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Why is Andrew Johnson important in American history?  

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hoonbusiness | (Level 1) Salutatorian

Posted April 25, 2012 at 9:35 PM via web

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Why is Andrew Johnson important in American history?

 

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pohnpei397 | College Teacher | (Level 3) Distinguished Educator

Posted April 25, 2012 at 9:42 PM (Answer #1)

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Andrew Johnson is important in American history for two major reasons.

First, he was the first president to be impeached.  He escaped conviction and was therefore not removed from office, but he was impeached.

Second, he was the president whose actions led to the creation of "Radical Reconstruction."  Johnson became president after President Lincoln was killed.  Johnson wanted to take a relatively lenient attitude towards the South in terms of what Southern states would have to do in order to be let back into the Union.  His leniency enraged the Radical Republicans in Congress.  Because of his leniency, they impeached him and also imposed Radical Reconstruction on the South.

Thus, President Andrew Johnson is important mainly in negative ways.  He is most famous for being impeached and for being too lenient (in the eyes of many) on the former Confederate states. 

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