This Day in History: March 11

On this day in 1861, delegates from South Carolina, Mississippi, Florida, Alabama, Georgia, Louisiana, and Texas met in Montgomery, Alabama to adopt the Permanent Constitution of the Confederate States of America.

The constitution closely resembled the Constitution of the United States, even repeating much of its language. However, it was actually more similar to the Articles of Confederation -- the initial constitution of the nation following the Revolutionary War -- in its delegation of extensive powers to the states. The constitution also differed from the U.S. Constitution in its protection of slavery, which was “recognized and protected” in slave states and territories. However, in adherence to U.S. policy since the start of the 19th century, the foreign slave trade was prohibited.

The constitution provided for six-year terms for the president and vice president, and the president was not eligible for successive terms. Although a presidential item veto was granted, the power of the central Confederate government was limited considerably by its reliance on state consent for the use of any resources and funds.

Although France and Britain both briefly contemplated entering the Civil War on the side of the South, the Confederate States of America, which remained in existence until April 1865, never earned foreign recognition as an independent government.

No comments: