President Andrew Johnson took office after the assassination of President Abraham Lincoln. After guiding the United States through the Civil War, it would not fall at the feet of a War Democrat to take his place.
Andrew Johnson would quickly meet opposition and eventually become the first President to be Impeached by the House of Representatives. By the end of his term, he did not have a party in which to run for re-election.
April 15, 1865: Andrew Johnson takes the oath of office after the death of Abraham Lincoln.
April 18, 1865: General William Tecumseh Sherman accepts the surrender of 37,000 Confederate Troops under Joseph E. Johnston. Sherman offers lenient terms, which Andrew Johnson rejects. Sherman offers revised conditions, which Johnston accepts.
May 26, 1865: The last Confederate holdout, General Edmund Kirby Smith, surrenders.
May 29, 1865: President Johnson grants Amnesty to any Southern State that accepts the following terms: the appointment of a provisional Governor that will not support secession, oversee the end of slavery, and write a new state constitution.
December 2, 1865: Mississippi passes a series of Black Codes to deprive recently freed slaves of their rights. Soon, many other former Confederate states adopt these laws.
December 4, 1865: Andrew Johnson delivers his first annual message to Congress in which he announces that the Union has been restored.
December 12, 1865: President Johnson orders that provisional southern governors turn over their offices to newly elected governors. Many of these were former Confederate officials.
December 14, 1865: Congress reconvenes and creates a joint committee for Reconstruction. Congress refuses to accept Southern representatives and congressmen from restored states.
February 19, 1866: Congress passes a bill to increase the power of the Freedmen's Bureau to include holding military trials for anyone found depriving African Americans of their civil rights. Johnson, stunningly, vetoes the bill.
February 22, 1866: Johnson condemns Representative Thaddeus Stevens, Senator Charles Sumner, and Reformer Wendell Phillips as traitors due to their membership in the Radical Republicans.
March 27, 1866: Johnson vetoes the bill for the Civil Rights Act of 1866, which gives citizenship to all persons born in the United States, with the exception of the Native Americans.
April 6, 1866: The House and Senate pass the Civil Rights Act of 1866 again, which overrides Johnson's veto.
June 1-3, 1866: The Fenian Brotherhood attempts to capture Canada, using it as a bargaining chip for Irish independence. They captured Fort Erie and then came into conflict with the Canadian militia. They were forced to retreat. Johnson declared neutrality and ordered that the neutrality laws be enforced.
June 13, 1866: Despite opposition from Johnson and Southerners, the 14th Amendment was passed. This gives African Americans the right to be counted as a whole person and repeals the ⅗th clause of the Constitution. They also gain full citizenship when the Amendment was ratified by the South against 12 seats in the House.
June 20, 1866: A radical committee known as the Joint Committee of Fifteen make a declaration that the Confederate States should not be entitled to representation in Congress and that Congress should be in charge of Reconstruction and not Andrew Johnson.
July 1866: Three of the Radical Republicans in Johnson's Cabinet resign.
July 16, 1866: Congress overrides Johnson's veto of the Freedmen's Bureau Renewal Bill.
July 24, 1866: Tennessee was readmitted to the Union after the ratification of the 14th Amendment.
July 30, 1866: Race Riots break out in New Orleans, which leads to the death of many freed blacks and pro-union whites. Johnson receives blame for his lenient policies on the South.
August 14, 1866: Queen Emma of Sandwich (Modern Hawaii) is received by Andrew Johnson.
August 28, 1866: Johnson begins a campaign to hurt the Radical-Republicans in the upcoming Congressional Elections. It was futile.
November 1866: The Radical Republicans win big in Congressional Elections, which give them wide majorities in Congress.
December 3, 1866: Johnson requests Congress to recognize restored states and to allow their representatives to occupy their seats in the House.
March 1, 1867: Nebraska joins the union as the 37th state.
March 2, 1867: Overriding Johnson's veto, Congress passes the First Reconstruction Act. Congress also passes the Tenure of Office Act, which stops Johnson from firing cabinet members without Congressional approval.
March 23, 1867: Overriding Johnson's veto, Congress passed the Second Reconstruction Act.
March 30, 1867: Secretary of State William Seward purchases Alaska. It is criticized as "Seward's Folly."
July 19, 1867: Congress overrides Johnson's Veto and passes the Third Reconstruction Act.
August 5, 1867: Johnson demands that Secretary of War Edwin Stanton resigns. Stanton refuses.
August 12, 1867: Johnson suspends Stanton and replaces him with war hero Ulysses S. Grant.
August 28, 1867: The United States annex the Midway Islands, which is modern-day Hawaii.
September 3, 1867: John issues a proclamation that orders all civil and military officials to abide by judicial laws and decisions.
December 12, 1867 - January 14, 1868: Johnson gives his reasons for suspending Stanton. Congress does not accept them. Grant then notifies Johnson that he will leave his temporary Cabinet post and return it to Edwin Stanton.
February 21, 1868: Johnson fires Stanton and hires General Lorenzo Thomas to take his place. Stanton barricades himself in his office for two months.
February 24, 1868: The House votes to Impeach President Andrew Johnson for violating the Tenure of Office Act.
May 16, 1868: The Senate falls one vote short of impeaching Johnson when Iowa Senator James Grimes votes in favor of the President.
May 20 - 21, 1868: Republicans nominate Ulysses S. Grant for president.
May 26, 1868: The Senate votes to acquit President Johnson
June 22 - 25, 1868: Congress overrides Johnson's veto to readmit seven Confederate states back into the Union.
June 25, 1868: Congress passes an act that sets an eight-hour workday for laborers and mechanics who are employed by the federal government.
July 4, 1868: Democrats nominate Horatio Seymour for President. Johnson grants a full pardon to all former Confederates except for those accused of treason or felony.
July 9, 1868: Johnson submits the Burlingame Treaty to Congress for approval.
July 28, 1868: The 14th Amendment to the Constitution is adopted, which comprised of Rights Guaranteed Privileges and Immunity of Citizenship, Due Process, and Equal Protection.
October 10, 1868: Johnson issues an order to the army calling for noninterference in any general or local election.
November 3, 1868: Grant won the Presidential Election of 1868 after receiving 450,000 votes from African Americans.