The Ten Percent Plan is a scheme proposed by Abraham Lincoln,according to which, if ten percent of the rebellion state voters claimed their allegiance to the US nation, they could be reintegrated into the US Union.
The American Civil War, which took place from 1861 to 1865, put the state in a condition where some immediate actions towards peace had to be done. Decades of exhaustive tension between the northern and the southern part of the US made the Civil War almost unable to stop adequately. However, Abraham Lincoln, the 16th President of the US, decided to introduce the plan of peace and unity reestablishment across the country. One of the plan’s main strategic points was the Ten Percent Plan.
The resolution of the Ten Percent Plan, also known as Proclamation of Amnesty and Reconstruction, was, by all means, crucial for the course of the Civil War in the US. In 1863, when the war had not ended yet, Abraham Lincoln decided to sign a reconstruction program, which could potentially benefit from finishing the war with minimal loss. The idea, which seemed to be the best solution in terms of the overall events happening in the country, nevertheless was perceived ambiguously. Lincoln’s supporters were confident that the plan was the only way to end the ongoing bloody conflict.
However, there were governors who believed that with Lincoln’s strategy, all the war achievements so far would be eradicated. The American Civil War, in the first place, was predetermined by serious racial and social discrimination. For that reason, people thought that the Ten Percent Plan would equal the legal verification of former relationship patterns between northern and southern Americans.
Louisiana and Arkansas were the two rebellion states that got ten percent of votes to get integrated into the Union. However, some governmental representatives believed that such a way of peace establishment was not justifiable enough.
With the purpose of gaining control over the situation in the state, in 1864, Congress passed to Lincoln the new plan, where the proposed number of ten percent of state voters was replaced by fifty percent. The proposition was not supported by the government, but they also realized that the country demanded a distinctly new approach to conflict management. For that reason, legislative representatives decided to go back to the root of the problem, slavery, and discrimination.
The governmental actions taken towards the end of the Civil War in the US resulted in the absolute ban of slavery across the country. Since 1865, no one could legally own the rights and freedoms of other individuals, regardless of their ethnic or racial affiliation. Thus, the beginning of the reconstruction policy has led to the patterns of social structure present in today’s US legislative system.
To sum everything up, Abraham Lincoln’s Ten Percent Rule has crucial significance for US history. First of all, it was beneficial in terms of putting an end to the continuous enmity between social groups across the country.
Secondly, the plan has become the basis for the creation of a completely new policy of the US residents’ treatment on both social and governmental levels. Last but not least, the significance of the Ten Percent Plan is evident in the current US social structure. Since the slavery ban in the 19th century, tolerance policy has become one of the major concerns for the country’s residents.