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Reconstructing Reconstruction final draft

Reconstructing Reconstruction final draft - Reconstructing...

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Reconstructing Reconstruction By: Jamie M. Dotson
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How could Reconstruction have been more successful? The Radical Republicans viewed President Lincoln’s 10% plan as “too soft.” The plan stated that if 10% of a state’s voting population had taken an oath of allegiance, the state could organize new government. He offered full pardons to rebels willing to renounce secession and to accept emancipation. The pardon restored all property, except slaves, and full political rights. The Radical Republicans opposed this because they viewed the south as “conquered territory. They moved to pass the Wade-Davis Bill in 1864. In it, At least 50% of the voters in a conquered rebel state must take the oath of allegiance before reconstruction could begin. It banned all ex-Confederates from participating in the drafting of the new constitutions. It also guaranteed the equality of freedman before the law. Although Lincoln’s plan did not initially require ex-rebels to extend social or political rights to ex-slaves or anticipate a program of long term federal assistance for them, in his last public address in April 1865, for the first time, he expressed publicly his endorsement of suffrage for southern blacks. I believe that Lincoln’s plan was more what our nation needed at that time. With hostility and violence drastically increasing, the southern states did not need to feel as if they were being “punished” but rather they were being reformed. Lincoln’s plan had a more “peaceful”
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