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States meet to form Confederacy

States meet to form Confederacy



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In Montgomery, Alabama, delegates from South Carolina, Mississippi, Florida, Alabama, Georgia, and Louisiana convene to establish the Confederate States of America.

As early as 1858, the ongoing conflict between the North and the South over the issue of slavery led Southern leadership to discuss a unified separation from the United States. By 1860, the majority of the slave states were publicly threatening secession if the Republicans, the anti-slavery party, won the presidency. Following Republican Abraham Lincoln’s victory over the divided Democratic Party in November 1860, South Carolina immediately initiated secession proceedings. On December 20, its legislature passed the “Ordinance of Secession,” which declared that “the Union now subsisting between South Carolina and other states, under the name of the United States of America, is hereby dissolved.” After the declaration, South Carolina set about seizing forts, arsenals, and other strategic locations within the state. Within six weeks, five more Southern states had followed South Carolina’s lead.

In February 1861, representatives from the six seceded states met in Montgomery, Alabama, to formally establish a unified government, which they named the Confederate States of America. On February 9, Jefferson Davis of Mississippi was elected the Confederacy’s first president.

By the time Abraham Lincoln was inaugurated in March 1861, Texas had joined the Confederacy, and federal troops held only Fort Sumter in South Carolina, Fort Pickens off the Florida coast, and a handful of minor outposts in the South. On April 12, 1861, the American Civil War began when Confederate shore batteries under General P.G.T. Beauregard opened fire on Fort Sumter in South Carolina’s Charleston Harbor. Within two months, Virginia, Arkansas, North Carolina, and Tennessee had all joined the embattled Confederacy.

READ MORE: American Civil War: Causes and Dates


Which States Were in the Confederacy?

Also known simply as the Confederacy, the Confederate States of America was an unrecognized nation that existed in North America between 1861 and 1865. Abbreviated as CSA or CS, the Confederacy was initially formed by only seven states that still permitted slave ownership. The initial states were South Carolina, Alabama, Texas, Louisiana, Georgia, Mississippi, and Florida. Aside from allowing owning of slaves, the states’ economies were heavily dependent on agriculture, which was fueled by slaves. The capital city of the Confederacy was Montgomery, Alabama although it was later replaced by Richmond, Virginia.


Contents

The political push to increase cooperation among the then-loyal colonies began with the Albany Congress in 1754 and Benjamin Franklin's proposed Albany Plan, an inter-colonial collaboration to help solve mutual local problems. Over the next two decades, some of the basic concepts it addressed would strengthen others would weaken, especially in the degree of loyalty (or lack thereof) owed the Crown. Civil disobedience resulted in coercive and quelling measures, such as the passage of what the colonials referred to as the Intolerable Acts in the British Parliament, and armed skirmishes which resulted in dissidents being proclaimed rebels. These actions eroded the number of Crown Loyalists (Tories) among the colonials and, together with the highly effective propaganda campaign of the Patriot leaders, caused an increasing number of colonists to begin agitating for independence from the mother country. In 1775, with events outpacing communications, the Second Continental Congress began acting as the provisional government.

It was an era of constitution writing—most states were busy at the task—and leaders felt the new nation must have a written constitution a "rulebook" for how the new nation should function. During the war, Congress exercised an unprecedented level of political, diplomatic, military and economic authority. It adopted trade restrictions, established and maintained an army, issued fiat money, created a military code and negotiated with foreign governments. [5]

To transform themselves from outlaws into a legitimate nation, the colonists needed international recognition for their cause and foreign allies to support it. In early 1776, Thomas Paine argued in the closing pages of the first edition of Common Sense that the "custom of nations" demanded a formal declaration of American independence if any European power were to mediate a peace between the Americans and Great Britain. The monarchies of France and Spain, in particular, could not be expected to aid those they considered rebels against another legitimate monarch. Foreign courts needed to have American grievances laid before them persuasively in a "manifesto" which could also reassure them that the Americans would be reliable trading partners. Without such a declaration, Paine concluded, "[t]he custom of all courts is against us, and will be so, until, by an independence, we take rank with other nations." [6]

