Americapedia

Political Rights

Political rights are the rights individuals have that allow them to take part in a self-governing society. Beginning with the Magna Carta, governments have granted and protected political rights. The Petition of Right was a listing of ways the King had violated the law, including abridging political rights. The English Bill of Rights includes political rights.

In the United States, colonial charters protected some political rights. The Virginia Declaration of Rights provided for political rights including the right to vote, and for a uniform government throughout the commonwealth. The Constitution guarantees a republican government in every state in Article IV, Section 4. The Fifteenth, Seventeenth, Nineteenth, Twenty-Third, Twenty-Fourth, and Twenty-Sixth Amendments pertain to the political rights of citizens.