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Chapter 11 Skill/Project


Lesson Plan: Impeachment


The students will:

  • Be able to describe the constitutional process of impeachment.
  • Evaluate the constitutional meaning of "high crimes and misdemeanors."
  • List the specific charges against President Andrew Johnson that led to his impeachment.
  • Read and evaluate primary sources relating to the Johnson impeachment.
  • Compare historical events surrounding the near-impeachment of Richard Nixon and the impeachment of Bill Clinton with the events leading to the earlier impeachment of Andrew Johnson.


  • Discuss the impeachment of Bill Clinton in 1998. Background information is available at the History Place.
  • It is also good to look at the Watergate scandal and the process towards impeachment that ended with President Nixon’s resignation. The History Place also has excellent information on these events. It is important to note that only two presidents have been impeached—Andrew Johnson and Bill Clinton; Richard Nixon was not impeached because he resigned before the process could be completed.


Additional Resources

  • Book: John F. Kennedy, Profiles in Courage: The chapter on Edmund Ross, a Radical Republican, who voted for acquittal despite the risk to his political career, is excellent.
  • The Avalon Project has an excellent website devoted to the impeachment of Andrew Johnson.
  • Federalist 65 on Senate powers of impeachment.
  • Myers v. United States