Here are a few quotes from “The Philippine Citizen”, a 1913 reader on civics for students of secondary schools in The Philippines under American colonial rule.
Popular government. Since the Unites States is a representative democracy and is attempting to create a government of this kind in the Philippines, it becomes necessary to study this form of government with great care.
In the phrase of Abraham Lincoln, the government of the United States is a “government of the people, by the people, and for the people,” that is, popular government. It is important to remember that not all the people in any democracy take part in the election of public officers and the making of laws. In the most liberal of democracies women, with few exceptions, are excluded from a share in the government. Even in the United States only about one fifth of the whole population is entitled to vote. Popular government differs in degree in different democracies. What constitutes a democracy is not the number of people who vote but the fact that the people are the source of the laws.
It is sometimes difficult to say just how much one should know to be qualified to vote. In the United States, where popular education is so efficient and widespread, some states grant the suffrage to all males over twenty-one years of age. In many of the states, however, an educational or property qualification is also required. This often greatly reduces the number of electors. In the opinion of many, the suffrage should be still further restricted in the United States. It would certainly be a very foolish step to grant unlimited suffrage to people like some of the negroes of Africa, who in many cases know hardly enough to build a hut over their heads.
Woman suffrage. Even in the United States the full rights of suffrage are not granted to women, except in nine states. Many of the women are exceedingly intelligent and possess every qualification of mind and character that the male voters have, but they are not allowed to vote, because the suffrage is not a right but a privilege. This privilege it is not usually considered necessary to extend to women at present. If their votes were necessary to secure civil liberties to the people it would be entirely proper to grant them the suffrage.