RCC Honors History Project

The Wade Davis bill, too harsh?

Posted by dmcneal347 on March 8, 2009

Even before the Civil War was over, there was disagreements on the best way to reconstruct the south. President Lincoln suggested the 10 percent plan that “Enabled the south to rejoin the union if at least 10 percent of those who voted in the 1860 election took an oath of allegiance to the union and accept emancipation.” It exclude Confederate government officials, army and naval officers, and blacks who had not been voters in 1860 from taking the oath.

The Radical Republicans on the other hand wanted to punish the south even further. Congress passed the Wade Davis bill in 1864. The wade davis bill assigned a military governor to rule each former confederate state and only after at least 50 percent of the eligible voters in the state took that oath, then could the state become part of the union agian. they also had to abolish slavery. The delegate would also have to take a second oath, that he swore to have never supported the confederacy. Lincoln pocket vetoed the bill.

which do you think is better? do you think even though the south suffered tremendously becuase of the civil war they still should have been delayed from joining the union? Black suffrage wasnt mentioned in either one of the bills. why do you think this is?

work cited:
Boyer, Pual S. The Enduring Vision. Vol. 2. 6th ed. Boston: Houghton Mifflin Company, 2008. 2 vols. 865-67.


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