|1.||the franchise the right to vote, esp for representatives in a legislative body; suffrage|
|2.||any exemption, privilege, or right granted to an individual or group by a public authority, such as the right to use public property for a business|
|3.||commerce authorization granted by a manufacturing enterprise to a distributor to market the manufacturer's products|
|4.||the full rights of citizenship|
|5.||films a film that is or has the potential to be part of a series and lends itself to merchandising|
|6.||(in marine insurance) a sum or percentage stated in a policy, below which the insurer disclaims all liability|
|7.||chiefly (US), (Canadian) (tr) commerce to grant (a person, firm, etc) a franchise|
|8.||an obsolete word for enfranchise|
|[C13: from Old French, from franchir to set free, from franc free; see |
In politics, the right to vote. The Constitution left the determination of the qualifications of voters to the states. In the late eighteenth and early nineteenth century, states usually restricted the franchise to white men who owned specified amounts of property. Gradually, poll taxes were substituted for property requirements. Before the Civil War, the voting rights of blacks were severely restricted, but the Fifteenth Amendment to the Constitution, declared ratified in 1870, prohibited states from abridging the right to vote on the basis of race. Nevertheless, southern states used a variety of legal ploys to restrict black voting until passage of the Voting Rights Act of 1965. Women were not guaranteed the right to vote in federal elections until ratification of the Nineteenth Amendment in 1920. In 1971 the Twenty-sixth Amendment lowered the voting age from twenty-one to eighteen. (See suffrage and suffragette.)
Note: Losing the right to vote, called disfranchisement, is most commonly caused by failing to reregister, a procedure that is required every time a person changes residence.
In business, a relationship between a manufacturer and a retailer in which the manufacturer provides the product, sales techniques, and other kinds of managerial assistance, and the retailer promises to market the manufacturer's product rather than that of competitors. For example, most automobile dealerships are franchises. The vast majority of fast food chains are also run on the franchise principle, with the retailer paying to use the brand name.