Reconstruction was an attempt to rebuild the South after the Civil War. It was noble in its aspirations; not only was Southern society and its economy to be rebuilt, Blacks were to be given rights and freedoms. They were to become Americans at last. However, this noble effort was ultimately doomed, and would fail. Reconstruction had to address post-war problems, and newly-freed blacks would need to be integrated into society, however, there were radically different ideas about how to approach this; white society would not accept these changes, leading to the overall failure of Reconstruction and the continuation of black oppression. Reconstruction had to tackle many post-war issues, including the readmission of Southern States, the rebuilding …show more content…
He held a lenient position when it came to the South, and his plan and actions embittered the Radical Republicans, which would ultimately cause his impeachment, earning him the distinction of being the first U.S. President to be impeached, which was was ruinous to him even though he was acquitted. Johnson vetoed both the Freedman's Bureau Act and the Civil Rights Act passed by the Republican Congress. (Both vetoes were over-ridden). He wanted to grant amnesty to almost all southerners, Confederate political leaders could apply for a Presidential pardon. Johnson was not pro-black, however, and only white male voters would be allowed. He also wanted the former Confederate States to ratify the 13th Amendment, which abolished slavery. In addition, all property rights were to be restored. He implemented this plan while Congress was in recess, and by the end of 1865 the former Confederacy was ready to rejoin the Union, sans Texas. (Kennedy, …show more content…
All states were to ratify the 14th Amendment
Congress followed up by revoking habeas corpus, and quickly overturned Johnson's vetoes of the measures. The states that had not been readmitted fell into line and did so, seven of them in 1868, and the final three in 1870, after they ratified the 15th Amendment, which guaranteed the right of black men to vote. Still yet, Congress had to address another problem. Andrew Johnson's control of the military. Congress decided to address this problem with the Tenure of Office Act. The act was to prevent the President from removing Edward Stanton, a key ally of the Republicans and also the Secretary of War. It was also intended to prevent Johnson from replacing Republicans in office with Democrats. In 1868, Johnson removed Stanton from office, in violation of the Act. He felt the Act was unconstitutional, and his action with Stanton was an intentional move on his part, primarily to have the Act tested in the courts. Congress immediately over-rode his action, and moved to impeach Johnson, making him the first President to face this action. After 11 weeks of trial, Johnson was acquitted, the impeachment failing by a single vote. During the rest of his Presidency, he was continually defeated by Congress – his vetoes over-ridden – and in 1868, General Ulysses S. Grant, the Republican nominee, won the Presidency. (PBS,

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