- Took over when Abraham Lincoln dies because he was the Vice President
- Once again believed in States Rights. He was a Southerner who did not believe in equality for slaves that Lincoln had freed
- Granted clemency to former Confederates and allowed them to elect new governments that look a lot like the governments before the civil war. This led to Black Codes, which where laws designed to control and repress newly freed Blacks
- Returned all land captured by the Union to their owners. A lot of it was promised to former slaves (40 Acres and a Mule)
- Congress believed he was too forgiving to the South so they passed laws overriding veto attempts by Johnson
- In 1866 congress successfully overrode a Johnson veto to pass the Civil Rights of 1866 and the 14th amendment in 1868 that stated: “All persons born or naturalized in the United States and subject to the jurisdiction thereof, are citizens of the United States and of the State wherein they reside.”
- Andrew Johnson was the first President to be impeached but would finish his term.
At this point blacks would no benefit from joining the Democratic Party. The Democratic Party at this time was the party of slavery