Why do we vote on Tuesdays? People across the United States will cast their ballots on Tuesday, Nov. 8. (AP Photo/David Dermer/Melinda Deslatte)
Why do we vote on Tuesdays?
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On Nov. 8, Americans will head to the voting booth. They will cast their ballots for the next president of the United States. As always, this time-honored tradition falls on a Tuesday. But why? It turns out the answer has a lot to do with buggies and farmers markets.
 
The Founding Fathers met at the Constitutional Convention in 1787, NPR explains. But at the end of the meeting, they still had not agreed on a number of questions about how to run an entire nation. One of those issues involved the timing of federal elections. As a quick fix, they decided to leave it to individual states to set their own voting days. This led to several decades of "electoral chaos," NPR writes. Random elections were held at all different times, all over the country.
 
In 1845, Congress decided to straighten things out. Monday was out, lawmakers reasoned. That's because people would have to travel to the polls in their buggies on Sunday. Voting on that day wouldn't sit well with church-goers. Wednesday wouldn't work, either. Mid-week usually meant market day for farmers. At the time, most citizens were farmers. Again, Thursday didn't fit the bill because of the buggy-traveling time allocation. It would cut into market day. And Friday? Well, NPR doesn't say. But who wants to deal with such a serious issue at the very end of the week?

So, Tuesday was the day. And that seemed to work great for 19th century voters.
 
"In the 1840s, elections were a big to-do. There was a lot of hoopla. There were parades," Ritchie says. "Whole families would come on wagons from the farms. People would get dressed up for the occasion."
 
The America of today looks different. Buggies and markets have long since given way to minivans and supermarkets, NPR concludes. But, Tuesday remains the day we vote.

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CRITICAL THINKING QUESTION
Why aren't most Americans farmers now?
Write your answers in the comments section below


COMMENTS (80)
  • angelesg-bur
    11/04/2016 - 10:25 a.m.

    When factories were being made food produced faster in a manner that America needed for the growing population ,traditional farming wasn't going to be enough . With other ways of making food it wasn't such a big problem , Americans could shift their focus in other directions. Such as lawyers ,docters

  • vanessao-bur
    11/07/2016 - 10:39 p.m.

    Most Americans aren't farmers today because now we have more entrepreneurs and we have more jobs that we can do to get a high paying job.

  • sabrinad-cas
    11/08/2016 - 03:22 p.m.

    Most Americans aren't farmers now.I feel that people aren't farmers now because of factories.When factories were starting to be built the food was produced faster in which there was no need to have farmers .This let people focus on their dream.This is why I feel why people aren't farmers anymore.

  • dominico-cas
    11/08/2016 - 06:42 p.m.

    Most people live in urban areas and work in big cities. The technology changed and it is very different from back then. Also people have different choices to pick a job they enjoy.

  • emilyport-cas
    11/08/2016 - 07:39 p.m.

    Today most Americans are not farmers because now with technology it is easier to grow food. People mostly work in technology and business fields. This is why people do not do farming a lot anymore in these days.

  • madisong-bur
    11/09/2016 - 09:56 a.m.

    Most Americans are not farmers because most people live in big cities and because now we have new and better technology for grow our food.

  • gisellec-bur
    11/09/2016 - 10:07 a.m.

    Most americans aren't farmers now because we have machcines that pick faster and easier so farmers can plant them into the ground .

  • camaiyar-bur
    11/09/2016 - 10:13 a.m.

    Most Americans are not farmers because we have many different jobs now and many different ways to make money.

  • michaels6-bur
    11/09/2016 - 10:17 a.m.

    I think most Americans are not farmers because of the droughts and the land is not as good as it was back in the days

  • kyleec-bur
    11/09/2016 - 11:02 a.m.

    They get their products from markets and markets are producing much faster then getting it from animals.So when I go to the store its much faster than waiting to get the products from animals.

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