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

Biographical Sidebar:
Andrew Johnson

Andrew Johnson (1808-1875) came from the humblest origins of any man who reached the White House. Born in poverty in North Carolina, he worked as a youth as a tailor's apprentice.

After moving to Greenville, Tennessee, Johnson achieved success through politics. Beginning as an alderman, he rose to serve two terms as governor.

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Although the owner of five slaves before the Civil War, Johnson identified himself as the champion of his state's "honest yeomen" and a foe of large planters, who he described as a "bloated, corrupted aristocracy." He strongly promoted public education, and free land for Western settlers.

A fervent believer in states rights, Johnson was also a strong defender of the Union. He was the only Senator from a seceding state to remain at his post in 1861, and when Union forces occupied Tennessee, Abraham Lincoln named him military governor. In 1864, he was elected vice president.

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