Impeachment, in the United States and Great Britain proceeding by a legislature for the
removal of office of a public official charged with misconduct in office. Impeachment
compromises both the act of formulating the accusation and the resulting trial of charges; it is
frequently but mistakenly taken to mean removal from office of an accused official. An
impeachment trial may result in an acquittal or in a verdict of guilty. The U.S. Constitution, in
Article 1, Section 3 , provides for the impeachment of public federal officials and gives precise
directions for conducting impeachment. The House of Representatives initiates impeachment
proceedings by resolution and appoints a number of its members to act as managers in
prosecute the impeachment before the Senate, which serves as a court to try the official. The vice
president, who presides over the Senate, also presides at impeachment trials, except in the case of
an impeachment of the president. A two-thirds majority vote of the senators present at an
impeachment trial is necessary to secure a conviction.
The first president to be impeached was Andrew Johnson. The 17th president, Johnson
became president at a critical time in American history. He succeeded Abraham Lincoln when
Lincoln was assassinated in April 1865, only a few days after the Civil War ended. In addition to
these trying times, Johnson also had trouble cooperating with other political leaders while
proceeding to accomplish his goals.
Johnson was born in 1808 to Jacob and Mary Mcdonough Johnson in Raleigh, North Carolina.
In 1827 ,Johnson opened a tailor shop i...
... middle of paper ...
... articles of impeachment. The
Radicals had been pressing hard for a solid Republican vote, which would have given them more
than two-thirds majority required for conviction. Surprisingly seven Republicans joined 12
Democrats in voting against conviction. The final count of 35 to 19 was one vote short of the
two-thirds majority needed for a conviction. Johnson was acquitted.
.1 Garraty, John A., The American Nation (HarperCollins CollegePublishers,1995)
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