America's first presidential impeachment: a prize-winning historian tells the story of the efforts by heroic citizens to preserve the victories of the Civil War by removing a bigoted president who ruled as if he were king.
When Lincoln was assassinated and Vice President Andrew Johnson became the Accidental President, it was a dangerous time in America. Congress was divided over how the Union should be reunited: when and how the South should regain full status, whether former Confederates should be punished, and when and whether there should be black suffrage. Devastated by war and resorting to violence, many in the South hoped to restore a pre-Civil War society, just without slavery. And Andrew Johnson, who was no Lincoln, seemed to share their goals. With the unchecked power of executive orders, Johnson ignored Congress, pardoned rebel leaders, promoted white supremacy, opposed civil rights, and called Reconstruction unnecessary. Congress had to stop the American President who acted like a king.
With extensive research and profound insight, Brenda Wineapple brings this pivotal period to dramatic life. This presidential impeachment—the first in American history—was the last-ditch, patriotic effort to make the goals of the Civil War a reality, and to make the Union one again.
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