Why Are You An Adult At Age 18?
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Why Are You An Adult At Age 18?

November 8, 2019


The
age in which you are legally considered an adult, known as the age of majority, is most
commonly 18 years of age. This is thought to be the legal threshold
of adulthood when you are no longer considered a “minor” and are now a part of the majority
population. You now assume control over yourself, your
actions, and your decisions thus terminating the legal control and responsibilities of
your parent or guardian. A pretty sobering thought for many young folks
on the brink of adulthood. So, who decided that 18 should be the age
of adulthood, anyway? Welcome to this episode of the Infographics
Show, How Did 18 Become The Standard For Adulthood? The age of majority is defined as the age
at which a person is granted by law the rights and responsibilities of an adult. In the United States, 18 is the most common
age of majority. Some states however grant majority after a
person passes high school, and still others have it set even higher. Alabama and Nebraska for instance, have the
current age of majority at 19 while Mississippi is at 21. Nonetheless, the age of majority does not
affect voting age which by law is set at 18 due to the twenty-sixth amendment to the constitution
giving 18 year olds the right to vote in federal, state and local elections. Let’s just cover a few bases before we dive
right into how 18 became the age of adulthood. There are a couple terms that sound similar
to the age of majority, or the legal age of adulthood, that you should know. The first one is the age of consent, which,
like the age of majority, varies by state. As you already know, the age of majority means
that now you are legally considered an adult. You are granted the rights and responsibilities
of adulthood, like opening a bank account, purchasing a car, renting an apartment, buying
a lotto ticket, and lots of other fun and legally contracting things. With that right, comes great responsibility. You now also get to be held legally accountable
for your actions. That’s a lot of pressure for someone just
out of high school, but it’s also a real eye-opener. Welcome to the real world, kid! The age of consent refers to the legally defined
age in which a person is no longer required to obtain consent from a parent or guardian
to get married. It also refers to the age at which a person
is considered to have the capacity to voluntarily agree to sex—with consent, of course! Though sexual intercourse with a person under
the age of consent will likely lead to criminal charges of statutory rape or sexual assault. So, make sure you always know how old the
person you’re about to get down with actually is! Another term often confused with the age of
majority is the age of license. Like we mentioned before, the age of majority
is the age at which a person is legally recognized as an adult. The age of license, however, is the age at
which the government grants a person license—or permission—to engage in certain activities,
like buying and consuming alcohol and tobacco or, if it’s legally sold in your state,
cannabis products. It also includes driving a motor vehicle,
and entering into certain kinds of contracts, like renting a car. In some cases the age of license is different
than the age of majority. For example, you can get your driver’s license
at 16 even though the age of majority is 18. Or you can be of the age of majority but not
be allowed to legally buy or consume alcohol until reaching the age of license, which is,
of course, 21. But what if you decide that you want to be
on your own before you reach the age of 18? This would require a legal process called
emancipation. This happens when a minor is legally emancipated
by the court to automatically obtain the age of majority before their 18th birthday. They are no longer controlled by their parents
or guardian and likewise, the parents or guardian are freed of responsibility toward the emancipated
child. Most jurisdictions consider minors who marry
to be automatically emancipated and to have obtained the age of majority status. Alright, so now that we’ve covered those
bases, let’s go back to where all this started. During World War II, President Franklin D.
Roosevelt lowered the minimum age for the military draft to 18 even though the voting
age had historically been 21. This outraged many and a rally cry was born:
“Old enough to fight, old enough to vote” became the slogan of the youth voting rights
movement. In 1942, the slogan prompted Democratic congressman,
Jennings Randolph from West Virginia to introduce federal legislation to lower the voting age
to 18. It was Randolph’s faith in America’s youth
that really drove this effort. He said “They possess a great social conscience,
are perplexed by the injustices in this world and are anxious to rectify those ills.” And in 1943, Georgia became the first state
to lower its voting age to 18. Presidents Dwight D. Eisenhower and Lyndon
B. Johnson both greatly supported Randolph’s cause. Eisenhower was the first president to publicly
voice his support for a constitutional amendment that would lower the voting age. In his 1954 State of the Union address he
said: “For years our citizens between the ages of 18 and 21 have, in time of peril,
been summoned to fight for America. They should participate in the more political
process that produces this fateful summons.” In the late 1960’s with the US involved
in the long and costly Vietnam War, youth voting rights activists held marches and demonstrations
demanding the attention of lawmakers to the injustice and hypocrisy of drafting young
men who were denied the right to vote. In 1969, 60 resolutions were introduced to
Congress that would lower the voting age to 18, but none of those resolutions ever came
to anything. In 1970 Congress passed a bill that extended
and amended the Voting Rights Act of 1965 which outlawed discriminatory voting practices. The new bill contained a provision that lowered
the voting age to 18 in federal, state and local elections. President Richard M. Nixon signed the bill
into law though he issued a public statement declaring the provision to be unconstitutional. He said “Although I strongly favor the 18
year-old vote, I believe—along with most of the nation’s leading constitutional scholars—that
Congress has no power to enact it by simple stature, but rather it requires a constitutional
amendment.” In the 1970 case Oregon v Mitchell, the US
Supreme Court was tasked with reviewing the constitutionality of the provision. A divided Supreme Court ruled that Congress
had the authority to lower the voting age in federal elections, but lacked the power
to do so for state and local elections. Under this verdict, 18-20 year olds were now
eligible to vote for president and vice president, but not eligible to vote for state officials
in the same election. Naturally, this outraged many resulting in
large public demonstrations led by the youth who were being drafted but not allowed the
right to vote. This was the groundwork that paved the way
for a Constitutional amendment. Congress proposed the 26th Amendment which
provides “The right of citizens of the United States, who are 18 years of age or older,
to vote, shall not be denied or abridged by the United States or any state on account
of age.” On March 10th, 1971, The US Senate voted unanimously
in favor of the proposed amendment. After an overwhelmingly in-favor House vote
on March 23rd, the 26th Amendment went to the states for ratification. In less than four months, the necessary three-fourths
of state legislature ratified the 26th Amendment making it the shortest ratification period
of any constitutional amendment. President Nixon signed it into law that July. At a White House ceremony attended by 500
newly eligible voters, Nixon said: “The reason I believe that your generation, the
11 million new voters, will do so much for America… is that you will infuse into this
nation some idealism, some courage, some stamina, and some high moral purpose that this country
always needs.” The Senate Report accompanying the 26th Amendment
states that it was proposed for three main reasons: First: “Younger citizens are fully
mature enough to vote.” Most people between the ages of 18 and 21
had finished high school and had received some sort of higher education. Secondly: “18 year olds bear all or most
of an adult’s responsibilities.” This consideration was especially important
since more than 11,000 Americans killed in Vietnam were under the age of 20. Third: Young voters should be given the opportunity
“to influence our society in a peaceful and constructive manner.” Excluding 18 year olds from the political
process resulted in violent protests against the government. Tell us what you think. Do you think 18 years old is a good age for
a person to be considered an adult? Or do you feel it should be 21, like in the
old days? Let us know what you
think and why in the comments! Also be sure to check out our other video,
Millenials vs Generation Y – How Do They Compare?! Thanks for watching! Don’t forget to like, share and subscribe! See you next time on The Infographics Show!

