What were the strengths and weaknesses of Lincoln's Reconstruction plan?

Expert Answers

An illustration of the letter 'A' in a speech bubbles

One major disadvantage of Lincoln's plan was its leniency. Lincoln wanted to allow the former states of the Confederacy back into the Union with only ten percent of the eligible voters swearing loyalty to the Union. He also did not insist on black suffrage. While Lincoln did insist on a slavery ban, he was not as progressive on civil rights as many abolitionists hoped. Lincoln's plan was to bring the South back into the Union with as little turmoil as possible; he did not view Reconstruction as a vehicle for social change. Lincoln's plan also did not realize the animosity that many in the North felt toward the Southern leadership, as there were cries from the Radical Republicans that certain Southern leaders should hang for their crimes. Lincoln's plan was not as stringent as the Wade-Davis Bill that eventually passed; this bill called for fifty percent of the eligible voters in a state to swear loyalty to the Union and required black suffrage.

The major disadvantage also turned out to be...

(The entire section contains 3 answers and 789 words.)

Unlock This Answer Now

Start your 48-hour free trial to unlock this answer and thousands more. Enjoy eNotes ad-free and cancel anytime.

Start your 48-Hour Free Trial
Approved by eNotes Editorial Team