Beyond improving their existing association, the records of the Second Continental Congress show that the need for a declaration of independence was intimately linked with the demands of international relations. On June 7, 1776, Richard Henry Lee introduced a resolution before the Continental Congress declaring the colonies independent at the same time, he also urged Congress to resolve "to take the most effectual measures for forming foreign Alliances" and to prepare a plan of confederation for the newly independent states. Congress then created three overlapping committees to draft the Declaration, a model treaty, and the Articles of Confederation. The Declaration announced the states' entry into the international system the model treaty was designed to establish amity and commerce with other states and the Articles of Confederation, which established "a firm league" among the thirteen free and independent states, constituted an international agreement to set up central institutions for the conduct of vital domestic and foreign affairs. [7]

On June 12, 1776, a day after appointing a committee to prepare a draft of the Declaration of Independence, the Second Continental Congress resolved to appoint a committee of 13 to prepare a draft of a constitution for a union of the states. The committee met frequently, and chairman John Dickinson presented their results to the Congress on July 12, 1776. Afterward, there were long debates on such issues as state sovereignty, the exact powers to be given to Congress, whether to have a judiciary, western land claims and voting procedures. [8] To further complicate work on the constitution, Congress was forced to leave Philadelphia twice, for Baltimore, Maryland, in the winter of 1776, and later for Lancaster then York, Pennsylvania, in the fall of 1777, to evade advancing British troops. Even so, the committee continued with its work.

The final draft of the Articles of Confederation and Perpetual Union was completed on November 15, 1777. [9] Consensus was achieved by: including language guaranteeing that each state retained its sovereignty, leaving the matter of western land claims in the hands of the individual states, including language stating that votes in Congress would be en bloc by state, and establishing a unicameral legislature with limited and clearly delineated powers. [10]

The Articles of Confederation was submitted to the states for ratification in late November 1777. The first state to ratify was Virginia on December 16, 1777 12 states had ratified the Articles by February 1779, 14 months into the process. [11] The lone holdout, Maryland, refused to go along until the landed states, especially Virginia, had indicated they were prepared to cede their claims west of the Ohio River to the Union. [12] It would be two years before the Maryland General Assembly became satisfied that the various states would follow through, and voted to ratify. During this time, Congress observed the Articles as its de facto frame of government. Maryland finally ratified the Articles on February 2, 1781. Congress was informed of Maryland's assent on March 1, and officially proclaimed the Articles of Confederation to be the law of the land. [11] [13] [14]

The several states ratified the Articles of Confederation on the following dates: [15]

State Date
1 Virginia December 16, 1777
2 South Carolina February 5, 1778
3 New York February 6, 1778
4 Rhode Island February 9, 1778
5 Connecticut February 12, 1778
6 Georgia February 26, 1778
7 New Hampshire March 4, 1778
8 Pennsylvania March 5, 1778
9 Massachusetts March 10, 1778
10 North Carolina April 5, 1778
11 New Jersey November 19, 1778
12 Delaware February 1, 1779
13 Maryland February 2, 1781

The Articles of Confederation contain a preamble, thirteen articles, a conclusion, and a signatory section. The individual articles set the rules for current and future operations of the confederation's central government. Under the Articles, the states retained sovereignty over all governmental functions not specifically relinquished to the national Congress, which was empowered to make war and peace, negotiate diplomatic and commercial agreements with foreign countries, and to resolve disputes between the states. The document also stipulates that its provisions "shall be inviolably observed by every state" and that "the Union shall be perpetual".

