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Encyclopedia > Confederate States Constitution
The Confederate States Constitution
The Confederate States Constitution

The Constitution of the Confederate States of America was the supreme law of the Confederate States of America, as adopted on March 11, 1861 and in effect through the conclusion of the American Civil War. The Confederacy also operated under a Provisional Constitution from February 8, 1861 to March 11, 1861. Photo of the Constitution of the Confederate States of America. ... The stela of King Hammurabi depicts the god Shamash revealing a code of laws to the king. ... Motto: Deo Vindice (Latin: With God As Our Vindicator) Anthem: God Save the South (unofficial) Dixie (popular) The Bonnie Blue Flag (popular) Capital Montgomery, Alabama (February 4, 1861–May 29, 1861) Richmond, Virginia (May 29, 1861–April 2, 1865) Danville, Virginia (April 3–April 10, 1865) Largest city New Orleans... March 11 is the 70th day of the year in the Gregorian Calendar (71st in Leap year). ... 1861 is a common year starting on Tuesday. ... Combatants United States of America (Union) Confederate States of America (Confederacy) Commanders Abraham Lincoln, Ulysses S. Grant Jefferson Davis, Robert Edward Lee Strength 2,200,000 1,064,000 Casualties 110,000 killed in action, 360,000 total dead, 275,200 wounded 93,000 killed in action, 258,000 total... The Provisional Constitution of the Confederate States of America was an interim constitution adopted by the Confederacy and in force from February 8, 1861 to March 11, 1861. ... February 8 is the 39th day of the year in the Gregorian Calendar. ... 1861 is a common year starting on Tuesday. ... March 11 is the 70th day of the year in the Gregorian Calendar (71st in Leap year). ... 1861 is a common year starting on Tuesday. ...


In regard to most articles of the Constitution, the document is a word-for-word duplicate of the United States Constitution. The original, hand-written document is currently located in the University of Georgia archives at Athens, Georgia. The major differences between the two constitutions was the Confederacy's greater emphasis on the rights of individual member states, and an explicit support of slavery. The United States Constitution is the supreme law of the United States of America. ... The University of Georgia, is located approximately 70 miles north-east of Atlanta in Athens, Georgia and is the largest institution of higher learning and research in the State of Georgia. ... Athens or Athens-Clarke County is a city in Clarke County, Georgia, U.S., in the northeastern part of the state, just off of Georgia 316. ... To meet Wikipedias quality standards, this article or section may require cleanup. ...

Contents

Branches

The constitution outlines a three branch government, consisting of the:

The Congress of the Confederate States was the legislative body of the Confederate States of America, existing during the American Civil War between 1861 and 1865. ... The Confederate Congress was the legislative body of the Confederate States of America, existing during the American Civil War between 1861 and 1865. ... The Confederate Congress was the legislative body of the Confederate States of America, existing during the American Civil War between 1861 and 1865. ... The President of the Confederate States was the Head of State of the short-lived republic of the Confederate States of America, which seceded from the United States. ... An electoral college is a set of electors who are empowered as a deliberative body to elect someone to a particular office. ... The supreme court in some countries, provinces, and states, functions as a court of last resort whose rulings cannot be challenged. ...

Slavery

The constitution forbade the practice of importing slaves from outside the Confederacy, but explicitly established slavery as a right in the following key provision:

No bill of attainder, ex post facto law, or law denying or impairing the right of property in negro slaves shall be passed [by Congress]

The constitution likewise prohibited the Confederate Congress from abolishing or limiting slavery in Confederate territories (unlike the United States, where, prior to the Dred Scott decision, Congress had prohibited slavery in some territories). The legal basis for slavery in the Confederacy is largely presented as an extension of property rights. Holding Blacks, whether slaves or free, could not become United States citizens and the plaintiff therefore lacked the capacity to file a lawsuit. ... // Use of the term In common usage, property means ones own thing and refers to the relationship between individuals and the objects which they see as being their own to dispense with as they see fit. ...


A proposal to prohibit free states from joining the Confederate States of America was narrowly defeated, largely due to the efforts of moderates such as Alexander Stephens. Stephens reasoned that economics might persuade free states with strong economic ties to the South to join the Confederacy. Alexander Hamilton Stephens (February 11, 1812 – March 4, 1883) was Vice President of the Confederate States of America during the American Civil War. ...


