What are the differences between President Lincoln's reconstruction plan and the reconstruction plan of Congress known as the Wade-Davis Bill?

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mkoren eNotes educator| Certified Educator

Both President Lincoln and Congress presented a plan for Reconstruction before the war ended. President Lincoln believed the President should be directing the reconstruction process. There were some differences between the two plans.

President Lincoln’s plan was known as the Ten Percent Plan. It required that 10% of the voters of a state had to agree to be loyal to the United States. Then the state could develop a new constitution that banned slavery. The Wade-Davis Bill required over 50% of the voters of a state to agree to be loyal to the United States. The only people who could be involved in writing the new state constitutions were white males who indicated they had not fought against the Union. President Lincoln’s plan didn’t address this issue. President Lincoln’s plan also offered forgiveness, or amnesty, to white southerners who promised to be loyal to the United States. However, this offer of amnesty didn’t apply to the leaders of the Confederacy. The Wade-Davis Bill had to be signed by President Lincoln in order for it to go into effect. However, he vetoed the Wade-Davis Bill.

Both President Lincoln and Congress had reconstruction plans before the Civil War ended.