Monday, February 4, 2013

February 4: Confederate States Congress

On this date in History .... 1861:

The Provisional Confederate Congress convenes and begins drafting a constitution.  The Confederate Constitution was modeled after the U.S. Constitution, using many parts of it word for word.  Some differences included: 

·         The president would serve for a six-year term.

·         The word “slave” was actually used and the institution of slavery was protected in all existing and future states. However ….

·         The importation of slaves was banned for fear of making enemies of European countries and fear of diminishing the existing (and profitable) slave trade already going on in the southern United States.

·         The president was given a line-item veto.

·         States powers were enhanced by banning governmental money for internal improvements.

Jefferson Davis was selected as the President of the Confederate States.  He was officially "elected" (ran unopposed) to a six-year term on November 6, 1861. He never served the full six years since the Confederacy was disolved in 1865. 

Davis graduated 23rd in his class from West Point and came from a family filled with military tradition.  His father and uncles fought in the Revoluntionary War.  All of his older brothers fought in the War of 1812.  Davis himself proved himself in the military during the Blackhawk War of 1831 when Chief Blackhawk was captured and placed under the care of Davis.  Davis won Blackhawk over due to the kind care Davis extended to the chief.

Davis's first wife was Sara Knox Taylor, daughter of General Zachary Taylor, who would become a President of the United Stated.  The General did not approve of the marriage and Davis resigned his military position "to take up civic duties" before the marriage.  Sara died of malaria just a few months into their marriage.

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