The Civil War was a war that was fought over the civil and humane treatment of every person, regardless of their outward appearances. It left a scathing scar on the nation After the atrocities that were suffered in the Civil war, the nation need a way to heal it’s wounds and unite again. Lincoln had a battle of his own to fight within the congress for the Reconstruction of the nation, While Lincoln believed that the south had suffered enough and had a long road to recovery, the radical republicans wanted to punish the south. They believed that the act of secession by the southern states was treason and the penalties should be strict.
Lincoln’s plan was amiable and compassionate. He wanted to unite the states swiftly with little complications, as there was enough for the states to handle. The Confederacy was in disarray with towns destroyed, railroads in ruin, closed factories, closed banks and a massive debt. Thousands of freedmen and their families roamed free for the first time. Unfortunately, there were no prospects of finding gainful employment for these emancipated families. Lincoln’s Ten Percent Plan, otherwise know as the Proclamation of Amnesty and Reconstruction, consisted of three requirements that any Confederate state would have to fulfill before it would be accepted back into the union. The first part was that all of the citizen’s would be pardoned and redeemed back into the Union if they took the Oath of Allegiance to the Constitution and the Union. For example, in Georgia, the Oath stated,
“I, _____________, of the County of _____________, State of Georgia, do solemnly swear or affirm, in the presence of Almighty God, that I will henceforth faithfully support and defend the Constitution of the United States and the Union faithfully of the States thereunder, and that I will in like manner, abide by and faithfully support all laws and proclamations which have been made during the existing rebellion with reference to the emancipation of slaves—So help me, God. (London, 2010)
This forgiveness would not be granted to highly rank civil and military leaders of the Confederacy. There was another pledge that had to be made in order to fulfill Lincoln’s second requirement. The citizens had to also agree to abide by the Emancipation Proclamation that Lincoln had constructed with the intent to end slavery in the Confederacy. The final step and where the ‘Ten Percent Plan’ moniker came from, was that once ten percent of the voting population took all both oaths, the state could begin to rebuild their state governments and would be re-admitted to the Union.
The Republicans that controlled the Congress wanted to severely punish the Confederate states. They also feared that blacks would not continue to have their hard fought freedom and the strict southern social hierarchy would rebuild itself. To safeguard against this, they proposed a very strict policy of re-admittance. Congress tried to pass the Wade-Davis Bill which would...