Summary of the purpose and content of each of the 13 articles:

  1. Establishes the name of the confederation with these words: "The stile of this confederacy shall be 'The United States of America.'"
  2. Asserts the sovereignty of each state, except for the specific powers delegated to the confederation government: "Each state retains its sovereignty, freedom, and independence, and every power, jurisdiction, and right, which is not by this Confederation expressly delegated."
  3. Declares the purpose of the confederation: "The said States hereby severally enter into a firm league of friendship with each other, for their common defense, the security of their liberties, and their mutual and general welfare, binding themselves to assist each other, against all force offered to, or attacks made upon them, or any of them, on account of religion, sovereignty, trade, or any other pretense whatever."
  4. Elaborates upon the intent "to secure and perpetuate mutual friendship and intercourse among the people of the different States in this union," and to establish equal treatment and freedom of movement for the free inhabitants of each state to pass unhindered between the states, excluding "paupers, vagabonds, and fugitives from justice." All these people are entitled to equal rights established by the state into which they travel. If a crime is committed in one state and the perpetrator flees to another state, he will be extradited to and tried in the state in which the crime was committed.
  5. Allocates one vote in the Congress of the Confederation (the "United States in Congress Assembled") to each state, which is entitled to a delegation of between two and seven members. Members of Congress are to be appointed by state legislatures. No congressman may serve more than three out of any six years.
  6. Only the central government may declare war, or conduct foreign political or commercial relations. No state or official may accept foreign gifts or titles, and granting any title of nobility is forbidden to all. No states may form any sub-national groups. No state may tax or interfere with treaty stipulations already proposed. No state may wage war without permission of Congress, unless invaded or under imminent attack on the frontier no state may maintain a peacetime standing army or navy, unless infested by pirates, but every State is required to keep ready, a well-trained, disciplined, and equipped militia.
  7. Whenever an army is raised for common defense, the state legislatures shall assign military ranks of colonel and below.
  8. Expenditures by the United States of America will be paid with funds raised by state legislatures, and apportioned to the states in proportion to the real property values of each.
  9. Powers and functions of the United States in Congress Assembled.
    • Grants to the United States in Congress assembled the sole and exclusive right and power to determine peace and war to exchange ambassadors to enter into treaties and alliances, with some provisos to establish rules for deciding all cases of captures or prizes on land or water to grant letters of marque and reprisal (documents authorizing privateers) in times of peace to appoint courts for the trial of pirates and crimes committed on the high seas to establish courts for appeals in all cases of captures, but no member of Congress may be appointed a judge to set weights and measures (including coins), and for Congress to serve as a final court for disputes between states.
    • The court will be composed of jointly appointed commissioners or Congress shall appoint them. Each commissioner is bound by oath to be impartial. The court's decision is final.
    • Congress shall regulate the post offices appoint officers in the military and regulate the armed forces.
    • The United States in Congress assembled may appoint a president who shall not serve longer than one year per three-year term of the Congress.
    • Congress may request requisitions (demands for payments or supplies) from the states in proportion with their population, or take credit.
    • Congress may not declare war, enter into treaties and alliances, appropriate money, or appoint a commander in chief without nine states assented. Congress shall keep a journal of proceedings and adjourn for periods not to exceed six months.
  10. When Congress is in recess, any of the powers of Congress may be executed by "The committee of the states, or any nine of them", except for those powers of Congress which require nine states in Congress to execute.
  11. If Canada [referring to the British Province of Quebec] accedes to this confederation, it will be admitted. [16] No other colony could be admitted without the consent of nine states.
  12. Affirms that the Confederation will honor all bills of credit incurred, monies borrowed, and debts contracted by Congress before the existence of the Articles.
  13. Declares that the Articles shall be perpetual, and may be altered only with the approval of Congress and the ratification of all the state legislatures.

The army

Under the Articles, Congress had the authority to regulate and fund the Continental Army, but it lacked the power to compel the States to comply with requests for either troops or funding. This left the military vulnerable to inadequate funding, supplies, and even food. [17] Further, although the Articles enabled the states to present a unified front when dealing with the European powers, as a tool to build a centralized war-making government, they were largely a failure Historian Bruce Chadwick wrote:

George Washington had been one of the very first proponents of a strong federal government. The army had nearly disbanded on several occasions during the winters of the war because of the weaknesses of the Continental Congress. . The delegates could not draft soldiers and had to send requests for regular troops and militia to the states. Congress had the right to order the production and purchase of provisions for the soldiers, but could not force anyone to supply them, and the army nearly starved in several winters of war. [18]

