What was the Wade Davis/Ten Percent Plan?
| What was the Wade Davis/Ten Percent Plan?
By Cynthia Kirkeby
Jun 20, 2007, 18:33
According to SparkNotes:
The Wade Davis Bill was submitted "in the summer of 1864. The Radical Republicans passed the Wade-Davis Bill to counter Lincoln's Ten-Percent Plan. The bill stated that a southern state could rejoin the Union only if 50 percent of its registered voters swore an "ironclad oath" of allegiance to the United States. The bill also established safeguards for black civil liberties but did not give blacks the right to vote.
The Ten Percent Plan was Lincoln's plan for reunification after the Civil War. In a nutshell, "Once ten percent of a southern state's 1860 voters had taken an oath of loyalty, the state could rejoin the Union."
President Lincoln feared that asking 50 percent of voters to take a loyalty oath would ruin any chance of ending the war swiftly. Moreover, 1864 was an election year, and he could not afford to have northern voters see him as an uncompromising radical. Because the Wade-Davis Bill was passed near the end of Congress's session, Lincoln was able to pocket-veto it, effectively blocking the bill by refusing to sign it before Congress went into recess. "
- Source: Mr. Jordan, Teacher- Ithaca High School
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