Andrew Johnson Impeachment Of A President Essay — страница 2

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this refusal to admit that the Southern states were traitors. A long battle between the president and Congress began. The Radicals passed a bill to enlarge the scope of the Freedmen?s Bureau, which Congress had established in March 1865 to help the freed slaves. Johnson vetoed the bill. In July a second bill was enacted over his veto. The Radicals were already angered with the president this just enraged them even more. The Tenure of Office Act was passed in 1867. This act forbade the president from removing federal office holders including Cabinet members, without the consent of the Senate. The other acts were vetoed by Johnson, but were passed over his veto. Congress now seemed all-powerful since the majority was Republican. The Tenure of Office Act angered Johnson , and even

more were the acts that followed. The Secretary of War Stanton had been cooperating with the Radicals from the beginning of Johnson?s presidency. In August 1867, while Congress was adjouned, Johnson suspended Stanton and named General Ulysses S.Grant to the post. In January 1868 the Senate refused to accept Stanton?s suspension. When Grant stepped out in favor of Stanton, the president again dismissed Stanton and appointed General Lorenzo Thomas as Secretary of War. Congress seized on the Stanton affair to remove Johnson from the presidency. On Febuary 24,1868, a resolution of impeachment was passed by the House of Representatives, and a committee was appointed to ?report the articles of impeachment? against the president. The committee consisted of seven Radicals, including

Thaddeus Stevens, all of whom had voted for the impeachment resolution. By March 4 the committee had prepared 11 articles of impeachment, and on March 5 Chief Justice Chase began presiding over the impeachment trial of President Johnson before the Senate. Of the 11 articles of impeachment, 10 were related to Johnson?s violation of the Tenure of Office Act. The president did not want to personally participate in trial. He left his defense to lawyers, who easily proved that the president?s purpose in removing Stanton had been to test the constitutionality of the Tenure of Office Act. Johnson?s lawyers argued that the act did not pertain to Stanton, since he had been appointed by Lincoln, not by Johnson. The act applied to Cabinet officers, but only for the term of office of the

president who had appointed them. On May 16 and May 26,1868,the Senate voted on three articles of impeachment. The Radicals had been pressing hard for a solid Republican vote, which would have given them more than two-thirds majority required for conviction. Surprisingly seven Republicans joined 12 Democrats in voting against conviction. The final count of 35 to 19 was one vote short of the two-thirds majority needed for a conviction. Johnson was acquitted. BIBLIOGRAPHY .1 Garraty, John A., The American Nation (HarperCollins CollegePublishers,1995) .2 .3 .4 5