Confederate States of America
The Confederate States of America (CSA, also known as the Confederacy) was the confederacy 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. 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 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 on the Articles of Confederation and not on that of the United States (or the "Union"), and 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, common currency, 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. 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 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, 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 that were admitted to the Confederacy but never actually seceded, so they had representatives in both governments: Kentucky and Missouri.
|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
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