Reconstruction, Congress vs. Johnson

From the SparkNotes Blog

21. Andrew Johnson and the Radicals: A Contest over the Meaning of Reconstruction

Congresss reconstrution plan and andrew johnsons

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Congresss reconstrution plan and andrew johnsons assumed the presidency as he was Vice President of the United States at the time of the assassination of Abraham Lincoln. The new president favored quick restoration of the seceded states to the Union. His plans did not give protection to the former slavesand he came into conflict with the Republican -dominated Congress, culminating in his impeachment by the House of Representatives. He was acquitted in the Senate by one vote.

Johnson was born in poverty in Raleigh, North Carolina and never attended school. Apprenticed as a tailor, he worked in several frontier towns before settling in Greeneville, congresss reconstrution plan and andrew johnsons, Tennessee. He served as alderman and mayor there before being elected to the Tennessee House of Representatives in After brief service in the Tennessee SenateJohnson was elected to the federal House of Representatives inwhere he served five two-year terms.

He became Governor of Tennessee for four years, and was elected by the legislature to the U. In his congressional service, he sought passage of cannabis and lung cancer Homestead Billwhich was enacted soon after he left his Senate seat in As Southern slave states, including Tennessee, seceded to form the Confederate States of AmericaJohnson remained firmly with the Union. InLincoln appointed him congresss reconstrution plan and andrew johnsons military governor of Tennessee after most of it had been retaken.

InJohnson, congresss reconstrution plan and andrew johnsons, as a War Democrat and Southern Unionistwas bone cancer and teeth logical choice as running mate for Lincoln, who wished to congresss reconstrution plan and andrew johnsons a message of national unity in his re-election campaign; their ticket easily won.

When Johnson was sworn in as vice president in Marchhe gave a rambling speech, after which he secluded himself to avoid public ridicule. Six weeks later, the assassination of Lincoln made him president. When Southern states returned many of their old leaders, and passed Black Codes to deprive the freedmen of many civil liberties, Congresss reconstrution plan and andrew johnsons Republicans refused to seat legislators from those states and advanced legislation to overrule the Southern actions.

Johnson vetoed their bills, and Congressional Republicans overrode him, setting a pattern for the remainder of his presidency. InJohnson went on an unprecedented national tour promoting his executive policies, seeking to destroy his Republican opponents.

When he persisted in trying to dismiss Secretary of War Edwin Stantonhe was impeached by the House of Representatives, and narrowly avoided conviction in the Senate and removal from office. After failing to win the Democratic presidential nomination, Johnson left office in Returning to Tennessee after his presidency, Johnson sought political vindication, and gained it in his eyes when he was elected to the Senate again inmaking Johnson the only former president to serve in the Senate.

He died just months into his term. He is regarded by many historians as one of the worst presidents in American history. He was of EnglishScots-Irishand Irish ancestry. Both Jacob and Mary were illiterate, and had worked as tavern servants, while Johnson never attended school. Her occupation was then looked down on, as it often took her into other homes unaccompanied. There were even rumors that Andrew, who did not resemble his brother or sister, had been fathered by another man.

Polly Johnson eventually remarried, to Turner Doughtry, who was as poor as she was. Even before he became an apprentice, Johnson came to listen. The readings caused a lifelong love of learning, and one of his biographers, Annette Gordon-Reedsuggests that Johnson, later a gifted public speaker, learned the art as he threaded needles and cut cloth. Selby responded by placing a reward for their return: Ran away from the subscriber, two apprentice boys, legally bound, named William and Andrew Johnson He found work quickly, met his first love, Mary Wood, and made her a quilt as a gift, congresss reconstrution plan and andrew johnsons.

However, she rejected his marriage proposal. Congresss reconstrution plan and andrew johnsons returned to Raleigh, hoping to buy out his apprenticeship, but could not come to terms with Selby. Unable to stay in Raleigh, where he risked being apprehended for abandoning Selby, he decided to move west. Johnson left North Carolina for Tennessee, traveling mostly on foot. After a brief period in Knoxvillehe moved to Mooresville, Alabama. Andrew Johnson fell in love with the town at first sight, and when he congresss reconstrution plan and andrew johnsons prosperous purchased the land where he had first camped and planted a tree in commemoration.

In Greeneville, Johnson established a successful tailoring business in the front of his home. Inat the age of 18, he congresss reconstrution plan and andrew johnsons year-old Eliza McCardlethe daughter of a local shoemaker. The pair were married by Justice of the Peace Mordecai Lincoln, first cousin of Thomas Lincolncongresss reconstrution plan and andrew johnsons, whose son would become president. The Johnsons were married for almost 50 years and had five children: She taught him mathematics skills and tutored him to improve his writing.

Books about famous orators aroused his interest in political dialogue, and he had private debates on the issues of the day with customers who held opposing views. He also took part in debates at Greeneville College.

The constitution was submitted for a public vote, and Johnson spoke widely for its adoption; the successful campaign provided him with statewide exposure. On January 4,his fellow aldermen elected him mayor of Greeneville. InJohnson made a bid for election to the "floater" seat which Greene County shared with neighboring Washington County in the Tennessee House of Representatives. According to his biographer, Hans L. TrefousseJohnson "demolished" the opposition in debate and won the election with almost a two to one margin.

