President Andrew Johnson

February 6, 2012 by staff 

President Andrew Johnson, Andrew Johnson (December 29, 1808 – July 31, 1875) was the 17th President of the United States (1865-1869). As Vice President of the United States in 1865, he succeeded Abraham Lincoln following the latter’s assassination. Johnson then presided over the initial and contentious Reconstruction era of the United States following the American Civil War. Johnson’s reconstruction policies failed to promote the rights of the Freedmen, and he came under vigorous political attack from Republicans, ending in his impeachment by the U.S. House of Representatives, though it failed in the U.S. Senate.

Johnson, born in poverty and of Scots-Irish descent, became a master tailor and was self-educated, married and had five children. He served as an alderman and as Mayor of Greeneville, Tennessee and then sat in both houses of the Tennessee legislature. He went on to spend five consecutive terms in the U.S. House of Representatives and two terms as Governor of Tennessee, all as a Democrat. His signature legislative endeavor in the state and federal arenas was passage of the Homestead Act.

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