Racism And Reconstruction Essay Research Paper Although

Racism And Reconstruction Essay, Research Paper

Although Lincoln’s Plan of Reconstruction was not put into effect in

the South after the Civil War, if it had been racism would have been

almost completely avoided in the 20th century. Licoln’s proposed plan

was called the “10% Plan.” It called for 10% of the people would voted

in the 1860 Election to take a pledge of loyalty to the Union. This

plan was met by harsh oppostion by the Radical Republicans in Congress

who viewed the South as conquered territory. These Radicals said that

Lincoln’s plan was much too soft. In return, Republicans in Congress

then moved to pass the Wade-Davis Bill in 1864. This bill required

that a majority of the South would have to take an iron clad oath that

the had never supported the Confederacy. The Wade-Davis bill was

pocket-vetoed by Lincoln who was assassinated shortly after. Johnson

took over the presidency and his Plan of Reconstruction was passes.

Instead of Lincoln’s “10% Plan”, Johnson’s Plan of Reconstuction was

put into effect. Johnson’s plan was much more acrimonious towards the

South. Johnson’s plan demanded that the South nullify their

secessions, hold stae conventions, adopt the 13th amendment, re-elect


The question of how to reconstruct the devistated South after the Civil

War was one of immense importance in many aspects. Most would argue

that the problems involving the South adjusting socially to the notion

of liberated blacks was the msot heated issue. It was an issue that

encompassed both a change in lifestyle as well as in longstanding moral

values. Both Presdential and Congressional plans were developed in an

attempt to ensure Reconstruction would be as smooth as a political,

economic and social revolution as humanly possible.

President Abraham Lincoln believed from the start of the War, and

therefore the start of Reconstruction, that the Southern states had

never legally seceded from the Untion. Therefore his plan for

reconstruction would be aimed at preserving the peace of the Union and

fairly rebuilding the South. Lincoln’s “10 % Plan” was the

Presidential attempt to see to it that the South would adhere to the

ideals surrounding emancipation. Lincoln claimed he would then work on

re-developing the structure of each state government.

The difference of opinion between the President and Congress over this

matter not only revealed the differences between each sector

politically, but set the stage for heated emotions in regards to


This whole chain of events was much a part of the seperation now

existing within political parties, as well as dividing views held by

Southerners. Due to the bickering in Washington, problems starting

arising in the South involving discrimination against liberated

blacks. The enactment of Black Codes by newly formed Southern regimes

was hurting the black emancipation movement. These laws were created

to control the affiars of the freed blacks, acting as post-Civil War

slave statutes. Now the Southern ideals of white aristocractic

supremacy were revitalized and racist viewpoints as well as prejudice

societies were formed. Although it is true that the passage of

Lincoln’s 10 Percent plan would have been a far simplier, swifter way

of starating the task of Reconstruction, it could not have

singlehandedly stopped the inevitable Southern backlash regarding

empancipation. Therefore, although the 10 percent plan would have more

readily assissted in the transtition from slavery! to emancipation, it

would have not been able to stop the formation of racist ideals or


Even though we have racism today in almost the 21st century, it

probably could be severely lessened had we used Lincoln’s Plan of



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