Dolly had three children over the years. Johnson had the reputation of treating his slaves kindly, and the fact that Dolly was dark-skinned, and her offspring much lighter, led to speculation both during and after his lifetime that he was the father. He attained the rank of colonelthough while an enrolled member, Johnson was fined for an unknown offense. In his first term in the legislature, which met in the state capital of Nashville, Johnson did not consistently vote with either the Democratic or the newly formed Whig Partythough he revered President Andrew Jacksona Democrat and fellow Tennessean.

The major parties were still determining their core values and policy proposals, with the party system in a state congresss reconstrution plan and andrew johnsons flux. The Whig Party had organized in opposition to Jackson, fearing the concentration of power in the Executive Branch of the government; Johnson differed from the Whigs as he opposed more than minimal government spending and spoke against aid for the railroads, while his constituents hoped for improvements in transportation.

After Brookins Campbell and the Whigs defeated Johnson for re-election inJohnson would not lose another race for thirty years. Inhe sought to regain his seat, initially as a Whig, but when another candidate sought the Whig nomination, he ran as a Democrat and was elected.

From that time he supported the Democratic party and built a powerful political machine in Greene County. InJohnson was selected as a presidential elector for Tennessee, giving him more statewide publicity. He had also acquired additional real estate, including a larger home and a farm where his mother and stepfather took residenceand among his assets numbered eight or nine slaves.

Having served in both houses of the state legislature, Johnson saw election to Congress as the next step in his political career. He engaged in a number of political maneuvers to gain Democratic support, including the displacement of the Whig postmaster in Greeneville, and defeated Jonesborough lawyer John A. Aiken by 5, votes to 4, Johnson advocated for the interests of the poor, maintained an anti- abolitionist stance, argued for only limited spending by the government and opposed protective tariffs.

Polkwas elected president inand Johnson had campaigned for him, the two men diabetes and anal itcing difficult relations, and President Polk refused congresss reconstrution plan and andrew johnsons of his patronage suggestions.

Johnson believed, as did many Southern Democrats, that the Constitution protected private property, including slaves, and thus prohibited the federal and state governments from abolishing slavery. Brownlowpresenting himself as the defender of the poor against the aristocracy. In the presidential election ofthe Democrats split over the slavery issue, and abolitionists formed the Free Soil Partywith former president Van Buren as their nominee.

Johnson supported the Democratic candidate, former Michigan senator Lewis Cass. With the party split, Whig nominee General Zachary Taylor was easily victorious, congresss reconstrution plan and andrew johnsons, and carried Tennessee.

Avelox and side effects the visitors I observed in the crowd today was Hon. Andrew Johnson of the Ho. Professing to be a Democrat, he has been politically, if not personally hostile to me during my whole term. He is very vindictive and perverse in his temper and conduct. If he had the manliness and independence to declare his opposition openly, he knows he could not be elected by his constituents. I am not aware that I have ever given him cause for offense.

Johnson, due to national interest in new railroad construction and in response to the need for better transportation in his own district, also supported government assistance for the East Tennessee and Virginia Railroad. In his campaign for a fourth term, Johnson concentrated on three issues: He defeated his opponent, Nathaniel G, congresss reconstrution plan and andrew johnsons. Taylorin Augustwith a greater margin of victory europe lesson plans and activities in previous campaigns.

When the House convened in December, the party division caused by the Free Soil Party precluded the formation of the majority needed to elect a Speaker.

Johnson proposed adoption of a rule allowing election of a Speaker by a plurality; some weeks later others took up a similar proposal, and Democrat Howell Cobb was elected, congresss reconstrution plan and andrew johnsons. Once the Speaker election had concluded and Congress was ready to conduct legislative business, the issue of slavery took center stage. Northerners sought to admit California, a free state, to the Union. These were all defeated.

A group of Democrats nominated Landon Carter Haynes to oppose Johnson as he sought a fifth term; the Whigs were so pleased with the internecine battle among the Democrats in the general election that they did not nominate a candidate of their own. The campaign included fierce debates: Johnson won the election by more than votes.

Pierce was elected, but he failed to carry Tennessee. The Nashville Union termed this "Henry-mandering"; [b] [54] lamented Johnson, "I have no political future. If Johnson considered retiring from politics upon deciding not to seek re-election, he soon changed his mind. The Democratic convention unanimously named him, though congresss reconstrution plan and andrew johnsons party members were not happy at his selection. The Whigs had won the past two gubernatorial elections, and still controlled the legislature.

Johnson could propose legislation but not veto it, and most appointments were made by the Whig-controlled legislature. Nevertheless, the office was a " bully pulpit " that allowed him to publicize himself and his political views. In his first biennial speech, Johnson urged simplification of the state judicial system, abolition of the Bank of Tennessee, and establishment of an agency to provide uniformity in weights and measures; the last was passed.

Johnson was critical of the Tennessee common school system and suggested funding be increased via taxes, either statewide or county by county—a mixture of the two was passed.


Congresss reconstrution plan and andrew johnsons