had been sworn in as president after the assassination of Lincoln in April 1865.
He was in favor of a very lenient reconstruction policy in South following the
Civil War, which won him many enemies in the Republican dominated Senate.
stood accused of violating the controversial Tenure of Office Act which had been
passed by the Senate to curb Jackson's powers to remove cabinet members appointed
the fall of 1867, Johnson attempted to test the constitutionality of the act by
replacing Edwin M. Stanton with General Ulysses S. Grant as secretary of war.
The Supreme Court refused to rule on the case, however, and Grant turned the office
back to Stanton after the Senate passed a measure in protest of his appointment.
February 21, 1868, Johnson decided to challenge the Senate: he
appointed General Lorenzo Thomas, an individual far less favorable to the Congress
than Grant, as secretary of war. Stanton refused to give up his post, he barricaded
himself into his office. The House of Representatives, which had already discussed
impeachment after Johnson's first dismissal of Stanton, initiated formal impeachment
proceedings against the president.
opponents were unable to get the two-thirds majority required to impeach him (by