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Confederate States of America
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Confederate States of America

The Confederate States of America (CSA, also known as the Confederacy) was the federation 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. (Note that the states of Missouri and Kentucky each had two separate governments, one Union, one Confederate. As such, they were claimed by both sides as members.)

The Confederacy was formed on February 4, 1861 and Jefferson Davis was selected as its first president the next day.

For most of its duration, the Confederacy was engaged in the American Civil War against the remainder of the Union.

Table of contents
1 Structure and government
2 See also
3 Timeline
4 Significant dates
5 Political leaders of the Confederacy
6 Military leaders of the Confederacy
7 External links

Structure and government

Its constitution was very similar to that of the United States (or the "Union"), although it reflected a stronger philosophy of states' rights, and it also contained an explicit protection of the institution of slavery. For instance, 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 drafting of the Constitution of the Confederacy, many radical proposals such as allowing only slave states to join and to reinstate 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. The Congress could overturn either the general or the line item vetoes with the same two thirds majorities that are required in the U.S. 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.

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). Shortly before the end of the war the Confederate government evacuated Richmond with plans to relocate further south, 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 and, therefore, the one most people associate with the Confederacy today. (It is often called the "Stars and Bars," too, but this 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 that were admitted to the Confederacy but that had either declared neutrality or been prevented from seceding by Union occupation, so they had representatives in both governments: Kentucky and Missouri.

See also


Significant dates

StateSecededAdmitted C.S.Readmitted U.S."Conservative Rule Reestablished"
South CarolinaDecember 20, 1860February 4, 1861July 9, 1868November 28, 1876
MississippiJanuary 9, 1861February 4, 1861February 23, 1870January 4, 1876
FloridaJanuary 10,1861February 4, 1861June 25, 1868January 2, 1877
AlabamaJanuary 11, 1861February 4, 1861July 14, 1868November 16, 1874
GeorgiaJanuary 19, 1861February 4, 1861July 15, 1870November 1, 1871
LouisianaJanuary 26, 1861February 4, 1861June 25 or July 9, 1868January 2, 1877
TexasFebruary 1, 1861March 2, 1861March 30, 1870January 14, 1873
VirginiaApril 17, 1861May 7, 1861January 26, 1870October 5, 1869
ArkansasMay 6, 1861May 18, 1861June 22, 1868November 10, 1874
TennesseeMay 6, 1861May 16, 1861July 24, 1866October 4, 1869
North CarolinaMay 21, 1861May 16, 1861July 4, 1868November 28, 1876

Political leaders of the Confederacy

Military leaders of the Confederacy

External links