The personality of Andrew Johnson
Described as stocky but well proportioned, Andrew Johnson stood five feet and ten inches with a brown complexion. He had a protruding forehead and bushy eyebrows. His defining characteristics were practical logic and tireless dedication towards the political party he joined and put an effort to uphold their outlooks and beliefs.
Andrew Johnson was direct and straightforward, who spoke bluntly, which made him appear cold. Due to his common roots, he was an underdog throughout his life. He eschews from Washington’s elite society to avoid being ridiculed and preferred his old friends’ company.
He was a gifted orator because he was honed by the books of great oration that was read to him while working in his tailor shop and further polished as he spoke in from his colleagues as an alderman and a mayor.
After the assassination of Abraham Lincoln, Andrew Johnson ascended to the presidency; unfortunately, his views in reconstruction were arguable at odds with the late president’s vision for the south, which resulted in him being the first president to be impeached on February 24, 1868.
His prominent personality was his stubbornness. He resists new ideas and does not support them, especially the 14th amendment, which aims to give former slaves citizenship. He even went on a disastrous national tour in 1866 to promote his policies. It was his unsuccessful attempt to help him come back to his growing Republican detractors. He continued to use public opinion against him. His conflict against Congress grew as he vetoed Kansas’s admission into the Union and then, Congress overrode his veto. It clearly shows that Andrew Johnson found it difficult to accept that he was wrong about something. Andrew Johnson unlikely respect people who disagree with his known facts.
Andrew Johnson was substantially insensitive. Bizarrely, he continued to think that he was in a strong position; however, even the southern Democrats turned against him as Tennessee, his hometown, ratified the 14th amendment.
He always works by the book, Andrew Johnson believe that things work best with clear and defined rules; little did he knew, it made him more reluctant to bend the rules and explore new thoughts and ideas. Unstructured environments left him paralyzed. He even dismissed his Secretary of War, Edwin Stanton, because he felt that Stanton was undermining his Reconstruction policies. He replaced him with Ulysses Grant; however, the Senate reinstated Edwin Stanton as they contended that Andrew Johnson violated the Tenure of Office Act in January 1868. It restricts a president from removing a particular public official without the approval of the Senate.
He tried to embody integrity in his actions. Andrew Johnson worked hard and stayed focused on the goals. As Andrew Johnson was dependable through and through during the Civil War, his loyalty to the Union became his strong sentiment. He was able to fulfill his duties at the cost of him being labeled as a traitor by Tennessee’s citizens because he decided to remain on the Union’s side instead that join the confederates.
With his marriage to Eliza, he disregarded gender roles and allowed her to teach him. Even though there are rare accounts of his personal life, it was evident that he was a dedicated husband. It devoted tremendous effort and energy to ensure his family’s safety and comfort, primarily when they were driven out of Tennessee. He approached his relationship from a rational perspective and to fulfill his responsibilities.
As he came from a small town and befriended skilled workers, his friendship was loyal, trustworthy, and honorable. Andrew Johnson’s deep commitment was commendable.
Many were dismayed with his lenient reconstruction policies for the former confederate states and officials. It was evident that he was reluctant to make any harsh decisions and was sympathetic because of his sensitivity to criticisms. He was a productive subordinate as he respected authority and does not have any problems following orders and instructions, but his inflexibility hindered his growth as a president. He acted based on his nature.
In conclusion, Andrew Johnson was easily tripped up by his practical and methodological approaches in life, and it became a liability than an asset. He also failed to develop his weaker traits and additional skills to make his administration progressive. Consequently, Andrew Johnson preferred to work alone because of the belief that he could set and achieve his goal without debate or worry over another’s opinion. His stubbornness caused him more trouble than he expected.
He was fateful to appease the south; that is why most of his policies were subtly in favor of them; in contrast, he was creating friction with both northern and southern states. Unclear guidelines and people who tried to break the rules undermined his efforts, and Andrew Johnson cannot tolerate these. If only he had the guts to lessen his southern sympathy, he would have smoothly handled the reconstruction.