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  1. i felt 87 when i was 11 just from going to school you should be able to retire at 18 after becoming an adult at 11

  2. The legal adult age varies and differs greatly throughout the world. From as the low as 15 to as high as 21. Most governments have the legal adult age set at 18 because that is the age that most people finish highschool and leave highschool.

  3. It's simple you're a kid at 18 a kid at 21 and adult at 25 but to be honest I would say you need be about 27 28 29 to be grown

  4. age 20 should have been the adult age, spelling wise,

    Male brain fully develops at 25
    Female brain fully develops at 21

  5. I wish Puerto Ricans living on the island had the right to vote for the president that drafts them. -.-

  6. “Congrats you’re officially an adult, now go out there and be responsible for yourself”

    18yo: Hold my root beer

  7. For the parents is fair, because they already spent 18 years supporting the person, but let’s be honest, at 18 you are not ready to face the world as a REAL adult. And don’t forget many parents pay their kid’s college and support them financially until 25

  8. Here in England you can join the armed forces at 16 but you are not allowed to play call of duty until you are 18….. backward I know.

  9. Age of majority 15=indonesia,Myanmar,Yemen
    16=Cambodia,Cuba,Kyrgyzstan,Kuwait,Palestine,Saint Vincent and the grenadines,Scotland(16/18),Vietnam
    17=North Korea,Tajikistan,Timor-Leste
    19=Algeria,Canada(some areas),South Korea,USA(Alabama,Nebraska,)
    20=Japan(-31 March 2022),New Zealand,Taiwan,Thailand,
    21-Bahrain,Cameroon,Ivory Coast,Eswatini,Gabon,Grenada,Honduras,Lesotho,Madagascar,Samoa,Singapore,UAE,USA(Mississippi,Puerto RICO),Zambia

  10. Slavery was never abolished. Slaves are now living under their parents' roof and doing whatever they tell them to do.

  11. What more dangerous the army or alcohol? The army. What’s takes more responsibility the army or alcohol? The army. SO WHY CAN YOU GO TO THE ARMY AT 18 AND 21 TO DRINK ALCOHOL!?

  12. The selective service should be for women as well why only on men. Laws should not be made for double standards and making the rules different for males and females. Laws have to be the same for both Genders

  13. Thank you for clarifying that the USA had always been the chaotic and dumb nation as it is today, but you forgot to answer the question in the title.

  14. But this is only about usa , u should have made the video after the whole world or the eu since usa is only like 250m ppl !

  15. I feel as though 21 should be legal age of adult, that way all rights are granted and and girls don't trick you. To one age down. All or nothing, I just entered adulthood and I feel like I should have all or none.

  16. change drinking age to 18.

    if you’re old enough to fight and or die for country at that age then you’re old enough to drink a beer.
    💀
    🍺 🎉

  17. You forgot to mention that because the Oregon case, it raised the possibility of having two different voter registration lists…the regular one and the one for 18-20 year olds, and somehow had to ensure that they were only allowed for vote for the federal elections and not the state/local ones. So you can imagine what a huge complicated mess that would've been! Hence the quite speedy ratification of the 26th.

  18. Adult should be at 20, well we get the majority at 18 but 20 sounds more fair.
    People should mature, get responsabilities. I support the idea of 20 and definitively not later.

  19. In the Philippines 18 is too young to drink alcoholic drinks and too young to handle an airgun. 21 years old is the legal age for that👍

  20. I'm confused on how we can go fight for our country at 18 but can get a pack of cigs or even a 6 pack of beer but we're adults and can risk our life's but we can have a beer or cigs like come on

  21. I'm just going by the numbers here I don't consider eighTEEN and nineTEEN year olds adults I wouldn't consider you an adult until age twenty including myself I'm sixteen.

  22. I guess it’s because when you become 8 you enter upper elementary and start taking test that depend if you pass just my thoughts

  23. Personally think 21 is adult, not 18… no offense! 18 is teenage not adult… i mean…. idk. I don't want big responsibility to quickly, i wanna know my responsibility one by one, to make my life little easier! Idk wut i'm saying anyways!

  24. 18 is not a milestone of any kind, it's literally just a random number. Milestones in human development are usually at 12, 14, 16, 21 and 25.

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