Wednesday, May 4, 2011
One Reconstruction Idea
A program for Southern Reconstruction, the Wade - Davis Bill, was written by Radical Republicans Ohio Senator Benjamin Wade and Maryland Representative Henry Winter Davis. The Bill grew from a plan initiated by New York Senator Ira Harris in February 1863. The provision in the Bill would make it nearly impossible for the Southern seceded States to re-enter Union and they would then have to remain under National control.
President Abraham Lincoln objected to the Bill’s idea that the Southern States needed to re-join the Union. He felt that since the Southern State had no constitutional right to secede in the first place, they were still and always had been a part of the Union. The Bill required States to draw up new State Constitutions banning slavery, which at that time Congress had no power to require. Lincoln felt the Confederates should be coaxed through a reconstruction, while the Bill wished to punish them as traitors. Lincoln but an end to the Bill using a pocket veto.
Two web sites that will give you more information on this subject are Wade - Davis Bill and Wade-Davis