In the summer of 1868, a mere three years after the end of America’s most destructive military struggle, the country was at war again. This time, however, the fight was different, pitting Congress and President Andrew Johnson against one another over which branch of the federal government should determine how the states of the Confederacy should be readmitted into the Union. Congress’s dedication to determining the fate of the South led its members to choose to impeach the president, then place him on trial for defying Congressional authority. For many, the impeachment and trial of Johnson symbolized the larger power struggle between the executive and legislative branches of the American government. Reconstruction: Life After the Civil War examines one of the most controversial eras in U.S. history, when the nation sought to reestablish itself in the aftermath of the Civil War, overcome regional politics, and redefine the political, social, and economic realities of the nation’s four million blacks.