Suffrage is the right and act of voting, either for the election of public officers of upon such laws as may be submitted to the people. In most countries suffrage is restricted to males above the age of 21. Other requirements that are practically universal are citizenship and a certain term of residence in the state or electorate in which one votes. In the United States the suffrage is granted and controlled by the states, and not by the Federal government. The consequence is a diversity of requirements for the suffrage. The idea that the suffrage is one of the natural rights of man would find its logical conclusion in universal adult suffrage, such as is enjoyed in New South Wales and New Zealand; or at least in universal manhood suffrage. In most of our own states (see Women's Rights) the suffrage is restricted by the exclusion of women, criminals, idiots, illiterates and sometimes other classes. A property qualification is now seldom required. Previous to the Civil War most of the states had adult manhood suffrage, negroes excluded. By the fifteenth amendment to the constitution the states are forbidden to abridge suffrage “on account of race, color or previous condition of servitude.” Other conditions have been imposed, however, by some of the states by which negroes in those states are for the most part now disfranchised. In North Carolina and Louisiana all whose fathers and grandfathers enjoyed the suffrage in 1867 may enjoy it without regard to other qualifications. Some of the southern states have used educational tests after the fashion of Massachusetts and Connecticut, chiefly in order to disfranchise the ignorant element among the negroes.