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Why They Impeached Andrew Johnson

By mariana20121 May 05, 2013 423 Words
Why They Impeached Andrew Johnson
David Donald

The rode to achieving reconstruction after the Civil War would establish a series of daunting troubles for the United States of America. In the reading “Why They Impeached Andrew Johnson” David Donald revisits the events that led up to Andrew Johnson's impeachment and the nations struggle to attain reconstruction under his presidency. The outcome of the Civil War issued the Union Government victorious over the former Confederate States. The Civil War left the nation in a frantic state to establish a form of government in order to preserve order. Many questions arose regarding the actions that would be taken against the defeated southerners and the civil rights of the now free slaves. Then President, Abraham Lincoln was carefully devising a plan towards the restoration of government. As a result of his victory in Civil War “he was able to promise freedom to all the blacks, charity to the southern white, security to the North.” Southern whites were not in agreement with newly granted rights to former black slaves and in return “rejected moderate leaders, and inveterate racist spoke for the new South.”

Abraham Lincoln was assassinated in 1865, shortly after the end of the Civil War, leaving the executive office to his successor Andrew Johnson. Shadowing the war, plans were made for the reconstruction of the United States. Lincoln's plans for reconstruction would eventually be over written by Johnson's poor leadership in office. Andrew Johnson had many weaknesses, his greatest one of all was his “sensitivity to public opinion” as well as failing to recognize that he had no political base or his lack of understanding of how to fulfill the role of party leader. Johnson’s faults during his term were direct examples of poor leadership and would result in a disgraceful presidency.

In May, 1865 would mark the beginning of Johnson’s dishonorable and poor leadership. Johnson took matters into his own hands and disregarded public opinion concerning the restoration of the Southern states to Union. He issued a proclamation of amnesty, therefore granting forgiveness too approximately millions of former rebels. Johnson was pardoning ex- Confederate officials and entrusting them with the formation of new government in the South to them. The Confederates were given rein over provisional governments under Andrew Johnson. Johnson’s favoring actions towards the South were angering the Northern states. They were not in agreement with Johnson’s haste decision to restore the Confederate states without punishment. They did not approve of the ex-Confederate’s influence in government.

Andrew Johnson had no political base

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