The Impeachment of Andrew Johnson


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About the Book

While it is commonly known that Andrew Johnson was the first president to be impeached, less well known are the circumstances that led to the unsuccessful campaign to remove him from office. This account of Johnson’s political life in Washington (including brief coverage of his early career in Tennessee) focuses on his conflict with the Radical Republicans, a group of fanatical abolitionists who, after Lincoln’s assassination, sought to dominate American government and punish the South as harshly as possible. Johnson’s focus on healing the nation and his refusal to submit to the Radicals’ demands led to his impeachment. Though Johnson was acquitted, his impeachment clearly illustrates the danger when one branch of government tries to dominate the others. This chronicle of the first U.S. presidential impeachment covers in detail the political forces that nearly removed him from office. Numerous illustrations, a bibliography and an index are included.

About the Author(s)

Chester G. Hearn is the author of numerous other books of history, and his articles have appeared in Blue & Gray, Civil War Times, and North & South. He lives in Erie, Pennsylvania.

Bibliographic Details

Chester G. Hearn
Format: softcover (7 x 10)
Pages: 269
Bibliographic Info: 28 photos, notes, bibliography, index
Copyright Date: 2007 [2000]
pISBN: 978-0-7864-3096-3
eISBN: 978-0-7864-9217-6
Imprint: McFarland

Table of Contents

Acknowledgments       vii

Preface      1

Introduction      3

1. The Rise from Poverty      9

2. The War Years      21

3. The Emergence of the Radicals      33

4. Lincoln’s Legacy      43

5. Johnson Takes Charge      55

6. The Radicals Organize      66

7. The Battle Begins      77

8. Force Bills and Riots      85

9. A “Swing Around the Circle”      95

10. The Elections of 1866      106

11. The Reconstruction Act      115

12. The 40th Congress      124

13. The Puzzling Issue of Impeachment      132

14. A Crisis in the War Department      141

15. Johnson Is Impeached      154

16. The Trial Begins      168

17. The President’s Defense      179

18. The Closing Arguments      187

19. The Verdict      195

20. Last Days of the Presidency      204

21. Vindication      212

22. Epilogue      222

Chapter Notes      225

Bibliography      247

Index      255

Book Reviews & Awards

“extensive research on the public life of Andrew Johnson…analyze[s] the political turmoil responsible for creating a climate favorable to the possibility of removing a sitting president from office. A timely and insightful reconsideration of a painful episode in the history of the U.S.”—Booklist; “a detailed history…recommended”—ARBA; “exciting reading…fascinating subject matter”—RALPH.