Problems Facing United States after the defeat of the Confederates.

Essay by skrunkeyspieUniversity, Bachelor's January 2006

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The problem facing government after the defeat of the Confederate States was what should be done with these states, and how can they be brought back into the union. There were plans for this reconstruction set forth by both Andrew Johnson and Abraham Lincoln, as well as by Congress. These three sources wanted the full restoration of the United States, but faced the problem of socio-economic permanence in the South. However, they differed on many aspects. Lincoln set forth a plan know as the "Ten Percent Plan" in which pardon was offered to any Confederate who would swear to support the Union and the Constitution. Once a group in any state equal in number to one tenth of that states total vote in the election of 1860 took the oath to support, and created a government that abolished slavery, Lincoln would grant that government recognition.

Lincoln's plan had quick opposition in Congress by the Radicals who believed that the power would be restored to the Planter nobility.

In July 1864, Congress passed the Wade-Davis Bill, which required fifty percent of a state's male voters to take an oath that they had never voluntarily supported the Confederacy. Lincoln, however, vetoed the Wade-Davis Bill from becoming law, and he implemented his own plan. Several states had tried to follow Lincoln's plan, such as Louisiana, Arkansas, Virginia, and Tennessee. Congress refused to seat the parties from these states, and when President Lincoln was assassinated in 1865, Congress was going no where with Lincoln's Plan.

After Johnson became President, he moved to enact Lincoln's program, but modified it. Under Johnson's Plan, the states of the former Confederacy would be established with new states governments, including governors appointed by him. The states were to abolish slavery, and Confederate Debt would be repudiated.