The 1866 State of the Union Address was given by the United States' 17th President, Andrew Johnson, on Monday, December 3, 1866. It was not a spoken address, but a written one. The Reconstruction Era had begun, and Johnson wanted a policy that pardoned the Confederates. He began with, "In all of the States civil authority has superseded the coercion of arms, and the people, by their voluntary action, are maintaining their governments in full activity and complete operation." In the middle, he said,"In our efforts to preserve "the unity of government which constitutes as one people" by restoring the States to the condition which they held prior to the rebellion, we should be cautious, lest, having rescued our nation from perils of threatened disintegration, we resort to consolidation, and in the end absolute despotism, as a remedy for the recurrence of similar troubles."  The rebellion he is referring to is the American Civil War, which ended in 1865.