When the Civil War ended in 1865, there was no definite plan for reconstructing the Union. This was a very serious matter. President Lincoln had begun thinking about this while he was in office. In 1863 he proposed his Ten Percent Plan. This policy would allow seceding states to return to the Union if ten percent of their prewar voters took an oath of loyalty to the Union and if the state would prohibit slavery. Although the plan forced states to prohibit slavery it did not force them to grant equal rights to blacks. The Ten Percent Plan was a good idea but some Republicans felt that it was not strict enough. This paved the way for the Wade-Davis Bill. This bill required the majority of a state's prewar voters to pledge loyalty to the Union and that blacks were seen as equal in the eyes of the law. These plans led to controversy. Some people felt that because the constitution never mentioned succession, the states never actually seceded the Union so they didn't need to be formally readmitted. Others felt that the states from the South had given up their rights once they left the Union so they must be readmitted.
Upon the close of the Civil War, Congress was not in session. They would not meet again... [continues]
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