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Wade-Davis Bill

First page of "A Bill to guaranty to certain states whose governments have been usurped or overthrown, a republican form of government." (Wade-Davis bill as amended by Representative Thaddeus Stevens), 1864

National Archives and Records Administration, Records of the U.S. House of Representatives

During House consideration of the Wade Davis bill, an amendment by Radical Republican Representative Thaddeus Stevens of Pennsylvania added a preamble. Stevens’s amendment vividly captures how the South was viewed by Radical Republicans in Congress. Former Confederate states were "a public enemy," not entitled to representation in Congress or to govern themselves.

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