Graphic of part of the Emancipation Proclamation
Rights and POwer: The POlitics of Reconstruction
Link to Part 1 of Section 4: Presidential Reconstruction Link to Part 2 of Section 4: Congress and Civil Rights Link to Part 3 of Section 4: The National Debate Over Reconstruction; IMpeachment; and the Election of Grant Link to Part 4 of Section 4: Reconstruction Government in the South Link to Biographies in Section 4

Andrew Johnson, c. 1865. (Library of Congress)

Andrew Johnson, c. 1865.
(Library of Congress)

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Succeeding to the presidency after Lincoln's death, Johnson failed to provide the nation with enlightened leadership, or deal effectively with Congress. Racism prevented him from responding to black demands for civil rights, and personal inflexibility rendered him unable to compromise with Congress.

Johnson's vetoes of Reconstruction legislation and opposition to the Fourteenth Amendment alienated most Republicans. In 1868, he came within one vote of being removed from office by impeachment.

He was returned to the U.S. Senate in 1875, but died within a few months of taking office.

Copyright 2003
he Meaning of Freedom: Black and White Responses to Slavery From Free Labor to Slave Labor Rights and Power: The Politics of Reconstruction The Ending of Reconstruction Epilogue: The Unfinished Revolution Additional Resources Credits for this Exhibit Link to return to Digital History Home Link to return to Reconstruction Home Introduction