AMERICAN NOTES: Coming of Age in Vermont

The rest of the U.S. tends to regard northern New Englanders, rather fondly, as staid hardy souls bred in an exacting climate and devoted to the notion that respect is something to be granted only grudgingly after years of character testing. Thus it was something of a surprise that Vermont this month moved more forcefully than any other state to grant its restive young a new equality with their elders. The Vermont legislature became the first to accord 18-year-olds full majority rights.

Beginning in July, Vermont youths will be able at 18 to vote in all elections, buy any alcoholic...

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