Johnsons Reconstruction (Restoration)
by Jason Jorgensen
| 1 Question
As the reconstruction of the Union began after the Civil War ended, there were major differences of opinion about how this should be done. There were the Radical Republicans who thought the south should be punished for its role, Lincoln's ideas of a gentle treatment of the south, and Andrew Johnson's restoration plan.The Radical Republicans who controlled Congress did not like Johnson’s program. They did not want the South to return to the way it was before the war. They began to pass their own Reconstruction plan over the president’s vetoes. As the situation worsened, Johnson began to act more like a king. Congress passed laws, such as the Tenure of Office Act, to keep him from abusing his power.
In frustration, Johnson fired the secretary of state for cooperating with the Radical Republicans. This violated the Tenure of Office Act. Congress voted to impeach the president. He was put on trial, but one vote saved his presidency. He stayed in office until the end of his term.
If you were in the position of the Radical Republicans, What choice you have made about how to deal with Andrew Johnson? What criteria would you use to assess the effectiveness of his policies?

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