Andrew Johnson - a Short Analysis

Topics: Abraham Lincoln, Ulysses S. Grant, Reconstruction era of the United States Pages: 2 (747 words) Published: January 29, 2001
President Andrew Johnson lifted himself out of extreme poverty to become President of the United States. He was a man with little education who climbed the political ladder and held many different high offices. As a strict constitutionalist, Johnson believed in limiting the powers of the federal government. President Johnson was one of the most bellicose Presidents who "fought" Congress, critics, and many others. President Andrew Johnson faced numerous problems post-Civil War Era including reconstructing the Southern states to combine peacefully with the Union, his battles with Congress, and his career ending impeachment. Following Lincoln's tragic assassination, President Andrew Johnson took on the accountability of making Reconstruction a reality. Andrew Johnson wanted to use Lincoln's ideas of reconstruction but in a modified form. Since Congress would be in recess for eight more months Johnson decided to go ahead with his plan. Johnson's goal in reconstruction was to grant amnesty to all former Confederates (except high officials), the ordinances of secession were to be revoked, Confederate debts would repudiate, and the states had to ratify the Thirteenth Amendment. Once the states swore to a loyalty oath to abide by the conditions they would be allowed to return to the Union. After swearing to the oath Confederate States would be allowed to govern themselves. With this power the states implemented the creation of a system of black codes that restricted the actions of freed slaves in much the same way, if not exactly the same way, that slaves were restricted under the old law. The end result of his plan was a hopeless conflict with the Radical Republicans who dominated Congress, passed measures over Johnson's vetoes, and attempted to limit the power of the executive concerning appointments and removals. As soon as Johnson was made president he began to disagree with Congress, particularly those Congressional members of his opposing party. Later,...
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