Changes from U.S. constitution

  • The President was elected for a single six-year term, rather than an unlimited (at that time) number of four-year terms or a maximum of two four-year terms (today).
  • Several provisions in Article I, as follows: prohibited non-citizens from voting (Sec. 2, Cl. 1 - a nativist provision showing the lingering influence of the Know-Nothing movement, though it was past its peak by the time of the Civil War), extended the power of impeachment of federal officials to state legislatures in certain cases (Sec. 2, Cl. 5), granted cabinet officers opportunity to address the House of Representatives (Sec. 6), and gave the Confederate President a line item veto over certain appropriations legislation (Sec. 7, Cl. 2).
  • The first twelve amendments to the U.S. Constitution, including the Bill of Rights, were directly incorporated into the Confederate Constitution. This was originally suggested by James Madison for the Bill of Rights in the time after the Constitution Convention, but he was defeated. (In providing for these rights within Article I, the Confederate Framers disallowed the criticism that has been made by American jurists such as Judge Robert Bork that the Bill of Rights is not, de jure, part of the original Constitution [citation needed]. The Confederate Framers seemed to want to avoid such an argument from ever being made.)
  • There were several minor technical changes in the text adopted from the U.S. Constitution. Each clause within a section was numbered, whereas in the U.S. constitution clause numbers were only inferred, capitalization of nouns was closer to modern usage, and "Confederate States" was substituted for "United States" wherever necessary.
  • The preamble maintained the structure of the preamble to the U.S. Constitution with several distinction. The Confederate preamble added the words "each State acting in its sovereign and independent character" after "We the people of the Confederate States"; substituted "permanent federal government" for "more perfect Union"; deleted the phrases referring to providing for the "common defence" and "general welfare"; and inserted the words "invoking the favor and guidance of Almighty God".
  • Despite some opposition, the international slave trade was banned in the Confederacy, as it had been in the U.S. since 1808. Delegates feared that European governments would not recognize a CSA that did not prohibit the international trade. The international slave trade was distasteful to many slaveowners. Prohibition of foreign slave trade also protected the substantial domestic slave trade in Virginia and Maryland, who had yet to join the CSA.
  • Confederate officials serving within a state could be impeached by the legislature of that state, as well as by the Confederate Congress.
  • The phrase "to promote or foster any branch of industry" was added to the "tax uniformity clause" in Section I, Article 8 to stress the opposition of the Confederacy to non-uniform tariffs such as the Tariff of 1828, also known as the Tariff of Abominations.
  • The process of amendment became easier, requiring two-thirds of the states rather than three-fourths.
  • If there was a vacancy in the House of Representatives, the governor of the state represented could fill the vacancy. He could do so for a Senate vacancy only during the recess of the legislature, and only for a term until the legislature met and made its own choice.

A term limit is a legal restriction that limits the number of terms a person may serve in a particular elected office. ... The term Nativism is used in both politics and psychology in two fundamentally different ways. ... The Know-Nothing movement was a nativist American political movement of the 1850s. ... In government, the line-item veto is the power of an executive to veto parts of a bill, usually budget appropriations. ... Image of the United States Bill of Rights from the U.S. National Archives and Records Administration. ... Robert Bork Robert Heron Bork (born March 1, 1927 in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania) is a conservative American legal scholar who advocates the judicial philosophy of originalism. ... 1808 was a leap year starting on Friday (see link for calendar). ... This article does not cite its references or sources. ... This article does not cite its references or sources. ... The Tariff of 1828, also known as the Tariff of Abominations, was a protective tariff passed by the U.S. Congress in 1828. ...

States' rights

The Preamble to the Confederate Constitution begins: "We, the people of the Confederate States, each State acting in its sovereign and independent character..."


Although many consider the Confederacy an attempt to advance the cause of states' rights, such an agenda was little evidenced in the Confederate Constitution itself. The Constitution contained many of the phrases and clauses which had led to disagreement among the states in the original Union, including a Supremacy Clause, a Commerce Clause (albeit a more restrained version than in the U.S. Constitution), and a Necessary and Proper Clause. By these clauses, the Confederate Congress had almost all the powers that the U.S. Congress did. There are arguably clauses which make the national government more powerful, such as the line item veto power given to the president. Further, the Constitution provided for a Supreme Court, which, through the Supremacy Clause, could be argued as having all the powers claimed for the U.S. Supreme Court by John Marshall. And, the constitution was to take effect upon ratification by five members, similar to the U.S. Constitution, which took effect after nine states ratified it. This had been a major point of contention in the Anti-Federalist Papers. In short, there is little evidence within the Confederate Constitution to support the contention that states' rights was foremost on the minds of its framers. It is perhaps more accurate to suggest that the framers, having studied the various constitutional crises which had arisen between 1787 and 1860, tried to revise the constitution towards protecting against abuse by one sector of the Union against another, while trying to ensure that southern states would not be compelled to give up slavery in violation of the constitution they had agreed to. Article VI, Paragraph 2 of the United States Constitution is known as the Supremacy Clause: The Supremacy Clause establishes the Constitution, Federal Statutes, and U.S. treaties as the supreme law of the land. ... Article I, Section 8, Clause 3 of the United States Constitution, known as the Commerce Clause, empowers the United States Congress To regulate Commerce with foreign Nations, and among the several States, and with the Indian Tribes. ... The necessary and proper clause (also known as the elastic clause) refers to Section 8 of Article One of the United States Constitution: To make all laws which shall be necessary and proper for carrying into execution the foregoing powers, and all other powers vested by this Constitution in the... The Supreme Court Building, Washington, D.C. The Supreme Court Building, Washington, D.C., (large image) The Supreme Court of the United States, located in Washington, D.C., is the highest court (see supreme court) in the United States; that is, it has ultimate judicial authority within the United States... John Marshall (September 24, 1755–July 6, 1835) was an American statesman and jurist who more than anyone shaped American constitutional law and made the Supreme Court a center of power. ... The Anti-Federalist Papers are a collection of articles, written in opposition to the ratification of the 1787 Constitution of the United States. ... A constitutional crisis is a severe breakdown in the smooth operation of government. ...


