Beginning in the
late 1960’s Americans were inundated with violent images and T.V broadcasts of
young Americans fighting in Vietnam for the first time since the war began. As
the images grew more violent and the war prolonged far past what the American
government had announced, Americans became very frustrated. The war became
widely unpopular amongst American citizens for not only had it continued and became
evident that there was no American interest connected to the war, young
soldiers were being forced into a war that they did not even have the right to
vote against. As of 1965, when the war began, the Voting Rights Act of 1965 stated that one must be twenty-one years
of age to participate in federal elections; however, during World War II,
President Franklin D. Roosevelt had extended the age of the military draft to
eighteen. The actions taken by President Roosevelt, The Voting Rights Act of
1965, and the unfair treatment of the Vietnam War provide the historical
setting that led to the passage of the 26th Amendment. 

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