Consequences Of Andrew Johnson Impeachment

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The end of the Civil War marked a grueling time for the United States. Disagreement over freedom of slaves led citizens of the broken country to look to President Lincoln for hope and reform. After the end of the war, the turmoil continued with the assassination of President Lincoln. Andrew Johnson, the Vice President at the time, took Lincoln’s place as the President of the United States. As president during this critical time, it was Johnson’s duty to reunify the southern slave states and the northern rebellious population. This was a strenuous task to complete, especially as he was filling in the role of a former president who tremendously helped with the Civil War and slavery. Johnson tried to restore the states and the Union quickly, however, …show more content…
Some people believe that although Andrew Johnson did violate some laws, impeachment was a rather harsh outcome. After the Civil War, he did not slow down the process of slaves obtaining their freedom and the Reconstruction. Johnson fired and replaced Edwin M. Stanton, who was his only Secretary of War at the time. Those in support of Johnson understood that he violated the Tenure of Office Act, however, they thought it was not a huge issue because he only violated the act once. As stated in the Articles of Impeachment of Andrew Johnson, he “did unlawfully, and in violation of the Constitution and laws of the United States, issue and order in writing for the removal of Edwin M. Stanton from the office of Secretary for the Department of War (Articles of Impeachment of Andrew Johnson)”. Someone with this opposing view also believes it was reasonable because Johnson thought that if he did not fire him, it would have been unconstitutional. Later in history, Congress repealed the act that he broke because they believed it to be unlawful, but not unconstitutional as Johnson thought. The contrasting side believes Johnson’s impeachment to be unjust because he was technically impeached because he broke a law that was later repealed and named …show more content…
Although the Act was later repealed, at the time when the act was still in place, Johnson disobeyed it. Johnson tried to veto the Tenure of Office Act, but it was passed over to the Radical Republicans in Congress. The act was placed to prevent and restrict presidents from gaining power by removing past members of the office without consent from the Senate and replacing them with people who agreed with them. However, going against this act, Johnson fired Edwin M. Stanton. This is a clear violation of the law, whether it happened once or more, a president should not be able to make excuses when it comes to breaking the law. Another example of Johnson violating and taking positions away from members of office was when he resented all the elites in the south who had ignored him previously. This is not a desirable quality for a president to have. A president should be forgiving to members of office and his country. Due to the violations of law that Johnson committed, his impeachment was justified. Although Andrew Johnson was supposed to fill Lincoln’s shoes in guiding the country to reform, he did not succeed at this. At the time, the country needed a leader, which would move them past the issues from the Civil War and support the rights of all people. Johnson failed to do this because of his pro-slavery view, breaking

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