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Key People & TermsPeopleJohn Wilkes Booth A well-known stage actor and fanatic supporter of the South who assassinated President Abraham Lincoln on April 14, 1865, during a performance at Ford’s Theatre in Washington, D.C. After Lincoln’s death, Vice President Andrew Johnson became president.Ulysses S. Grant Union general and Civil War hero who went on to defeat Horatio Seymour in the presidential electionof 1868. Nicknamed “Unconditional Surrender” due to his hard-nosed war tactics, Grant joined the Republican Party and entered politics during the Reconstruction years. He served briefly as secretary of war after Andrew Johnsonfired Edwin M. Stantonbut resigned after Congress forcedJohnson to reinstate Stanton. Although Grant himself was an honest man, his cabinet was corrupt, and numerous scandals, such as the Fisk-Gould gold scheme, Crédit Mobilier, and the Whiskey Ring, marred his presidency. He retired after his second term.Horace Greeley Former New York Tribuneeditor who ran for president in the election of 1872. The Democrats and Liberal Republicansboth nominated Horace Greeley for president that year because they both desired limited government, reform, and a swift end to Reconstruction. This political alliance, however, ultimately weakened the Liberal Republicans’ cause in the North, because most Americansstill did not trust the Democratic Party. In the election, Ulysses S. Granteasily defeated Greeley.Rutherford B. Hayes Republican governor from Ohio and presidential nominee who ran against Democrat Samuel J. Tildenin the election of 1876. Republicans chose Hayes because he was virtually unknown in the political world, had no controversial opinions, and came from the politically important state of Ohio. In the wake of the scandals associated with Ulysses S. Grant’s presidency, Hayes’s clean political record made him a sound candidate. Although Hayes received fewer popular and electoral votes than Tilden in the election, he nonetheless became president after the Compromise of 1877.Andrew JohnsonFormer governor and senator from Tennessee who became president after Abraham Lincoln’s assassination. Lincoln chose Johnson as his running mate in the 1864election in order to persuade the conservative border states to remain in the Union. Johnson, neither a friend of the southern
aristocracy nor a proponent of securing rights for former slaves, fought Congress over passage of the Fourteenth Amendmentand the Civil Rights Bill of 1866. Johnson also believed that only he,not Congress, should be responsible for Reconstruction, recognizing new state governments according to the Ten-Percent Plan without Congress’s consent. The House of Representatives impeached Johnson in 1868for violating the Tenure of Office Act, but the Senate later acquitted him.