It is hardly surprising, given their painful confrontations with a weak central government and the sovereign states, that the former generals of the Revolution as well as countless lesser officers strongly supported the creation of a more muscular union in the 1780s and fought hard for the ratification of the Constitution in 1787. Their wartime experiences had nationalized them. [19]

The Continental Congress, before the Articles were approved, had promised soldiers a pension of half pay for life. However Congress had no power to compel the states to fund this obligation, and as the war wound down after the victory at Yorktown the sense of urgency to support the military was no longer a factor. No progress was made in Congress during the winter of 1783–84. General Henry Knox, who would later become the first Secretary of War under the Constitution, blamed the weaknesses of the Articles for the inability of the government to fund the army. The army had long been supportive of a strong union. [20] Knox wrote:

The army generally have always reprobated the idea of being thirteen armies. Their ardent desires have been to be one continental body looking up to one sovereign. . It is a favorite toast in the army, "A hoop to the barrel" or "Cement to the Union". [21]

As Congress failed to act on the petitions, Knox wrote to Gouverneur Morris, four years before the Philadelphia Convention was convened, "As the present Constitution is so defective, why do not you great men call the people together and tell them so that is, to have a convention of the States to form a better Constitution." [21]

Once the war had been won, the Continental Army was largely disbanded. A very small national force was maintained to man the frontier forts and to protect against Native American attacks. Meanwhile, each of the states had an army (or militia), and 11 of them had navies. The wartime promises of bounties and land grants to be paid for service were not being met. In 1783, George Washington defused the Newburgh conspiracy, but riots by unpaid Pennsylvania veterans forced Congress to leave Philadelphia temporarily. [22]

The Congress from time to time during the Revolutionary War requisitioned troops from the states. Any contributions were voluntary, and in the debates of 1788, the Federalists (who supported the proposed new Constitution) claimed that state politicians acted unilaterally, and contributed when the Continental army protected their state's interests. The Anti-Federalists claimed that state politicians understood their duty to the Union and contributed to advance its needs. Dougherty (2009) concludes that generally the States' behavior validated the Federalist analysis. This helps explain why the Articles of Confederation needed reforms. [23]

Foreign policy

The 1783 Treaty of Paris, which ended hostilities with Great Britain, languished in Congress for several months because too few delegates were present at any one time to constitute a quorum so that it could be ratified. Afterward, the problem only got worse as Congress had no power to enforce attendance. Rarely did more than half of the roughly sixty delegates attend a session of Congress at the time, causing difficulties in raising a quorum. The resulting paralysis embarrassed and frustrated many American nationalists, including George Washington. Many of the most prominent national leaders, such as Washington, John Adams, John Hancock, and Benjamin Franklin, retired from public life, served as foreign delegates, or held office in state governments and for the general public, local government and self-rule seemed quite satisfactory. This served to exacerbate Congress's impotence. [24]

Inherent weaknesses in the confederation's frame of government also frustrated the ability of the government to conduct foreign policy. In 1786, Thomas Jefferson, concerned over the failure of Congress to fund an American naval force to confront the Barbary pirates, wrote in a diplomatic correspondence to James Monroe that, "It will be said there is no money in the treasury. There never will be money in the treasury till the Confederacy shows its teeth." [25]

Furthermore, the 1786 Jay–Gardoqui Treaty with Spain also showed weakness in foreign policy. In this treaty, which was never ratified, the United States was to give up rights to use the Mississippi River for 25 years, which would have economically strangled the settlers west of the Appalachian Mountains. Finally, due to the Confederation's military weakness, it could not compel the British army to leave frontier forts which were on American soil — forts which, in 1783, the British promised to leave, but which they delayed leaving pending U.S. implementation of other provisions such as ending action against Loyalists and allowing them to seek compensation. This incomplete British implementation of the Treaty of Paris would later be resolved by the implementation of Jay's Treaty in 1795 after the federal Constitution came into force.

