wish to vote must pass a literacy test. Since many blacks and immigrants cannot read or write they are denied the right to vote. This was an attempt to keep the vote in the hands of the white male population.

1854-01-01 03:02:27

Single vote stops women's suffrage

In 1854, Washington nearly became the first state to grant women's suffrage, but the proposal was defeated by a single vote.

1855-01-01 15:34:59

Voting for begins African-Americans

Blacks can vote in only 5 states.

1855-06-10 03:26:02

The Mississippi Plan

Mississippi created new ways to keep African Americans from voting by creating residency requirements, poll taxes, literacy tests, property requirements, long registration procedures, and laws disenfranchising voters for minor criminal offenses.

1861-01-01 03:02:27

Confederate States elect a President

Jefferson Davis is elected President of the Confederate States of America.

1861-04-12 07:58:33

Civil War

At the end of the Civil War slavery was abolished and voting rights were redefined.

1868-07-09 03:02:27

Fourteenth Amendment

The 14th Amendment defines what it is to be a citizen in the United States.

1868-11-01 09:20:21

One Vote Away from Impeachment

One vote saved President Andrew Johnson from impeachment. The Impeachment of Andrew Johnson, 17th President of the United States, was one of the most dramatic events in the political life of the United States during Reconstruction, and the first impeachment in history of a sitting United States president. Johnson was impeached for his efforts to undermine Congressional policy; he was acquitted by one vote.

1870-01-01 22:13:11

Utah Women's Suffrage Movement

Women's Suffrage--the right of women to vote--was won twice in Utah. It was granted first in 1870 by the territorial legislature but revoked by Congress in 1887 as part of a national effort to rid the territory of polygamy. It was restored in 1895, when the right to vote and hold office was written into the constitution of the new state.

1870-02-03 03:02:27

Fifteenth Amendment

Prohibited denying citizens the right to voted based on race, color, or previous condition of servitude (slavery).

1871-01-01 03:02:27

Washington Woman Suffrage Association formed

In 1871, Susan B. Anthony and Abigail Scott Duniway led a crusade through the territories of Washington and Oregon and helped to form the Washington Woman Suffrage Association.

1875-01-01 21:06:06

France Monarchy to Republic

One vote changed France from a monarchy to a republic.

1876-01-01 03:02:27

Black voters denied in the south

Black voters in the South denied participation.

1876-01-01 21:06:06

President Looses Popular Vote But Wins Election

A Congressional commission decision on Electoral Votes awarded Rutherford B. Hayes the Presidency of the United States of America.

1882-05-06 03:02:27

Chinese Exclusion Act

Excluded Chinese Americans denied citizenship and voting rights.

1889-01-01 15:34:59

Wyoming allows women to vote

Wyoming allows women full voting rights

1890-01-01 03:02:27

Indian Naturalization Act

Granted Native Americans citizenship by applying for the status.

1893-01-01 22:13:11

New Zealand women vote

New Zealand women receive the right to vote.

1896-11-01 19:50:25

Utah's First Presidential Election

Utah votes for the first time in the US presidential election. Utah voted Democrat. Utah was allotted 3 electoral votes.

1902-11-01 00:13:26

Australian Women Can Vote

Australia became the first country in the world to give women both the right to vote in federal elections and also the right to be elected to parliament.

1912-11-01 19:50:25

Utah Receives a 4th Electoral Vote

Utah votes with a 4th electoral vote in the presidential election.

1917-01-01 22:13:11

Canadian women vote

Canadian women receive the right to vote.

1920-01-01 19:57:25

Vote by Mail Available in California

California first allowed vote-by-mail voting in 1920.

1920-08-18 03:02:27

Nineteenth Amendment

Gave women all American women the right to vote.

1923-11-08 21:06:06

Nazi Party Leadership

One vote gave Adolf Hitler leadership of the Nazi Party.

1924-06-02 03:02:27

The Indian Citizenship Act of 1924

Granted full citizenship to Native Americans. Excluding those born before the effective date (1924) or if they were born outside the U.S.

1928-01-01 22:13:11

UK and Irish women vote

Women in the United Kingdom and Ireland receive the right to vote.

1932-11-01 19:50:25

Utah Votes Democrat, More than Once!

Utahans voted for Democrat Franklin Roosevelt four times (1932 through 1944) and for his successor Harry S. Truman in 1948.

1941-01-01 00:00:00

FDR and the Magna Carta

"The democratic aspiration is no mere recent phase in human history . . . It was written in Magna Carta." --Franklin Delano Roosevelt, 1941 Inaugural address

1941-01-01 21:06:06

Selective Service Saved

One vote saved the Selective Service - just weeks before Pearl Harbor was attacked.

1943-12-17 03:02:27

Repeal of the Chinese Exclusion Act

With the repeal of the exclusion act Chinese immigrant obtained the right to citizenship and voting.

1944-01-01 22:13:11

French women vote

Women in France receive the right to vote.

1946-02-01 03:02:27

Filipino Naturalization Act

Granted citizenship to Filipinos who arrived after March 1943.

1947-03-19 12:13:54

Utah Vocational Schools

Utah legislature appropriated money to establish vocational school in Utah schools districts.

1948-01-01 17:10:58

Salt Lake Area Vocational School

Steps were taken by the Utah legislature to establish the Salt Lake Area Vocational School. The Utah legislature appropriated funds for the school's first year of operation.

1948-11-02 06:11:08

Biggest Presidential Upset in American History

The United States presidential election of 1948 was the greatest election upset in American history. Virtually every prediction (with or without public opinion polls) indicated that incumbent President Harry S. Truman would be defeated by Republican Thomas E. Dewey. Both parties had severe ideological splits, with the far left and far right of the Democratic Party running third-party campaigns. Truman's surprise victory was the fifth consecutive presidential win for the Democratic Party.

1949-01-01 17:24:32

Vocational Schools Lose Funding

Utah Governor J. Bracken Lee cut funding for the Salt Lake Area Vocational School, leaving school President Gunderson to search for funding. This lasted for two years.


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