Friday, August 20, 2004

The Impeachment of Andrew Johnson

The Impeachment of Andrew Johnson. Features more than 200 excerpts about the historic proceedings from Harper's Weekly, the leading weekly newspaper of the era.

From the site:

During the Reconstruction period, Harper’s Weekly was the most important national periodical in the country. It both shaped and reflected public opinion. In a time when print media was the only way to reach a nationwide audience, its circulation exceeded 100,000 and its estimated readership was over half a million. Its news and editorial columns, cartoons and illustrations were comparable to a combined version of Time, Life, Newsweek and CNN today. George William Curtis, the editor of Harper’s Weekly from 1863 until his death in 1892, was one of the most influential and well respected editorial writers of his time. Thomas Nast, whose 16 cartoons skewered "King Andy" Johnson, was the leading political cartoonist of all time.

Vice President Andrew Johnson became the seventeenth President of the United States on April 15, 1865, after the assassination of Abraham Lincoln. He served until March 4, 1869, when Ulysses S. Grant was inaugurated. Johnson was a Democrat from Tennessee, who once owned slaves. He, alone among Southern pre-war Senators, supported the Union during the Civil War. He was appointed as military Governor of Tennessee by Lincoln in 1862.

During Johnson’s term as President, both Houses of Congress were controlled by Republicans. Their ideas of how to reconstruct the eleven Southern states which had seceded to form the Confederacy differed from Democrat Johnson’s. Moreover, within the Republican Party, there were three distinct groupings – radical, moderate and conservative.

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