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Andrew Johnson Essay

856 words - 4 pages

Andrew Johnson was not elected to fill Lincoln he was just elected to be his Vice President. After the assassination he was put in a very hard position. Reconstructing the United States after the Civil war was going to be a heavy load for him. He planned to get some compliance from the seceded states and to unify the whole country back to as it was before the Civil War. He was put into situations where he wasn’t comfortably and was not prepared for them during his presidency. He was honestly only elected to try to keep balance between the north and the south and to win support of the pro-war democrats. Johnson did not really have much of an education Throughout the reconstruction era after ...view middle of the document...

Johnson believed the Southern states should decide the course that was best for them. He also felt that African-Americans were unable to manage their own lives. He certainly did not think that African-Americans deserved to vote. “At one point in 1866 he told a group of blacks visiting the White House that they should emigrate to another country.” (Trefousse 167) The Radical Republicans in the North wanted more harsh reconstruction in the South. Johnson issued a Proclamation in which asked for former confederates to go through an oath of loyalty in order to regain their property that had been confiscated. Johnson’s plan for Reconstruction was not going very well.
Johnson sought to do what he figured was the best for the country. The Radical Republicans in the North wanted more harsh reconstruction in the South but Johnson felt that the South should be able to decide what was the best for themselves. “According to Johnson’s theories, the end of the war required as speedy a normalization and as near a return to prewar conditions as possible. He sought to emphasize this idea by publishing a series of proclamations restoring commercial intercourse with the South, lifting the blockade, and ending wartime regulations. But his lack of sympathy for the blacks and his anxiety to restore many of the features of the old order led him to sanction the return of property to its former owners even if it was already in the hands of freedmen. (Trefousse 226)...

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