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Jump Back in Time Reconstruction (1866-1877)
Sketch of 'George T. Brown, sergeant-at-arms, serving the summons on President Johnson,' 1868.
George T. Brown, sergeant-at-arms, serving the summons on President Johnson in 1868

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Vote to Impeach Andrew Johnson
May 16, 1868

After becoming president following the assassination of Abraham Lincoln, Johnson wanted to complete Lincoln's plan to reunite the country swiftly. The Civil War (1861-1865) had just ended. His plan was to promote passage of an amendment outlawing slavery, then allow the Confederate states to once again send representatives to Congress and govern themselves. Johnson, however, lacked Lincoln's good judgment. While Congress was in recess, the newly powerful Southern states passed "Black Codes," limiting the rights of freed slaves. An angry Congress proposed a law that would repress those codes; Johnson vetoed it. Congress in return, on April 9, 1866, passed the first override in U.S. history, protecting the civil rights legislation. And on it went.
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