Andrew Johnson (1808-1875)

Futurist

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May 2014
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Didn't Benjamin Butler once have a man hanged just because the man took the American flag down off of a flagpole? I think that hanging a person just for disrespecting a flag (any flag) is monstrous, so I never really cared for Benjamin Butler.

Speaking of Benjamin Butler, I always thought that NYPD Blue actor Dennis Franz resembles Benjamin Butler a great deal. What do you think?
Dennis Franz - Wikipedia
Sort of?

Also, it's interesting that he has a brother named Franz Ferdinand. Was he named after the assassinated Archduke or is it just a coincidence?
 

betgo

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Jul 2011
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Butler was considered for the nomination mainly because he was a Democrat at that time. Dickenson, a Democrat from New York was the main candidate other than Johnson and Hamlin. It was the National Union Party supposedly including war Democrats. Johnson was not a good choice, but a radical was unlikely to be nominated, and might have created different problems.

If Lincoln had lived, he probably would have handled the situation much better than Johnson or a radical. There were other candidates considered such as northern Democrats and a Kentuckian who was a Union general. Probably most of them would have made better Presidents in the situation than Johnson.
 
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Futurist

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May 2014
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Butler was considered for the nomination mainly because he was a Democrat at that time. Dickenson, a Democrat from New York was the main candidate other than Johnson and Hamlin. It was the National Union Party supposedly including war Democrats. Johnson was not a good choice, but a radical was unlikely to be nominated, and might have created different problems.

If Lincoln had lived, he probably would have handled the situation much better than Johnson or a radical. There were other candidates considered such as northern Democrats and a Kentuckian who was a Union general. Probably most of them would have made better Presidents in the situation than Johnson.
I do wonder if the 15th Amendment would have still come about with a surviving Lincoln, though. After all, there was initially a lot of public hostility towards Black suffrage--which is why the 14th Amendment didn't require U.S. states to enfranchise their Black populations.
 

Viperlord

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Aug 2010
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Lincoln was already moving towards black suffrage at the time of his death, giving a speech in favor of "limited" black suffrage, so it is hard to see how that would not have happened. Lincoln was no saint but like with the Grant administration's support for the Fifteenth, he surely would paid at least some attention to the concerns of black veterans and newly minted Republican voters.
 
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betgo

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Jul 2011
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Whatever Lincoln did it would have been handled much smoother than what Johnson did. Lincoln was not taking the radical approach at all, but he could have changed as he did on slavery.

While I know many now think Reconstruction should have gone further, it wasn't likely that the result of another approach would have been more black political rights than actually occurred. It is hard to change society that much so quickly. It is also unlikely that the south could have gotten away with their initial approach with black codes.
 

betgo

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Jul 2011
6,493
I do wonder if the 15th Amendment would have still come about with a surviving Lincoln, though. After all, there was initially a lot of public hostility towards Black suffrage--which is why the 14th Amendment didn't require U.S. states to enfranchise their Black populations.
It is possible that the 15th Amendment would not have been adopted without Johnson.
 
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Futurist

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The Fifteenth Amendment was put forward in 1869 and ratified in 1870, after Johnson was gone.
Johnson's stubbornness and obstinacy is what led to Republicans gaining a supermajority in the U.S. Congress in 1866, no?
 

Futurist

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May 2014
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Lincoln was already moving towards black suffrage at the time of his death, giving a speech in favor of "limited" black suffrage, so it is hard to see how that would not have happened. Lincoln was no saint but like with the Grant administration's support for the Fifteenth, he surely would paid at least some attention to the concerns of black veterans and newly minted Republican voters.
Technically speaking, though, one could have tried to enfrachise Black veterans without enfranchising all Blacks.

FTR, I agree that, for electoral reasons, it was smart for the Republicans to push for nationwide Black suffrage. However, I just hope that they would have still been smart enough to see this in time had Lincoln lived.
 

Viperlord

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Aug 2010
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VA
Technically speaking, though, one could have tried to enfrachise Black veterans without enfranchising all Blacks.

FTR, I agree that, for electoral reasons, it was smart for the Republicans to push for nationwide Black suffrage. However, I just hope that they would have still been smart enough to see this in time had Lincoln lived.
Lincoln was quite adept at keeping abreast of public opinion and not getting out too far ahead of it; there is no reason to think that just black veterans was his hard limit.

Johnson's stubbornness and obstinacy is what led to Republicans gaining a supermajority in the U.S. Congress in 1866, no?
Certainly but speculating the alternative effects of hypotheticals on the exact composition of Congress and their state of mind politically is descending pretty far into the weeds and isn't a thread I'm really interested in pulling at. All of our speculations on that are completely unfalsifiable.
 
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