Taxation and commerce

Under the Articles of Confederation, the central government's power was kept quite limited. The Confederation Congress could make decisions but lacked enforcement powers. Implementation of most decisions, including modifications to the Articles, required unanimous approval of all thirteen state legislatures. [26]

Congress was denied any powers of taxation: it could only request money from the states. The states often failed to meet these requests in full, leaving both Congress and the Continental Army chronically short of money. As more money was printed by Congress, the continental dollars depreciated. In 1779, George Washington wrote to John Jay, who was serving as the president of the Continental Congress, "that a wagon load of money will scarcely purchase a wagon load of provisions." [27] Mr. Jay and the Congress responded in May by requesting $45 million from the States. In an appeal to the States to comply, Jay wrote that the taxes were "the price of liberty, the peace, and the safety of yourselves and posterity." [28] He argued that Americans should avoid having it said "that America had no sooner become independent than she became insolvent" or that "her infant glories and growing fame were obscured and tarnished by broken contracts and violated faith." [29] The States did not respond with any of the money requested from them.

Congress had also been denied the power to regulate either foreign trade or interstate commerce and, as a result, all of the States maintained control over their own trade policies. The states and the Confederation Congress both incurred large debts during the Revolutionary War, and how to repay those debts became a major issue of debate following the War. Some States paid off their war debts and others did not. Federal assumption of the states' war debts became a major issue in the deliberations of the Constitutional Convention.

Accomplishments

Nevertheless, the Confederation Congress did take two actions with long-lasting impact. The Land Ordinance of 1785 and Northwest Ordinance created territorial government, set up protocols for the admission of new states and the division of land into useful units, and set aside land in each township for public use. This system represented a sharp break from imperial colonization, as in Europe, and it established the precedent by which the national (later, federal) government would be sovereign and expand westward—as opposed to the existing states doing so under their sovereignty. [30]

The Land Ordinance of 1785 established both the general practices of land surveying in the west and northwest and the land ownership provisions used throughout the later westward expansion beyond the Mississippi River. Frontier lands were surveyed into the now-familiar squares of land called the township (36 square miles), the section (one square mile), and the quarter section (160 acres). This system was carried forward to most of the States west of the Mississippi (excluding areas of Texas and California that had already been surveyed and divided up by the Spanish Empire). Then, when the Homestead Act was enacted in 1867, the quarter section became the basic unit of land that was granted to new settler-farmers.

The Northwest Ordinance of 1787 noted the agreement of the original states to give up northwestern land claims, organized the Northwest Territory and laid the groundwork for the eventual creation of new states. While it didn't happen under the articles, the land north of the Ohio River and west of the (present) western border of Pennsylvania ceded by Massachusetts, Connecticut, New York, Pennsylvania, and Virginia, eventually became the states of: Ohio, Indiana, Illinois, Michigan, and Wisconsin, and the part of Minnesota east of the Mississippi River. The Northwest Ordinance of 1787 also made great advances in the abolition of slavery. New states admitted to the union in this territory would never be slave states.

No new states were admitted to the Union under the Articles of Confederation. The Articles provided for a blanket acceptance of the Province of Quebec (referred to as "Canada" in the Articles) into the United States if it chose to do so. It did not, and the subsequent Constitution carried no such special provision of admission. Additionally, ordinances to admit Frankland (later modified to Franklin), Kentucky, and Vermont to the Union were considered, but none were approved.

Presidents of Congress

Under the Articles of Confederation, the presiding officer of Congress—referred to in many official records as President of the United States in Congress Assembled—chaired the Committee of the States when Congress was in recess, and performed other administrative functions. He was not, however, an executive in the way the later President of the United States is a chief executive, since all of the functions he executed were under the direct control of Congress. [31]

There were 10 presidents of Congress under the Articles. The first, Samuel Huntington, had been serving as president of the Continental Congress since September 28, 1779.

