Brenda Wineapple {ebook} The Impeachers

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The Impeachers

America's first presidential impeachment A prize winning author tells the story of the efforts by heroic citizens to preserve the victories of the Civil War by removing a bigoted president who ruled as if he were kingWhen Abraham Lincoln was assassinated and Vice President Andrew Johnson became the Accidental President it was a dangerous time in America Congress was divided over how the Union should be reunited when and how the secessionist South should regain full status whether former Confederates should be punished and when and whether black men should be given the vote Devastated by war and Now that the congress is conducting an impeachment investigation of Trump I thought it would be a good idea to read about Johnson s impeachment trial Wineapple recounts the struggle over the implication of the Civil War amid the impeachment of an erratic presidentThe book is well written and researched Andrew Johnson 1808 1875 was a Southern Democrat born in North Carolina He wanted to return the South to the way it was prior to the War He had lenient reconstruction policies toward the South and he vetoed the Reconstruction Act He started his political career in the Tennessee legislature In 1843 he was elected to the US House of Representatives from Tennessee Wineapple discusses Johnson s presidency 1865 1869 The impeachment as well as what goes into an impeachment Congress had tried multiple times to impeach Johnson before finally succeeding to trial only to lose Wineapple includes the history primarily in the South post the Civil War emphasizing the treatment of the freed slaves I thoroughly enjoyed this book and I learned a lot about Johnson and the difficulties of impeachment I read this as an audiobook downloaded from Audible The book is fourteen hours and thirty six minutes Gabra Zachman did a good job narrating the book

summary The Impeachers

War was rocked by the first ever impeachment of a sitting American president And she brings to vivid life the extraordinary characters who brought that impeachment forward the willful Johnson and his retinue of advocates including complicated men like Secretary of State William Seward as well as the eually complicated visionaries committed to justice and euality for all like Thaddeus Stevens Charles Sumner Frederick Douglass and Ulysses S Grant Theirs was a last ditch patriotic and Constitutional effort to render the goals of the Civil War into reality and to make the Union free fair and whole The 13th amendment had some unintended conseuences One was the abolition of the 35ths rule that counted slaves as only 35ths of a person for representation That meant that when and if the southern states were readmitted to the union they instantly gained 20 representatives and the opportunity to win back everything they had lost during the war Already former slave owners and whites were attacking beating and killing any black who might venture onto the street especially anyone they suspected of having been in the union army The Memphis TN riots of 1866 were just a taste of what might be coming and Tennessean Andrew Johnson was no help at all Conditions in the south had become intolerable as Johnson emissary Carl Shurz discovered to Johnson s dismay The cheerful South of President Johnson was not the South described in German immigrant leader Carl Schurz s report The former Major General would report on a post war region whose people alternated between depressed prostration at the hands of a conueror and a desire for vengeance against blacks and Southern Unionists Schurz wrote that even the shooting of uniformed United States soldiers was not unfreuently reportedWorse was the situation of freedmen and the Northerners working with them Officials from the Freedman s Bureau were often mobbed and their contractors assaulted and murdered Blacks were expected to behave as slaves by 95% of the white Southerners Schurz talked to One former slaveholder even suggested they should submit willingly to whippings by whites Those that did not act like slaves were sometimes tortured or killed Blacks who left the plantations where they had been enslaved were shot or otherwise severely punished Schurz wrote A diligent investigator Schurz met with former slaves and examined the bullet and buckshot wounds in their bodies Brenda Wineapple has done a masterful job of describing the background of Johnson his trial and the personalities of the Senators involved There s no uestion that Johnson had no interest in helping former slaves gain an appropriate footing after decades of subjugation He certainly did not want them to have the vote and considered them subhuman His only goal was getting the union back together and if that meant letting former slave owners back into positions of authority in the south removing federal troops that were the only guarantee of protection for former slaves and dismantling the Freedman s Bureau well then so be it His argument was that the Constitution had supported slavery so what was the big deal In fact he supported amendments to the Constitution that would have guaranteed the perpetual right to have slaves and another that would have made those amendments unamendable Where he found that piece of idiocy in the Constitution I have no ideaJohnson famously said he believed in government for white men Hundreds of African Americans died in riots in New Orleans and Memphis that showed the new freedoms would not be easily kept Johnson s supporters dismissed the scores of murders as isolated incidents Johnson dismissed military leaders in the southern states and appointed governors who would support himEven though the book was written before the current impeachment crisis similarities abound Johnson took a train around the country holding rallies to whip up support and making remarks such as I don t care about my dignity Senator John Sherman of Illinois complained that Johnson had sunk the presidential office to the level of a grog house No one it seems liked him Wineapple highlights the president s morbid sensitivity his need for absolute loyalty and his wariness Johnson revered Andrew Jackson another populist He hated elitists ie lawyers and plutocratsClearly Johnson was guilty of violating the Tenure of Office Act Johnson always claimed it was unconstitutional and it probably was It certainly was according to the Supreme Court in 1926 that ruled a similar law unconstitutional The original had been repealed in 1887 But the article on which Johnson was most nearly convicted was the catch all 11th article which accused him of offenses including violations of the separation of powers but also of autocratic actions and other behavior inconsistent with the officeThe final tally in the Senate failed to convict by one vote and it s clear according to David Stewart that Ross s vote contrary to the hagiography in Profiles in Courage was purchasedExcellent read

