1868-S LIBERTY HEAD $20 MS61

Grading Service: PCGS
SKU: 131359
Cert Number: 42584843

On March 13, 1868, the first presidential impeachment trial in American history began to remove President Andrew Johnson. At the start of the Civil war, Johnson was the only southern senator to stay loyal to the Union, so Lincoln rewarded him generously. Unfortunately, Johnson did not necessarily share the same interests in fighting the war that Lincoln did as he was an incredibly racist man who fought for the poor white man. Regardless, due to his loyalty, Lincoln gave him the title of military governor of Tennessee throughout the war until he was elected for Vice President in 1864. Shortly after his election, he took up the seat of president due to Lincoln's assassination. Once in power and after the war ended, Johnson placed very lenient reforms on southern governments and wanted to quickly reconstruct the south. He often gave approval to new governments with shady laws that still allowed what was technically slavery- without actually calling it so. Fortunately, Congress opposed many of Johnson's ideals and moved to pass the "Radical Reconstruction" plan. This plan overrode the president's vetoes and forced the south to submit to the federal military. Eventually, Congress knew they had to weaken Johnson's power, so they passed several reforms to do so but knew this could only hold him back for so long. By March 1868 legislation had become such a tangled mess that there was no other way but impeachment. Johnson's trial, which has been described as "theatrical," lasted several months but ultimately ended with him staying in office as they were one vote short of the proper two-thirds majority win. Thankfully, Johnson did not choose to re-run on the democratic ticket in the next election and the very respected Ulysses S. Grant became president.

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