What are the similarities between Lincoln's, Johnson's, and Congress's plans for Reconstruction?

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Lincoln's plan for Reconstruction was called the Ten Percent Plan. In it, ten percent of the eligible voters in a state in 1860 would have to take a loyalty oath to the Union in order for that state to be readmitted into the Union. States would also have to ratify the Thirteenth Amendment. Lincoln did not want to hang former Confederate leaders; rather, he hoped that they would seek asylum abroad and never return to the United States. Lincoln's plan was still evolving at the time of his assassination in April 1865.

Johnson, who was on the presidential ticket in 1864 to provide balance, did not see Reconstruction the same way. Johnson vetoed additional funding to the Freedmen's Bureau, as he believed that Reconstruction should be a state-mandated affair. He thought that black suffrage should also be led at the state level, rather than through a constitutional amendment. While he did seek to punish the rich plantation owners, he wanted the poor whites who made up the bulk of the former Confederate army to be able to vote.

Johnson's plan was considered too lenient, as Johnson would ultimately grant several pardons to individual rich Southerners allowing them back into political life. Congress passed the Wade-Davis bill, which allowed suffrage for all black males. It also mandated that fifty percent of those eligible to vote in 1860 would have to take loyalty oaths. Many Radical Republicans were in favor of persecuting the former Confederate leadership. While Johnson was initially hailed by them as being harsher than Lincoln, he was treated as a traitor when he pushed for states to take the lead on Reconstruction. Johnson's inability to get along with Congress ultimately led to his impeachment.

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There were very few things that were similar about these three plans. Lincoln's plan had evolved by his death to include such measures as voting rights for African-American war veterans, so this was a major departure from Johnson's plan. Overall, Congressional Reconstruction featured a much greater emphasis on equality for freedmen in the South, and the federal government played a much more prominent role in making this happen. Such measures as the Freedmen's Bureau, the Civil Rights Act of 1866, and the administration of the former Confederacy by military governors featured in Congressional Reconstruction, which was promoted by a faction of so-called "Radical" Republicans. Johnson vetoed congressional legislation aimed at establishing these measures. The main feature that these plans for Reconstruction all shared was an acceptance that slavery had to be abolished and that the Southern states, or at least their leaders, had to renounce the Confederacy and swear allegiance to the Union in order to regain admission. But Congressional Reconstruction was far more attentive to the rights of African-Americans than Johnson's vision for Reconstruction.

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