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The Impeachment of Andrew Johnson Andrew Johnson the seventeenth president of the United States was the first president to be impeached The issues that led up to this monumental event in 1868 were for the most part based on the issue of Reconstruction Reconstruction aimed to create equality for Blacks in voting politics and with use of public facilities After all the civil war had just concluded with the northern states victorious Tension over the issue arose because Johnsons Democratic ideas conflicted with the desires of his Radical-dominated Congress Opting for strict Reconstruction legislation Congress passed laws designed specifically to restrain Johnsons power When Johnson disregarded the new laws Republicans saw their opportunity to completely strip the President of his power Andrew Johnson was impeached on February 241868 only to be acquitted on May 16 of that same year His offenses were not great enough for him to be stripped of the presidency the charges were simply the result of an escalating conflict between Democrats and Republicans of the 1860s in which Johnson steadfastly opposed Radicals in Congress Johnson was the only Democratic Southerner in Congress to vote against secession This was the reason that the Republican Party nominated him as Vice-President to increase President Lincolns chances for re-election in the 1864 elections Johnson took the oath of office in March of 1865 Not long afterwards President Lincoln was assassinated and Johnson became President on April 15 1865 Lincoln had already begun to implement a Reconstruction policy and with his death Johnson told the Cabinet officers that he would continue to support the movement However his Pro-Southern sympathies quickly became apparent Radical Republicans expected Johnson to treat the southern states as traitors by taking their land and granting it as well as the right to vote to the newly freed slaves However Johnson who had owned slaves and defended the rights of the states to allow slavery before the Civil War did not like
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