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Planning Reconstruction At the end of the Civil War, southerners were starving and poor. Reconstruction was the process of reuniting the nation and rebuilding the southern states without slavery. It lasted from 1865 to 1877. President Lincoln wanted to reunite the nation as quickly and painlessly as possible. Ten Percent Plan Lincoln wanted to offer southerners a pardon for all illegal acts supporting the rebellion. To receive the pardon, they had to swear an oath of loyalty to the United States and accept a ban on slavery. Once 10 percent of voters in a state made that pledge, they could form a new state government. The state the could be readmitted to the Union. Conflict People pointed out that Congress had the power to admit states. They argued that Congress, not the president, should control the southern states’ return to the Union. Other Republicans disagreed with Lincoln’s Ten Percent Plan. These Republicans believed that along with the slavery ban (Wade-Davis Bill): A majority of adult males need a loyalty oath. Only southerners who never supported the Confederacy could vote or hold office. The Thirteenth Amendment People were afraid that the Emancipation Proclamation would be short lived. On December 18, 1865, the Thirteenth Amendment was ratified. The Thirteenth Amendment outlawed slavery. Frederick Douglass insisted that “slavery is not abolished until the black man has the ballot.” Freedmen’s Bureau In 1865, Congress established the Freedmen’s Bureau. The purpose was to provide relief for all poor people- black or white- in the South. Also, the Freedmen’s Bureau helped to promote education in the South. Laws in the South kept African Americans from learning to read and write. Colleges and schools were established to serve over 150,000 students. A New President On April 14, 1865, Lincoln and his wife attended a play at Ford’s Theatre in Washington D.C. During the play, John Wilkes Booth sneaked into the President’s theatre box and shot him. Lincoln died the next morning as a plot went across the nation to kill other government officials. Vice President Andrew Johnson was sworn into office that morning. Republicans liked Johnson because he seemed to favor a tougher approach to Reconstruction than Lincoln. Johnson’s Reconstruction Plan Instead, Johnson’s plan was easier: Southerners who took the loyalty oath could vote for representatives. The new state government had to declare secession illegal. By the end of 1865, all the southern states except Texas set up their new government. When these new representatives tried to take their seats, Congress refused to let them in. They complained that the new southern representatives had been military and political leaders of the Confederacy.