Impeachment of Andrew Johnson
Fact 1: President Abraham Lincoln was assassinated in April 1865 and Vice President Andrew Johnson assumed the role of President of the United States at the end of the Civil War, as the Reconstruction of the South was just beginning
Fact 2: Andrew Johnson was a Southern Democrat and, as such, had sympathies with the Confederacy and granted pardons to ex-Confederates on a large scale. He was inexperienced, a stubborn man with little patience. The government consisted of many radical Republicans and before long the President and Congress were in conflict due to Reconstruction Policies.
Fact 3: The radical Republicans believed that the President was behaving too leniently towards the Southern states who were attempting to restore self-rule and passing state laws referred to as the Black Codes. At the end of 1865, just six months after the end of the Civil War Andrew Johnson declared the end of Reconstruction.
Fact 4: The radical Republicans were outraged and were determined to establish a Congressional Reconstruction. The Southern Democrat President and the radical Republicans were in direct conflict and on a collision course that would end with the Impeachment of the President.
Fact 5: The President further infuriated Congress by vetoing an extension to the Freedmen’s Bureau
Fact 6: Republicans passed the Civil Rights Act of 1866 overriding the President’s veto.
Fact 7: The radicals become more powerful by gaining a two-thirds margin in the 1866 Congressional elections
Fact 8: Congress develop plans for the reunification of the South which will be referred to as Congressional Reconstruction
Fact 9: Congress passed the first of the Reconstruction Acts, overriding the President’s veto, which gave them military and political control of the Southern states.
Fact 10: The President replaces several generals who command the 5 military districts established by the Reconstruction Acts
Fact 11: Congress passed the Tenure of Office Act on March 2, 1867, overriding the President’s veto, to limit the President’s powers and prevent him dismissing radical Republicans from office.
Fact 12: The Tenure of Office Act was also passed to stop the President interfering with the Congressional plans for Reconstruction
Fact 13: The Tenure of Office Act forbids the President to remove any federal office-holder appointed by at the Senate without the further approval of the Senate
Fact 14: The Tenure of Office Act also provides that the President’s cabinet should hold office for the full term of the President plus one month, subject to removal by the Senate
Fact 15: The President is furious regarding the Tenure of Office Act claiming it is unconstitutional
Fact 16: The President continues to oppose congressional policy, and insists on the removal of the radical Secretary of War, Edwin M. Stanton, in defiance of the Tenure of Office Act .
Fact 17: Edwin Stanton, as Secretary of War, was an important member of the cabinet and a firm supporter of the radical Republicans
Fact 18: Edwin Stanton was in open opposition to the policies of the President
Fact 19: Edwin Stanton refused to move and barricaded himself in his office claiming that the Tenure of Office Act protected him.
Fact 20: Congress supported Edwin Stanton’s claims asserting that by suspending Edwin Stanton and removing him from his cabinet without the consent of Congress, the President Johnson had breached the Tenure of Office Act.
Fact 21: Congress started Impeachment Proceedings against the President
Fact 22: Impeachment is a criminal proceeding against a public official requiring formal documentation and Articles of impeachment
Fact 23: It is the right of the House of Representatives to impeach. It is the right of the Senate to try and determine impeachments.
Fact 24: Constitution: The Constitution of the United States refers to the process of Impeachment in Article II, Section 4 of the Constitution.
Fact 25: On Monday, February 24, 1868, the House of Representatives resolved to impeach Andrew Johnson of high crimes and misdemeanors
Fact 26: On Monday the March 2, 1868, eleven articles of impeachment were agreed by the House of Representatives.
Fact 27: On March 2, 1868 the Articles of Impeachment were presented to the Senate and the grand inquest of the nation is set to begin
Fact 28: March 30, 1868: The impeachment trial of Johnson begins in the Senate
Fact 29: May 16, 1868: The Senate voted on the 11th Article of Impeachment and is one vote short of the 2/3 majority needed to impeach the President
Fact 30: May 26, 1868: The final vote was taken in the Senate on the second and third Articles of Impeachment and Johnson was again acquitted. The Impeachment trial of Andrew Johnson is over.