Why They Impeached Andrew Johnson
What pressing problems were facing the nation in 1865 ? In 1865 the civil war was going strong during this year , and the government was attempting to enforce laws it passed on slavery , while the South was resisting through armed conflict and the stated desire to leave the union . The loss of Lincoln made the possibility of the North losing very real and it was Johnson 's responsibility to continue the policies of the party which elected him , even though he did have some sympathy for the South 's point of view , and had
close relationships with important Southern leaders . Why was Andrew Johnson placed on the ticket with Abraham Lincoln ? Although he was a slave holder , Johnson remained loyal to the Union and refused to resign as the U .S . Senator from Tennessee when the state seceded at the outbreak of the Civil War . Lincoln selected Johnson for the Vice President slot in 1864 on the "Union Party " to have a Southern man who owned slaves but supported the union This was expected to strengthen the South states willingness to cooperate with the Union and reluctantly accept federal jurisdiction His representation of the South 's interests was expected to get more votes for the Union party ' in the South since people would feel they had true representation at the federal level . What was Andrew Johnson greatest weakness ? Johnson 's close ties with and support for the South was also his greatest weakness . After the war , a series of bitter political quarrels between President Johnson and Radical Republicans in Congress over Reconstruction policy in the South eventually led to his impeachment . How did he antagonize the northern leaders ? Who were they Radical Republicans wanted to enact a sweeping transformation of southern social and economic life , permanently ending the old planter class system , and favored granting freed slaves full-fledged citizenship including voting rights . The Radicals included such notable figures as Representative Thaddeus Stevens of Pennsylvania and Senator Charles Sumner of Massachusetts . Most Radicals came to believe whites in an unrepentant South were seeking to somehow preserve the old slavery system under a new guise . New southern state governments were full of ex-Confederates passing repressive labor laws and punitive Black Codes targeting freed slaves . Representatives sent from the South for the 1865 Congress included the former vice president of the Confederacy and numerous lesser known Rebels , but were denied seats in Congress . In 1866 , this Congress enacted a Civil Rights Act in response to southern Black Codes . President Johnson vetoed the Act claiming it was an invasion of states ' rights and would cause "discord among the races Congress overrode the veto by a single vote . This support of state 's rights over federal law , marked the beginning of an escalating power struggle between the President and Congress that would eventually lead to impeachment . In June of 1866 , Congress passed the Fourteenth Amendment to the U .S . Constitution guaranteeing civil liberties for both native-born and naturalized Americans and prohibiting any state from depriving citizens...
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