Andrew Johnson: Plebeian and Patriot

By Robert W. Winston | Go to book overview
Save to active project

CHAPTER I
PRESIDENTIAL RECONSTRUCTION

In a speech in lighter vein, in which Seward often indulged, he declared that Congress was quarreling with President Johnson though it had had its way. This reminded him of an irate individual who had won his lawsuit but continued out of sorts. "Damn it," the man said, "I won my case but I didn't win it my way." Mr. Seward's wish, in this matter, was undoubtedly father to his thought.

The differences between the President and Congress were basic. It must be admitted that Johnson opposed any fundamental change in the Constitution. Therefore, the Freedmen's Bureau bill and the Civil Rights bill he vetoed on principle. He saw clearly that the first of these bills was only the advance guard "of a long procession of others that were even more obnoxious to him. . . . He knew it was impossible to avoid the issue eventually and he determined to meet it firmly at the outset."1 The President's mistake was in thinking the Freedmen's Bureau bill a measure for which the Radicals alone were responsible. "As a matter of fact there were very few Republicans who did not desire such modification of the President's policy as would give protection and assistance to the newly emancipated negroes."2

Congress would never have consented that the Southern States return to the Union by simply abolishing slavery, repealing secession ordinances, and repudiating confederate debts. Indeed, as we have already seen, Congress assailed Lincoln's Louisiana Plan of reconstruction. Certainly the committee, dominated by Thad Stevens, would have demanded more than the Louisiana plan and would have insisted that such demands be put in the Constitution. Even the conserva

____________________
1
Congressional Globe, February 21, 1866.
2
Kendrick, Committee of Fifteen, p. 235.

-325-

Notes for this page

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
Loading One moment ...
Project items
Notes
Cite this page

Cited page

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

Cited page

Bookmark this page
Andrew Johnson: Plebeian and Patriot
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger
Search within

Search within this book

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

While we understand printed pages are helpful to our users, this limitation is necessary to help protect our publishers' copyrighted material and prevent its unlawful distribution. We are sorry for any inconvenience.
Full screen
/ 554

matching results for page

Cited passage

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

Cited passage

Welcome to the new Questia Reader

The Questia Reader has been updated to provide you with an even better online reading experience.  It is now 100% Responsive, which means you can read our books and articles on any sized device you wish.  All of your favorite tools like notes, highlights, and citations are still here, but the way you select text has been updated to be easier to use, especially on touchscreen devices.  Here's how:

1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
2. Click or tap the last word you want to select.

OK, got it!

Thanks for trying Questia!

Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

For full access in an ad-free environment, sign up now for a FREE, 1-day trial.

Already a member? Log in now.

Are you sure you want to delete this highlight?