download ¹ eBook, PDF or Kindle ePUB Ã Brenda Wineapple

Resorting to violence many white Southerners hoped to restore a pre Civil War society just without slavery and the pugnacious Andrew Johnson who was no Lincoln seemed to share their goals With the unchecked power of executive orders Johnson ignored Congress pardoned rebel leaders promoted white supremacy opposed civil rights and called Reconstruction unnecessary Congress had to stop the American president who acted like a kingWith her extensive research and profound insights Brenda Wineapple dramatically restores this pivotal period in American history when the country on the heels of a brutal This was a fun page turner that revealed real detailed history She writes with an angle from current times but explains as best the record will permit the motivations manipulations and goals of many players This may become a definitive work on the impeachment of Andrew Johnson I have read several books from this era and learned a way of seeing some of the players from a deeper perspective and greater understanding This would be a great book for freshman studying political scienceA great part of the book is buried at the end with the notes and index It is a short biographical on most of the people mentioned in the book The similarity and the differences with the other impeachment Nixon s near impeachment and current events regarding President Trump were discussed with some analysis and this added relevancy to this great piece of American History writing


About the Author: Brenda Wineapple

Brenda Wineapple is the author of the award winning Hawthorne A Life Genêt A Biography of Janet Flanner and Sister Brother Gertrude and Leo Stein Her essays articles and reviews have appeared in many publications among them The American Scholar The New York Times Book Review Parnassus Poetry and The Nation A Guggenheim fellow a fellow of the American Council of Learned Societies an



10 thoughts on “The Impeachers

  1. says:

    Now I know why the impeachment of Andrew Johnson was not taught in my high school Not only is the story too complex for the rote instruction of the time it was also a time when curriculum never included uncomfort

  2. says:

    With all the talk of impeachment coming out of Washington I thought it a convenient time to read Brenda Wineapple’s comprehensive book about

  3. says:

    Now that the congress is conducting an impeachment investigation of Trump I thought it would be a good idea to read about Johnson’s impeachment trial Wineapple recounts the struggle over the implication of the Civil War amid the impeachment of an erratic presidentThe book is well written and researched Andrew Johnson 1808 1875 was a Southe

  4. says:

    Engaging account of Andrew Johnson's disastrous presidency centering on Congress's failed efforts to impeach him Wineapple knows this period and these personages well having covered them in previous works like Ecstatic Nation and does an excell

  5. says:

    Impeachment put the President on noticeI heard the author give a talk to the US Capitol Historical Society in May 2019 about this book Her talk was fascinating and it prompted me to buy the book however I did not decide t

  6. says:

    This was a fun page turner that revealed real detailed history She writes with an angle from current times but explains as

  7. says:

    The 13th amendment had some unintended conseuences One was the abolition of the 35ths rule that counted slaves as only 35ths of a person for representation That meant that when and if the southern states were readmitted to the union they inst

  8. says:

    I grew up in the ’90s and I vaguely remember on TV when I was a kid some kind of scandal involving this guy na

  9. says:

    This book is well written and researched I have read about the presidency of Andrew Johnson but this is the first that goes into detail about his impeachment It is well a well known fact that Andrew Johnson was not one of the better

  10. says:

    Brenda Wineapple does a very good job of setting the stage so to speak for what led up to the impeachment of Andrew Johns

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