- For other meanings of confederate and confederacy, see confederacy (disambiguation)
Confederate States of America
|National Motto |
(Latin: Under God our Vindicator)
|Official language || |
English de facto nationwide
Various European and Native American languages regionally
|Capital ||Montgomery, Alabama |
February 4, 1861–May 29, 1861
May 29, 1861–April 9, 1865
|Largest city ||New Orleans |
February 4, 1861–May 1, 1862
|President ||Jefferson Davis |
- % water
|(excl. MO & KY) |
- 1860 Census (http://fisher.lib.virginia.edu/cgi-local/censusbin/census/cen.pl)
|(excl. MO & KY) |
|Civil War |
February 4, 1861
By Saxe-Coburg and Gotha
|Currency ||US dollar ($), |
|Time zone ||UTC -5 to UTC -7 |
|National anthem ||God Save the South (Unofficial) |
|Internet TLD ||N/A |
|Calling Code ||N/A |
The Confederate States of America (CSA, also known as the Confederacy) was the confederation formed by the southern states that seceded from the United States during the period of the American Civil War. The 11 states of the Confederacy were Alabama, Arkansas, Florida, Georgia, Louisiana, Mississippi, North Carolina, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas and Virginia. Missouri, Kentucky and Maryland were all under Federal occupation with pro-Confederate politicians rounded up and imprisoned. Missouri and Kentucky are represented on the Confederate battle flag with stars. The five tribal governments of the Indian Territory also supported the Confederacy. Residents in New Mexico and Arizona territories at Mesilla and Tuscon also petitioned the Confederate government for annexation of their lands, prompting an expedition in which territory south of the 34th parallel was claimed by the Confederacy. Also note that West Virginia seceded from Virginia and later rejoined the Union or United States.
The Confederacy was formed on February 4, 1861, and Jefferson Davis was selected as its first President of the Confederate States the next day.
For most of its duration, the Confederacy was engaged in the American Civil War against the remainder of the Union.
Structure and government
Its constitution was based to a certain extent on both the Articles of Confederation and on the United States Constitution, but it reflected a stronger philosophy of states' rights, and also contained explicit protection of the institution of slavery. It differed from the US Constitution in that the federal government was prohibited from issuing protective tariffs or funding internal improvements, but was mandated to protect the institution of slavery in the territories. At the same time, however, much of the Confederate constitution was a word-for-word duplicate of the US one. At the drafting of the Constitution of the Confederacy, many radical proposals such as allowing only slave states to join and the reinstatement of the Atlantic slave trade were turned down. The Constitution specifically did not include a provision allowing states to secede, since the southerners believed this to be a right inherent in the U.S. Constitution, and thus including it as such would have weakened their original argument for secession.
Unlike the U.S. president, the president of the Confederacy was to be elected to a six-year term and could not be reelected. The only president was Jefferson Davis; the Confederacy was defeated by Union forces before he could finish out his term. One unique power granted to the Confederate president was the ability to subject a bill to a line item veto, a power held by some state governors. Printing currency in bills and stamps was authorized and put into circulation, although by the individual states in the Confederacy's name. The government considered issuing Confederate coinage. Plans, dies and 4 "proofs" were created, but a lack of bullion prevented any public coinage. The Confederate Congress could overturn either the general or the line item vetoes with the same two thirds majorities that are required in the US Congress.
Although the preamble refers to "each State acting in its sovereign and independent character", it also refers to the formation of a "permanent federal government". Also, although slavery was enshrined in the constitution, it also prohibited the importation of new slaves from outside the Confederacy.
Although negotiations took place between the Confederacy and several European powers (including France and the UK), it was never granted formal recognition by any foreign state. Following Lincoln's Emancipation Proclamation, the UK and France broke off negotiations.
The capital of the Confederacy was Montgomery, Alabama, from February 4, 1861, until May 29, 1861, when it was moved to Richmond, Virginia. (Richmond was named the new capital on May 6, 1861.) Shortly before the end of the war the Confederate government evacuated Richmond with plans to relocate further south to Atlanta, Georgia, or to Columbia, South Carolina, but little came of this before Lee's surrender.
The official flag of the Confederacy, and the one actually called the "Stars and Bars", was sometimes hard to distinguish from the Union flag under battle conditions, so the Confederate battle flag, the "Southern Cross", became the one more commonly used. Therefore, the "Southern Cross" is the flag most people associate with the Confederacy today. (In the past, it was also called the "Palmetto Flag". It is often called the "Stars and Bars" too, but this name is incorrect.) The Stars and Bars had seven stars, for the seven states that had seceded from the Union by the time it was adopted; the Southern Cross had thirteen stars, for the eleven states that did secede and for the two states with competing unionist and secessionist governments that were admitted to the Confederacy, so they had representatives in both governments: Kentucky and Missouri (See Missouri Secession).
|State ||Seceded ||Admitted C.S. ||Readmitted U.S. ||Local rule reestablished |
|South Carolina ||December 20, 1860 ||February 4, 1861 ||July 9, 1868 ||November 28, 1876 |
|Mississippi ||January 9, 1861 ||February 4, 1861 ||February 23, 1870 ||January 4, 1876 |
|Florida ||January 10, 1861 ||February 4, 1861 ||June 25, 1868 ||January 2, 1877 |
|Alabama ||January 11, 1861 ||February 4, 1861 ||July 14, 1868 ||November 16, 1874 |
|Georgia ||January 19, 1861 ||February 4, 1861 ||July 15, 1870 ||November 1, 1871 |
|Louisiana ||January 26, 1861 ||February 4, 1861 ||June 25, 1868, |
or July 9, 1868
|January 2, 1877 |
|Texas ||February 1, 1861 ||March 2, 1861 ||March 30, 1870 ||January 14, 1873 |
|Virginia ||April 17, 1861 ||May 7, 1861 ||January 26, 1870 ||October 5, 1869 |
|Arkansas ||May 6, 1861 ||May 18, 1861 ||June 22, 1868 ||November 10, 1874 |
|Tennessee ||May 6, 1861 ||May 16, 1861 ||July 24, 1866 ||October 4, 1869 |
|North Carolina ||May 21, 1861 ||May 16, 1861 ||July 4, 1868 ||November 28, 1876 |
Political leaders of the Confederacy
Military leaders of the Confederacy
- An Act to Prohibit the Importation of Luxuries, or of Articles not Necessary or of Common Use (http://fax.libs.uga.edu/JK9708x1864/), 1864, a Confederate Congress document
- Confederate States of Am. Army and Navy Uniforms (http://fax.libs.uga.edu/canu/), 1861
- The Countryman, 1862-1866 (http://fax.libs.uga.edu/AP2xC84/), published weekly by Turnwold, Ga., edited by J.A. Turner
- The Federal and the Confederate Constitution Compared (http://fax.libs.uga.edu/ccsus/)
- The Making of the Confederate Constitution (http://fax.libs.uga.edu/F206xS727xv9/), by A. L. Hull, 1905.
- Official Journal of the House of Representatives of the State of Louisiana (http://fax.libs.uga.edu/JK4725x1861xA25/), November, 1861
- Photographic History of the Civil War, 10 vols., 1912. (http://fax.libs.uga.edu/E468x7xM647/)
- Preventing Diplomatic Recognition of the Confederacy (http://www.state.gov/r/pa/ho/time/cw/17609.htm)
- DocSouth: Documenting the American South (http://docsouth.unc.edu/index.html) - numerous online text, image, and audio collections.