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As I read this next chapter of A People’s History of the United States, I was surprised to learn about the requirements to become an elected official in the colonies. The most outrageous of these requirements was the one that required anyone running to have 5,000 pounds worth of property if they were running for governor and 1,000 pounds worth if they were running for senator. The fact that you could exclude 90% of the population from even having a chance at running is ridiculous

Because of this outlandish rule, the cycle of the wealthy controlling the poor would never have ended. It is also ironic that the people who made this rule were the ones who already met the requirements. They knew when they made this rule it would allow them to hold power without any competition. The only way to properly run a country is to have equal opportunity for everyone to become a decisionmaker. Although the rules and requirements are different in today’s United States, there is an argument to be made that bias has been created toward people of wealth and power.

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2 Comments

  1. Sofia Adams Sofia Adams

    I agree with you that this rule was surprising and horrifying to learn. The way in which the elite kept the population under their manipulation and control is appalling and has had lasting affects on American society to present day. How do we further break away from this cycle of the elite controlling the majority of the government in order to control the nation? Is it by reading and learning about the truths behind our history? Because I know in my education from k-12 I have never learned about the atrocities of how the elite used their power to control the majority of the population.

  2. Pierce Kaliner Pierce Kaliner

    I agree with you that it is appalling that the wealthy were the only ones allowed to vote or run for office. That has definitely had a lasting impact on the United States today, meaning there aren’t many elected officials that are poor. The rich have money, and know people with money so they can fund their campaigns making it exponentially easier to win. So, yes there is a certainly a bias towards the rich and powerful.

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