The Reconstruction Era was a very trying time for America. The country just ended the long deliberated, destructive civil war, leaving the south in utter ruins. The land that was previously used so prevalently with plantations was now almost unusable. Also the majority of the work force, namely the former slaves, no longer worked in such large numbers and for no pay. The Reconstruction Era was centered on rebuilding the south as well as finding a place for the newly freed slaves. There were countless ideas on how the country should treat the south but two main plans that went into play, Lincoln's Plan and Johnson's Plan.
Lincoln's Plan was started before the official end to the war. He first purposed the ten percent plan in which a full pardon would be given to any confederate soldier who would uphold the values of the constitution, and recognize any state where ten percent of the population vote to create a government which abolishes slavery. This plan did not go well with the radical republicans who wanted the south to pay for causing the north to go through complete hell. They also believed that if the south were treated to leniently they would just restore their previous power and cause more turmoil. Due to this belief congress tried to pass the Wade-Davis Bill, where fifty percent of voters had to take an "ironclad" oath that they had never voluntarily supported the Confederacy, Lincoln vetoed this bill. Lincoln started on his own plan but the states that went along were not accepted by congress and were not allowed to take a seat in the senate or the house. Before anything could get accomplished Lincoln was assassinated and Johnson became our new president.
The next set of reconstruction plans put into action were instilled by the successor to Lincoln, Johnson. Johnson, largely because he was a southern senator and didn't want the radical republicans to be negative toward him from the start, attacked the aristocracy of the south by publicly announcing that the rebellion must be punished.