…and seemingly unenlightened from our modern perspectives view them, are very much right about this. The enlightenment perspective is no more different than Ancient Greek philosophers who felt that only those who understood philosophy (of course) should vote in Athenian democracy.
The Greek ideal was long understood to be impractical as the issue became the definition of citizen. The starting point was free and independent people. Athenian democracy didn’t last and the Roman Republic, the real model for the Enlightenment, came apart, also.
The error was the substitution of wealth for knowledge. Small landholders needed to be practical and careful. That was a valuable form of knowledge hence the slow build of English parliamentarianism on yeoman farmers.
The American Experiment tried for that but failed. It worked fairly well while there were small farmers and most common class and a continent of land to steal. That still worked with a string socialist structure resulting from the Depression and WWII. But greed is not knowledge.