President Lincoln's Ten Percent Plan For Reconstruction

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Register to read the introduction… As a result, more and more African Americans join the fight..

In December 1863, Lincoln had began postwar planning. He proposed a Ten-Percent plan for

Reconstruction. Under the plan, each southern state would be readmitted to the Union after 10 percent of its

voting population had pledged future loyalty to the United States, and all Confederates except high-ranking

government and military officials would be pardoned.( History Textbook, P426) Along with the Ten-Percent

plan, Lincoln also joined Congress in February 1865 to pass the Thirteenth Amendment to the constitution to

end slavery in the United States. Unfortunately, Lincoln was assassinated in 1865; President Johnson adopted

the Ten Percent plan but was more lenient to the South. Soon southern Democrats regained power and
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Congress decided to bypass Johnson and build civil rights into the Constitution. (History

Textbook, P431) In June 1866, Congress passed the Fourteenth Amendment granted blacks citizenship; then

in February 1869, the Fifteenth Amendment gave black men the right to vote. Ultimately, the push to secure

rights for African Americans were the most significant part of Reconstruction. For the first time in the US

history, African Americans were given the right to vote. African American voice for equal rights was finally

being heard. “If we are called on to do military duty against the rebel armies in the field, why should we be

denied the privilege of voting against rebel citizens at the ballot-box.” (Document C, 1-2) This was a furious

voice by an angry African American. Nevertheless, after the amendments, Document G shows African

Americans voting with satisfaction. Ultimately, the push to secure rights for African Americans was the most

significant part of Reconstruction, and the abolish of the slavery system even more important to American


The emancipation was only a start of physical freedom. Nevertheless, true freedom would come

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