Recife Map on When Lincoln was assassinated a few weeks into his second term, Johnson became president. From the outset of his presidency, there may never have been a more hostile relationship between a president and Congress. Johnson had always been a strict constructionist, who believed in limited government. Although he had accepted emancipation, he wanted to leave it up to the states to decide how to deal with the new freedmen. He saw military occupation of the South as a temporary measure and wanted to return to democratic government as soon as possible. Johnson’s critics pointed out that his policies left the new freed-men at the mercy of a hostile white majority, and that quick removal of the military would turn these states back to people who had been traitors just a few years earlier. Nevertheless, Johnson opposed measures designed to protect the rights of African-Americans, including the proposed 14th Amendment to the Constitution. Recife Map 2016.
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