Examples Of Political Blasphemy

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One of Johnson’s prominent political opponents was Representative Thaddeus Stevens of Pennsylvania. As one of the leaders of the radical Republicans, Stevens advocated for confiscating plantation owner’s property to distribute to former slaves and to give equal rights for all African Americans. He was disappointed and disgusted when Lincoln chose Johnson to be his vice president; causing him to complain “can't you get a candidate for Vice-President without going down into a damned rebel province for one?” Johnson was denying the freedmen equal rights, thus creating a country for the white man. On the other hand, Stevens wanted equality for all and claimed, “This is not a ‘white man’s Government!’…To say so is political blasphemy, for it violates …show more content…

With a Republican majority in both houses of Congress, Stevens and the radicals were hoping that this would be their chance at removing the President. Nevertheless, impeachment would go nowhere due to the lack of support from moderate Republicans since they were able to tolerate Johnson. The President saw this as a warning. Johnson made it clear that he “intended to carry out the reconstruction laws” and “appointed generals recommended by Stanton and Grant to command the five Southern military districts. These generals supported the congressional policy.” Republicans were pleased with this action, which is why moderates decided not to impeach Johnson. After failing, Stevens and the radicals continued to search for a way to remove Johnson from office. A second attempt at impeachment was made in the winter of the same year, however, just like the first attempt, it failed. After failing to impeach the President a second time, Thaddeus Stevens declared that the Republican Party was full of cowards. That being said, impeachment was gaining more and more support as Reconstruction went on, which meant that Johnson had a higher chance of being removed from office. It would be only a matter of time before another attempt would be …show more content…

All members of the cabinet advised Johnson to veto the act. In early March, President Johnson vetoed the Tenure of Office Act, just like he vetoed previous laws. Johnson vetoed the act because he felt the Constitution gave the President the right to remove government officials when necessary. “The bill in this respect conflicts, in my judgement, with the Constitution of the United States” Johnson said in his veto message. Andrew Johnson was always a strict constitutionalist since the beginning of his political career. His constitutionalist ideals explain why he was against the South seceding from the Union and why he believed that the Tenure of Office Act was unconstitutional. In his veto message, Johnson went on to say, “Having at an early period accepted the Constitution in regard to the Executive office in the sense in which it was interpreted with the concurrence of its founders, I have found no sufficient grounds in the argument of the now opposed to that Constitution or in any assumed necessity of the times for changing those opinions. For these reasons I return the bill to the Senate.” The veto was soon overturned by

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