What were the major differences between presidential and congressional Reconstruction plans?
I will share the features of each plan so you can see the similarities and differences.
Lincoln’s Ten Percent Plan (December 1863)
- 10% of the voters of a state would take an oath of loyalty to the U.S.
- New state governments could form and would adopt a constitution banning slavery
- Amnesty (forgiveness) offered to all white Southerners who agreed to be loyal to U.S. excluding Confederate leaders
- Lincoln encouraged the states to give the right to vote to the former slaves
Wade-Davis Bill (Plan of Congress in July 1864)
- A majority (over 50%) of white males had to agree to be loyal to the U.S.
- Only white males who pledged they had never taken up arms (weapons) against the Union could vote for delegates to constitutional conventions
- Slavery had to be abolished in the new constitutions which would be written
- Former confederate leaders couldn’t hold office
President Johnson’s Reconstruction Plan
- Amnesty and the return of their property were offered if people promised to be loyal to the U.S.
- High ranking Confederates had to apply to the President for amnesty (wanted to get back at wealthy southerners who he thought tricked white southerners into seceding)
- Only people who promised to be loyal and who were pardoned could vote for delegates to state constitutional conventions
- Temporary state governments would be set up, secession must be rejected, and the 13th amendment (which abolished slavery) had to be ratified in the state constitutions
Radical Republican Plan
- Divided South into five military districts and created new governments in ten southern states under a military commander
- Only Tennessee, which ratified the 14th amendment, kept its own government, and it was readmitted to the Union in 1866
- Former Confederate leaders couldn’t hold political office
- African-American males could vote in state elections
- Set process for rejoining the Union in which states would write and approve new constitutions that Congress also had to approve
- Ratify the 13th and 14th amendment
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