Monday, July 4, 2016

Sam Pizzigati: Philadelphia’s Forgotten Spirit of 1776

Later this summer, just a few weeks after this year’s Fourth of July celebrations, Democrats will be gathering in Philadelphia to make some presidential nomination history.

Democrats — small-d variety — gathered in Philadelphia soon after the original Fourth of July, too. Those democrats, all Pennsylvanians, also had some history to make. In September 1776, they would go on to adopt their new nation’s most egalitarian state constitution.

Before the Revolution, only men of property in Pennsylvania could vote and hold office. The new state constitution, notes historian Clement Fatovic in his recently published “America’s Founding and the Struggle over Economic Inequality,” totally removed property qualifications for voting and office-holding.

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