Between the 1770s and the 1820s, settler colonization and the plantation complex continued to expand. The Lower South broadened political rights and social privileges for poorer whites. In the same period, however, the region discouraged or prohibited the growth of similar benefits or rights for most Natives and nearly all African Americans—whether free or enslaved. Viable political coalitions emerged to expand the voting franchise to white men. Coalitions also emerged to support expanded social citizenship, best exemplified by the creation of state-funded, state-wide schools for poorer whites. In doing so, the Lower South sometimes led Britain and the more northerly sections of the new United States. Such democratic reforms gained meaning and strength from the exclusion of people of color. Learning became regulated by the democratic-republican state, which itself was racialized and colonial.