In 1942, during World War II, under President

In 1942, during
World War II, under President Franklin D. Roosevelt, Congress passed lowering
the draft age to eighteen in order to increase the number of men eligible to
fight in war. However, at the time of war, as of the 1787 when the American
Constitution was ratified, voting requirements were left to the individual
states to determine the voting age which still remained twenty-one. It was due
to President Roosevelt’s actions that the slogan “old enough to fight, old
enough to vote,” was first heard and later adopted by young college activist
during the Vietnam War in attempt to extend the voting age. The phrase came about
due to the fact that the men, and families of the men being drafted, felt as
though it was unconstitutional and unjust to be forced, by law, to abide to a
draft proposed by a government that they did not even have to luxury to vote on
whether or not they support or not. It was this slogan and movement that, in
1942, prompted one of eleven of Congressmen Jennings Randolph (D- WV) proposals
to an amendment that would allow for those fighting in World War II between the
age of eighteen and twenty-one the right to vote. His purposes for the proposal
was that he believed that the young men fighting in World War II, as well as
all other young citizens across the country, “posses a great conscience, are
perplexed by the injustices in the world and are anxious to rectify those ill”
(Randolph). President Dwight D. Eisenhower and President Lyndon B. Johnson
supported the cause and the beliefs of Congressmen Jennings were picked up amongst
citizens across the country and the battle to extend the voting age began. 


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