US Civil War
History of the United States
Abraham Lincoln

What was Abraham Lincoln's plan for reconstruction?



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Lincoln tried to reestablish peace between the Union (the north) and the Confederates (the south). He offered amnesty, or pardon, to all Southerners who pledged an oath of loyalty to the United States. When 10% of a state's voters had signed this oath, Congress would reinstate the state into the Union. He also urged that African Americans who could read and write gain the right to vote.

Resistance to Lincoln's plan was shown by his Radical Republican opponents in Congress. This group proposed a bill that would put the South under military rule and only allow a state to be readmitted to the Union if it the majority of the electorate signed an oath of loyalty. Lincoln vetoed this bill. However, when he realized that his own plans were not necessarily working, he began to negotiate with the Radical Republican leaders. It was at this point that Lincoln was assassinated. This negated Lincoln's plans for reconstruction.