Signatories

The signatories of the constitution were:

Howell Cobb (September 7, 1815–October 9, 1868) was an American political figure. ... Official language(s) English Capital Charleston(1670-1789) Columbia(1790-present) Largest city Columbia Largest metro area Greenville-Spartanburg-Anderson Area  Ranked 40th  - Total 34,726 sq mi (82,965 km²)  - Width 200 miles (320 km)  - Length 260 miles (420 km)  - % water 6  - Latitude 32°430N to 35... Robert Barnwell Rhett of South Carolina was a lawyer, state legislator, state attorney general (1832), U.S. representative (1837-49), and senator (1850-52). ... Christopher Gustavus Memminger (January 9, 1803–March 7, 1888) was a prominent Confederate political leader. ... This article needs to be cleaned up to conform to a higher standard of quality. ... James Chesnut, Jr. ... Robert W. Barnwell Robert Woodward Barnwell (1801-1882) was an American planter, lawyer, and educator from South Carolina who served as a Senator in both the United States Senate and that of the Confederate States of America. ... William Waters Boyce (October 24, 1818 – February 3, 1890) was an attorney, South Carolina state politician, and a U.S. Congressman. ... Francis Stebbins Bartow Francis Stebbins Bartow ( September 6, 1816, Chatham Country, Savannah, Georgia; d. ... Thomas R. R. Cobb Thomas Reade Rootes Cobb (April 10, 1823 – December 13, 1862) was an American lawyer, author, politician, and Confederate general, killed in the Battle of Fredericksburg during the American Civil War. ... This article or section does not cite its references or sources. ... U.S. Senator Jackson Morton (Whig-Florida) Jackson Morton (August 10, 1794 - November 20, 1874) was a United States Senator from Florida. ... Official language(s) English Capital Montgomery Largest city Birmingham Area  Ranked 30th  - Total 52,419 sq mi (135,765 km²)  - Width 190 miles (306 km)  - Length 330 miles (531 km)  - % water 3. ... David Peter Lewis (1820–July 3, 1884) was the Republican Governor of Alabama from 1872 to 1874. ... John Gill Shorter (April 3, 1818–May 29, 1872) was the Democratic Governor of the U.S. state of Alabama from 1861 to 1863, during the Civil War. ... This article does not cite its references or sources. ... This Article does not cite its references or sources. ... Duncan F. Kenner (1813 - July 3, 1887) was a Louisiana polician, lawyer, and diplomat for the Confederate States of America. ... Official language(s) See: Languages of Texas Capital Austin Largest city Houston Area  Ranked 2nd  - Total 268,581 sq mi (695,622 km²)  - Width 773 miles (1,244 km)  - Length 790 miles (1,270 km)  - % water 2. ... John Hemphill John Hemphill (December 18, 1803–January 3, 1862) was Chief Justice of the Texas Supreme Court, a United States Senator, and a veteran of wars with Native Americans. ... John Henninger Reagan (October 8, 1818–March 6, 1905), was an 19th century Texan Democratic politician and Postmaster-General of the Confederacy. ... Louis T. (Trezevant) Wigfall (April 21, 1816 - February 18, 1874) was an American politician from Texas he served as a member of the Texas Legislature, U.S. and Confederate Senates. ... William Beck Ochiltree (October 18, 1811-December 27, 1867), was a pioneer settler, judge, and legislator in Texas. ...

Links

  • Study on the differences between the United States and Confederate States Constitutions
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Confederate States of America - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia (4902 words)
The Confederate States of America (also referred to as the Confederacy, Confederate States, and CSA) was the nation formed by eleven southern states of the USA between 1861 and 1865.
Delaware, also a slave state, never considered secession, nor did the capital of the U.S., Washington, D.C. In 1861, during the war, a unionist legislature in Wheeling, Virginia seceded from Virginia, claiming 48 counties, and joined the United States, in 1863, as the state of West Virginia, with a constitution that gradually abolished slavery.
The Confederate Congress responded to the hostilities by formally declaring war on the United States in May 1861--calling it "The War between the Confederate States of America and the United States of America." The Union government never declared war but conducted its war efforts under a proclamation of blockade and rebellion by President Lincoln.
Confederate States of America: Definition and Much More from Answers.com (6361 words)
The Confederate cruisers built or bought in England were a scourge to the U.S. merchant marine, and later at the settlement of the Alabama claims, Great Britain was adjudged partly responsible for their depredations; but beyond this the Confederate missions of James M. Mason, John Slidell, William L. Yancey, and others in Europe achieved little.
The Confederate States of America (also referred to as the Confederacy, Confederate States, and CSA) was the government formed by eleven southern states of the USA between 1861 and 1865.
Following Abraham Lincoln's election as President of the United States in 1860 on a platform that opposed the extension of slavery, seven slave southern states chose to secede from the United States and declared that the Confederate States of America was formed on February 4, 1861.
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