At its birth, the United States was not a democratic nation—far from it. The very word democracy had pejorative overtones, summoning up images of disorder, government by the unfit, even mob rule. In practice, moreover, relatively few of the new nation’s inhabitants were able to participate in elections: among the exclude were most African Americans, Native Americans, women, men who had not attained their majority, and adult white males who did not own land. Only a small fraction of the population cast ballots in the elections that elevated George Washington and John Adams to the august office of the presidency.
Keyssar, A. (2001). The right to vote: The contested history of democracy in the United States. Basic Books.