As Abraham Lincoln said in his Second Inaugural Address, "With malice toward none, with charity for all," he hoped to bring the South back into the Union with a forgiving hand. Lincoln's plan was based on the 10 percent rule. This rather generous plan would allow the former Confederate states...
As Abraham Lincoln said in his Second Inaugural Address, "With malice toward none, with charity for all," he hoped to bring the South back into the Union with a forgiving hand. Lincoln's plan was based on the 10 percent rule. This rather generous plan would allow the former Confederate states to be reintegrated back into the Union once ten percent of their voters swore loyalty to the United States. Under this plan, nearly all former confederates would be granted a pardon. They would then be able to draft their state constitutions and elect their own state assemblies.
It was hoped that this kinder version of reconciliation would encourage the rebels to lay down their arms and accept defeat. This plan would be the hallmark of Presidential Reconstruction. Lincoln was assassinated before this plan could be put into action. His successor, Andrew Johnson happened to be even more lenient to the former Confederacy by returning all Southern property rights (accept for their slaves).
This all seemed far too kind to the so-called Radical Republicans in Congress. With a Congressional majority, they instituted their own vision of Reconstruction. While Presidential Reconstruction was designed to simply bring the South back into the Union, Congressional Reconstruction intended to completely alter the fabric of Southern society and make sure the former Confederate states were punished.
They denied Southern states full readmittance into the Union until they ratified the Fourteenth Amendment, giving former slaves the full rights of citizens. To enforce this, the Radical Republicans sent the federal army into the South as an occupation force. As you can see, the severity of the two Reconstruction plans defines their main difference.