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Cultural Artifacts Through History and Social Science Lenses


Liberal arts fields offer a distinct perspective on the world that other fields do not match. Professionals in natural sciences, social sciences, arts, and history all ask questions to gather information. Still, they may do it in various ways to enable them to study various facets of a subject. It is vital to remember that each lens provides a unique perspective on a subject, and each lens has its own set of features. Furthermore, cultural artifacts—constructed artifacts that reflect the standards of a specific culture or social group—tell different stories based on the lens being viewed. This paper aims to explore the interaction between history and social science perspectives.

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The Social Sciences

The study of social interaction, behavior, cultural development, and global impact is at the core of social science. Understanding how humans exist and how to enhance one’s own life can be gained by examining culture, society, and human connections. Using both primary and supplementary sources, social scientists can conclude (Reinharz, 2017). Researchers in the social sciences look at how people and organizations interact and what motivates their conduct in a variety of settings, including states, economies, and families. In this context, sociology, psychology, anthropology, and a slew of other subjects are all examples of careers in social science.


History is the analysis of events that have occurred in the past. Therefore, historians rely on primary sources when conducting various research on past historical events. For example, clothes from the past, letters from inhabitants during that time, papers, photographs, and first-hand stories of those who were there are all included in these first-hand descriptions of the events historians research. In addition, examining a cultural relic has enabled people to learn about the past and the present at the same time.

Relationship between Historical and Social Science Lens in Voting Rights

The fight for fair voting rights extends back to the early days of the United States. Voting rights became a cross-party issue owing to attempts to amend the Constitution and establish laws that grant voting rights to people based on race/ethnicity, gender, disability, and age (Verney, 2020). Around 1850, all states had eliminated ownership and religious qualification, and therefore the population of adult American men who were able to vote expanded, although poll taxes and proficiency tests persisted (Yang, 2019). Despite their conviction in democracy’s advantages, the United States’ founding fathers recognized and embraced harsh voting restrictions. Historically, the United States Constitution delegated authority to states to decide who is eligible to participate in elections. For decades, state governments essentially barred white male property owners from voting (Lichtman, 2018). Additionally, several states used religious tests to determine Christian men as the only eligible voters.

State legislatures started to modify the property barrier for voting in the early nineteenth century. Afterward, amid the Reconstruction era post-Civil War, Congress ratified the Constitution’s Fifteenth Amendment, ensuring that no one must be barred from voting based on race (Verney, 2020). However, in the years afterward, several states, notably in the South, have employed a variety of impediments, including poll fees and literacy tests, to purposefully suppress African Americans’ participation. In addition, during polling recently, election officials closed hundreds of polling locations, disproportionately affecting communities of color. The polling site closures are only one indication of how local and state governments have continued to suppress specific populations’ votes.

The Contrast between the Historical and Social Science Lens in Voting Rights

To keep African-Americans and impoverished whites from exercising their constitutional rights, governments implemented several measures, such as writing. During the civil rights struggle of 1964, African Americans made greater efforts to vote (Moore, 2021). In the South, roughly 43% of African Americans who were of voting age were permitted to vote (Moore, 2021). Several organizations, notably the Voter Education Project, worked to maximize the number of African Americans registered to vote in the southern states (Moore, 2021). Consequently, many campaigns followed, mobilizing for more African American males of voting age to be registered.

In the past decades, women could vote in only a few states at the beginning of the twentieth century. The 19th reform to the U.S. Constitution gave women the right to vote after decades of mobilization and fighting (Moehling & Thomasson 2020). Similarly, for more than a century post-Civil War, poll taxes were an especially heinous kind of voter suppression, requiring voters to pay a fee to exercise their right to vote. Submission of the levy was required in many states to vote. The taxes were specifically enacted to prevent African Americans and whites with low incomes from casting ballots. In recent years, voters across different states, regardless of their race, have been allowed to exercise their civic duty of casting their votes without paying taxes.

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Benefits of the Research Paper

Through discussing the historical and social science lenses, I have learned the connection between history and social science. The topic has helped me understand that history can also be used as a stepping stone to learning about other fields in the humanities and sciences. I believe that engaging in further research can sharpen my critical thinking and analytical skills. It can also help me outside of the classroom, broadening my knowledge and comprehension of a particular field.


Liberal arts like history and social science help in understanding the world better. Human civilization and interpersonal relationships are easily analyzed through a better understanding of these liberal arts. Additionally, these arts help in researching culture, society, and human connections, which helps obtain a better understanding of how humans live and improve their lives. Ultimately, studying these liberal arts helps understand the interrelationship between humanities, historical, natural sciences, and social sciences.


Lichtman, A. J. (2018). The embattled vote in America. Harvard University Press.

Yang, E. (2019). Ensuring access to the ballot box. Insights on Law and Society 20(1), 20-25. Web.

Moore, W.V. (2021). Voting rights act of 1965. Salem press encyclopedia. Web.

Moehling, C. M., & Thomasson, M. A. (2020). Votes for women: An economic perspective on women’s enfranchisement. Journal of Economic Perspectives, 34(2), 3-23. Web.

Reinharz, S., (2017). On Becoming a Social Scientist: From survey research and participant observation to experimental analysis. Routledge.

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Verney, K. (2020). The debate on black civil rights in America. Manchester University Press.

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