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"The Traitor's Confederacy"

(c) Pocumtuck Valley Memorial Association, Deerfield MA. All rights reserved.
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The Confederate States of America was officially formed on February 4, 1861. By then seven states - South Carolina, Mississippi, Florida, Alabama, Georgia, Louisiana and Texas - had seceded from the Union. A Provisional Constitution had been signed on February 8, seceded by a Permanent Constitution, signed March 11. Both were similar to the U.S. Constitution although there were crucial differences that reflected the divisions that had led to secession. Like the Articles of Confederation (used by Congress from around 1778 through 1787), there was a single-bodied Congress with each state having one vote. Congress chose the president and cabinet members served in Congress. But unlike the Articles, there was a president and he could veto laws. And there were other substantial differences. However in the end, most historians see this constitution as having created a country too decentralized to be able to effectively carry forward a sustained war. Abraham Lincoln, they argue, took powers that were hidden within the U.S. Constitution - powers no president had exercised before - to direct the course of the war and the nation to victory. On the other hand, Jefferson Davis the Confederate president, often fought his congress and lost, depriving him of crucial power in the trying times he would face.


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