After the assassination of President Abraham Lincoln, Andrew Jackson was the next in line as the President. He became a cipher in the White House due to his pointless disapproval of bills that passed over his vetoes. His lack of effort to identify his weak situation and position and lack of the ability to perform as a party leader. Eventually his authorities got turned over to the Radicals. 1The Radical Republicans believed that the Confederate leaders should be punished in part taken in the Civil War.
They felt the blacks should have the same opportunities and political rights as the whites. 2 However, Because of Johnson’s leniency and merciful policies, the Pennsylvania Representative Thaddeus Stevens and Massachusetts Senator Charles Sumer strongly opposed Jackson’s position. Furthermore, in 1866, the activist Congress introduced the Freedmen’s Bureau Bill and Civil Rights Bill. Nonetheless, President Jackson rejected them both. He claimed that it would bloat the size of the government. 3 Shocked by his racism and statement, the Moderate Republicans and the Radicals joined forces to overturn Johnson’s veto over the Civil Rights Act.
In that same year, the Congress passed the 14th Amendment to grant citizenship to the blacks. Nevertheless, President Jackson advised Southern states not to approve it. Despite his opposition, the amendment was ratified in 1868. 4 Furthermore, during the congressional election, President Johnson was seeking to win support for his reconstruction policies. Therefore, he launched a multiple-city speaking campaign or known as “a swing around the circle.”5 Despite his effort, the campaign backfire on him, and the Republicans won the majorities in both houses of Congress.
Therefore, they ratified their Reconstruction actions. In 1867, Congress passed the Reconstruction Act. Edwin Stanton, the Secretary of War, was the enforcer.
However, President Jackson opposed the Act and attempted to remove Stanton, which was the direct violation of Tenure of Office Act. In 1868, the majority of Republican House of Representative impeached President Jackson with 11 impeachment articles. Two of the articles were related to his disgracefulness to the Congress, and the other nine were referring to the removal of Stanton. 6 Regardless to the accusation, President Jackson escaped the conviction because the requirement for conviction had to be 2/3 of the majority votes and it was one vote short 7 Therefore, President Johnson was able to serve out his term.
President Andrew Jackson took the moderate approach in restoring the South to the Union, Hower, his presidency did not go so well. He would clash heads with the Radical Republicans and made many shocking vetoes to the Bills that were proposed to him. His unorthodox characteristic as the President degraded his image and prestige. Eventually, the Congress impeached him, and that made him the first President in the American history to be impeached.