Re:The Tenure of Office Act
In the post-Civil War political environment, President Andrew Johnson endorsed the quick re-admission of the Southern secessionist states. The two-thirds Republican majorities of both houses of Congress, however, passed laws over Johnson's vetoes, establishing a series of five military districts overseeing newly created state governments. This "Congressional Reconstruction" was designed to create local civil rights laws to protect newly freed slaves; to protect and patrol the area; to ensure the secessionist states would show some good faith before being readmitted; to ensure Republican control of the states; and, arguably, to inflict some punishment on the secessionists. States would be readmitted gradually.
Overpowered politically, the sole check Johnson could apply to the Congressional Reconstruction plan was through his control, as commander-in-chief of the military, which would be the primary means by which to enforce the plan's provisions. However, even Johnson's control of the military was inhibited by the fact that his Secretary of War, Edwin Stanton, was a staunch Radical Republican who supported Congressional Reconstruction in full. This further set Johnson against the Republican-controlled Congress, with Johnson wanting to remove Stanton from office and Congress wanting to keep him in place.
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