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The idea of Reconstruction sounds like an honest and noble plan but the way it was carried out was a disaster Instead of using freedom and equality the very ideals the north stood for Reconstruction was a coercive scheme to advance political agendas Even with the direct efforts put forth by Presidents Lincoln and Johnson Congress was able to morph Reconstruction to fit their own needs One Reconstruction plan which President Lincoln promoted called for lax regulations regarding Southern states The Congressional plan called for more stringent measures concerning civil rights These two opposing policies led to tension between the executive and legislative branches of government President Lincolns policy for Reconstruction was known as the Ten Percent Plan stipulating that Southerners except for high ranking rebels could take an oath promising future loyalty to the Union and acceptance of an end to slavery When the number of those who had taken the oath within any one state reached ten percent of the number who had been registered to vote in 1860 a loyal state government could be formed Only those who had taken the oath would be permitted to participate in the new government Three states Tennessee Arkansas and Louisiana all met the requirements and formed loyal state governments but were refused recognition by Congress which was dominated by Radical Republicans The Radical Republicans such as Thaddeus Stevens of Pennsylvania believed Lincolns plan did not properly punish the South restructure Southern society or boost the political prospects of the Republican Party In the election of 1864 the loyal Southern states were refused representation in Congress and electoral votes Instead of the Ten Percent Plan the Radicals drew up the Wade-Davis Bill and under its stringent terms a majority of the number who had been alive and registered to vote in 1860 would have to swear an oath stating that they were now loyal and had never been disloyal Unless Blacks were given the right to
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