In 1868 Congress impeached President Andrew Johnson of Tennessee, the man who had succeeded the murdered Lincoln, bringing the nation to the brink of a second civil war. David Stewart challenges the traditional version of this pivotal moment in American history. Rather than seeing Johnson as Abraham Lincoln's political heir, Stewart explains how the Tennessean squandered Lincoln's political legacy of equality and fairness and helped force the freed slaves into a brutal form of agricultural peonage across the South. With the dramatic expansion of the powers of the presidency, and after two presidential impeachment crises in the last forty years, the lessons of the first presidential impeachment are more urgent than ever.
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