Birth-Death: (1808 - 1875 ) Term: (1865-1869 )
President Johnson wanted to bring the nation together, and focus on the future, not the past. Early on, he began reconstruction efforts, and issued pardons to those who would take an oath of allegiance to the Union. It was his ultimate goal to avoid the bitterness war had created.
Domestic Events of Andrew Johnson
After the assassination of President Lincoln, Johnson tried to take control of the reconstruction, but he was brushed off by Congress. Instead of Lincoln's ten percent plan, a harsher plan was established for readmitting states into the Union. All states had to ratify the thirteenth and fourteenth amendments to regain their seats in Congress. However, only Tennessee passed the fourteenth amendment which forced the South to give equal civil rights to the blacks.
Since the rest of the states did not pass the amendment, their territory was divided into five military districts with a general in charge of each district. Martial law prevailed and order was established. Nevertheless, the governments passed black codes and established Jim Crow laws to prevent the freedmen for voting. In response the government passed the fifteenth amendment which was intended to force the states to permit black suffrage. However, this amendment was widely disregarded by the South, and with the help of the Ku Klux Klan, the Knights of the White Camelia, the Order of the White Rose, and other organizations that used violence to keep blacks from voting, many blacks never voted in the South.
Towards the end of his Presidency, Congress became increasingly frustrated with president Johnson's actions and Johnson was impeached. Following the constitutional rules, a trial was held in the Senate with the Chief Justice of the Supreme Court as the judge. In the end, Johnson was found not guilty by one vote.
[ Back | Andrew Johnson ]