A conflict like the Civil War couldn’t end without leaving a great deal of bad feelings on both sides. Lee’s surrender at Appomattox was far from being the end of the struggle. Lincoln’s great popularity garnered support for his lenient Reconstruction policies, but after his assassination a more severe faction quickly gained power.

Before long, a second Civil War was being waged, this time in the chambers of the House and Senate. The result was the first impeachment of an American president. The Struggle Between President Johnson and Congress Over Reconstruction by Charles Ernest Chadsey, Ph.D., tells the story.

Any question involving the relationship between the states and the central government is always controversial, but Chadsey does an excellent job leaving his personal bias out of the story. His rare comments are quite unobtrusive. The book is an absorbing narrative, not an opinion piece. All sides, whether the Congressional party or the Southerners, are presented fairly. Chadsey also did extensive research, as evidenced by a long list of endnotes referring readers to his sources.

Available free online, The Struggle Between President Johnson and Congress Over Reconstruction is an excellent resource to add to your reading list, covering a critical period in America’s history in a way that leaves you free to form your own opinion.

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