Who Was Andrew Johnson?



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Directions: Read the questions at the end of the passage. As you begin to read underline any information that helps you to complete the passage. After you have read the entire passage, complete the questions.
Who Was Andrew Johnson?

(Adapted from Joy Hakim, “A History of US”)


It was an actor’s bullet that gave the country a new president. Now everyone was asking what kind of man he was. People didn’t know quite what to expect of President Andrew Johnson.
He was almost exactly the same age as Abraham Lincoln, and like Lincoln, he’d been a poor boy who had made his own way in life. Johnson had once been a tailor, but when he got up at a political meeting and began speaking, he found he had a talent. He could captivate and hold an audience.
Andy Johnson didn’t have much education, but he was smart and he soon became wealthy. His wife helped smooth his rough edges and taught him some book learning, too. He was a Democrat and a slave owner.
In his home state, Tennessee, he became governor, congressman, and senator. He was in the Senate when the Southern states, including Tennessee, seceded. He stuck with the Union. When Union forces captured Tennessee, President Lincoln made him military governor. He held the post during the war. He was often in danger. But Andrew Johnson was courageous. He was a good man for the job.
Even though Johnson was a Democrat, and Lincoln a Republican, Abraham Lincoln asked Johnson to be Vice President.
Now the awful war was over. It was time for healing. Most people were encouraged. Johnson seemed the perfect person to bring the South and North together again. After all, Johnson was a Southerner who had the courage to stay with the Union. Both Democrats and Republicans supported him. Perhaps it was all for the best.
But those who knew Johnson weren’t so sure. Yes he had courage, no doubt about that. But he was also stubborn. He didn’t ask for advice, or listen when it was given. Lincoln asked questions, listened, and changed his mind when he thought it needed changing. He knew how to compromise. Andy Johnson was uncompromising. He was very rigid.
Questions: Complete the questions below in complete sentences.


  1. In what state was Andrew Johnson born?



  1. Andrew Johnson was a member of which political party?



  1. What strengths did Andrew Johnson bring to the political office?



  1. What weaknesses did Andrew Johnson bring to the political office?



  1. Using the reading above and your previous knowledge, predict what type of plan Andrew Jackson might have to reconstruct the Union.


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