1. The Self-Educated Tailor Who Became President
Andrew Johnson was born on December 29, 1808 in Raleigh, North Carolina. He was the seventeenth President of the United States, serving from 1865 to 1869. Johnson was a self-educated tailor who became a successful politician, rising from local to state office before being elected to the U.S. House of Representatives in 1843. He later served as Governor of Tennessee and U.S. Senator before becoming Vice President under Abraham Lincoln in 1865. Johnson was the first President to be impeached, but was acquitted by the Senate. He died on July 31, 1875 in Carter County, Tennessee.
2. Andrew Johnson Becomes President After Lincoln's Assassination
When Abraham Lincoln was tragically assassinated in 1865, his Vice President, Andrew Johnson, was immediately sworn in as the 17th President of the United States. Johnson had been chosen as Lincoln's running mate in the 1864 election, and his ascension to the presidency was the first time in American history that a Vice President had succeeded a President due to death.
3. Andrew Johnson's Impeachment: Failed Plans to Protect Freed Slaves
Andrew Johnson's plans to protect the rights of former slaves were met with strong opposition from the Republican-dominated Congress, leading to his impeachment. His plans failed to provide adequate safety and security for the newly freed slaves, and the resulting disagreement between Johnson and Congress ultimately resulted in his impeachment.
4. The First President to be Impeached
Andrew Johnson was the first president in American history to be impeached. This occurred in 1868, during his tenure as the 17th President of the United States. Johnson was impeached by the House of Representatives on 11 articles of impeachment, including violation of the Tenure of Office Act and attempting to bring disgrace and ridicule upon Congress. He was acquitted by the Senate, however, and was able to complete his term in office.
5. The Successful Military Governor of Tennessee
In 1862, President Abraham Lincoln chose Andrew Johnson as the military governor of Tennessee after the Union forces recaptured the state. Johnson, a former Senator from Tennessee, was the only Southern Senator to remain loyal to the Union during the Civil War. As military governor, Johnson was responsible for restoring civil government in the state and for overseeing the transition of Tennessee back into the Union. His efforts were successful, and Tennessee was readmitted to the Union in July of 1866.
6. Andrew Johnson's Quick Union Restoration
Andrew Johnson, the 17th President of the United States, implemented his own form of Presidential Reconstruction in the aftermath of the Civil War. This involved a series of declarations that directed the former Confederate states to hold conventions and elections in order to re-establish their civil governments. Johnson's plan was designed to restore the Union as quickly as possible, while also allowing the former Confederate states to re-enter the Union with minimal disruption.
7. Andrew Johnson's Veto Overridden on Citizenship for Black Men
Andrew Johnson was a staunch opponent of the Fourteenth Amendment, which granted African American males the right to citizenship. He believed that the amendment was unconstitutional and would lead to the dissolution of the Union. He vetoed the bill, but Congress was able to override his veto and pass the amendment. This was a major victory for the civil rights movement, as it was the first time that African Americans were granted full citizenship rights. Johnson's resistance to the amendment was a major setback for the civil rights movement, and it set the stage for further struggles in the years to come.
8. The President Who Nearly Got Away With It
Andrew Johnson, the 17th President of the United States, narrowly evaded conviction in the Senate and removal from office after his impeachment in 1868. Despite the House of Representatives voting to impeach him on eleven counts of violating the Tenure of Office Act, the Senate ultimately failed to reach the two-thirds majority needed to convict him, allowing him to remain in office until the end of his term.
9. Andrew Johnson Returns to Tennessee After Being Impeached
After being impeached in 1868, Andrew Johnson returned to his home state of Tennessee in search of political vindication. His efforts were rewarded in 1875 when he was elected to the Senate for a second time, thus restoring his reputation and proving his resilience in the face of adversity. This was a remarkable feat, considering the tumultuous events of his presidency and the fact that he was the first president to be impeached in U.S. history.
10. Controversial President
Andrew Johnson is widely regarded as one of the worst presidents in American history due to his staunch opposition to granting African-Americans the rights they were promised by the federal government. Throughout his presidency, Johnson consistently refused to support civil rights legislation, vetoed the Civil Rights Act of 1866, and even attempted to veto the 14th Amendment, which granted African-Americans citizenship. His refusal to recognize the rights of African-Americans has earned him a place in history as one of the most controversial presidents in the United States.