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Andrew Johnson Essay

1251 words - 5 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 the horrific civil war, Andrew Johnson was eager to create a more stable and strong nation.

Andrew Johnson never went to school, he just taught himself how to read. This showed his desire to work but still it provided nearly no education. As seen in Hans L. Trefousse’s biography of Andrew Johnson, Andrew Johnson was deprived of schooling or any general for of teaching. Johnson came from poverty so education wasn’t much of an option. When he was young he taught himself how to read. Andrew Johnson was deprived of schooling or any general for of teaching. Trefousse says,” Andrew Johnson stands out as unique- unique in having been the only one to be impeached, and unique in not having attended school for a single day.” He was apprenticed at Selby’s tailor where he came to listen to the citizens read to the tailors. Johnson was not the most prepared for his job considering he never went to school. Self-taught learning is great but it wasn’t good enough for presidency yet alone vice presidency. The United States wasn’t looking for a vice president with a worse education than they had. He wasn’t really smart enough to be vice president, judging from the fact that most of the things he knew he taught himself.
Johnson gathered the southern votes while Lincoln got the northern votes. In Jack Kaufhold’s article on why Andrew Johnson couldn’t redeem himself, the thought of Johnson only being elected to get Southern votes is brought up. This would imply that Jackson was elected almost solely on winning the election. Lincoln was looking for a running mate that

would attract war democrats. War democrats were those who were more aggressive than most democrats. He hoped that by selecting Johnson he would appeal to Southerners who never wanted to leave the Union. “Vice President Hamlin, a radical from Maine, was a gifted politician, but he was unable to add much strength to the ticket. And because the Republicans were anxious to attract as many War Democrats as possible- they would soon rename their organization the Union party- a Democratic running mate for the president was a distinct possibility.” (Trefousse 176-177)
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...

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