President Term
Samuel Huntington March 1, 1781 – July 10, 1781
Thomas McKean July 10, 1781 – November 5, 1781
John Hanson November 5, 1781 – November 4, 1782
Elias Boudinot November 4, 1782 – November 3, 1783
Thomas Mifflin November 3, 1783 – June 3, 1784
Richard Henry Lee November 30, 1784 – November 4, 1785
John Hancock November 23, 1785 – June 5, 1786
Nathaniel Gorham June 6, 1786 – November 3, 1786
Arthur St. Clair February 2, 1787 – November 4, 1787
Cyrus Griffin January 22, 1788 – November 15, 1788

The peace treaty left the United States independent and at peace but with an unsettled governmental structure. The Articles envisioned a permanent confederation but granted to the Congress—the only federal institution—little power to finance itself or to ensure that its resolutions were enforced. There was no president, no executive agencies, no judiciary, and no tax base. The absence of a tax base meant that there was no way to pay off state and national debts from the war years except by requesting money from the states, which seldom arrived. [32] [33] Although historians generally agree that the Articles were too weak to hold the fast-growing nation together, they do give credit to the settlement of the western issue, as the states voluntarily turned over their lands to national control. [34]

By 1783, with the end of the British blockade, the new nation was regaining its prosperity. However, trade opportunities were restricted by the mercantilism of the British and French empires. The ports of the British West Indies were closed to all staple products which were not carried in British ships. France and Spain established similar policies. Simultaneously, new manufacturers faced sharp competition from British products which were suddenly available again. Political unrest in several states and efforts by debtors to use popular government to erase their debts increased the anxiety of the political and economic elites which had led the Revolution. The apparent inability of the Congress to redeem the public obligations (debts) incurred during the war, or to become a forum for productive cooperation among the states to encourage commerce and economic development, only aggravated a gloomy situation. In 1786–87, Shays' Rebellion, an uprising of dissidents in western Massachusetts against the state court system, threatened the stability of state government. [35]

The Continental Congress printed paper money which was so depreciated that it ceased to pass as currency, spawning the expression "not worth a continental". Congress could not levy taxes and could only make requisitions upon the States. Less than a million and a half dollars came into the treasury between 1781 and 1784, although the governors had been asked for two million in 1783 alone. [36]

When John Adams went to London in 1785 as the first representative of the United States, he found it impossible to secure a treaty for unrestricted commerce. Demands were made for favors and there was no assurance that individual states would agree to a treaty. Adams stated it was necessary for the States to confer the power of passing navigation laws to Congress, or that the States themselves pass retaliatory acts against Great Britain. Congress had already requested and failed to get power over navigation laws. Meanwhile, each State acted individually against Great Britain to little effect. When other New England states closed their ports to British shipping, Connecticut hastened to profit by opening its ports. [37]

By 1787 Congress was unable to protect manufacturing and shipping. State legislatures were unable or unwilling to resist attacks upon private contracts and public credit. Land speculators expected no rise in values when the government could not defend its borders nor protect its frontier population. [38]

The idea of a convention to revise the Articles of Confederation grew in favor. Alexander Hamilton realized while serving as Washington's top aide that a strong central government was necessary to avoid foreign intervention and allay the frustrations due to an ineffectual Congress. Hamilton led a group of like-minded nationalists, won Washington's endorsement, and convened the Annapolis Convention in 1786 to petition Congress to call a constitutional convention to meet in Philadelphia to remedy the long-term crisis. [39]

The Second Continental Congress approved the Articles for distribution to the states on November 15, 1777. A copy was made for each state and one was kept by the Congress. On November 28, the copies sent to the states for ratification were unsigned, and the cover letter, dated November 17, had only the signatures of Henry Laurens and Charles Thomson, who were the President and Secretary to the Congress.

The Articles, however, were unsigned, and the date was blank. Congress began the signing process by examining their copy of the Articles on June 27, 1778. They ordered a final copy prepared (the one in the National Archives), and that delegates should inform the secretary of their authority for ratification.

On July 9, 1778, the prepared copy was ready. They dated it and began to sign. They also requested each of the remaining states to notify its delegation when ratification was completed. On that date, delegates present from New Hampshire, Massachusetts, Rhode Island, Connecticut, New York, Pennsylvania, Virginia and South Carolina signed the Articles to indicate that their states had ratified. New Jersey, Delaware and Maryland could not, since their states had not ratified. North Carolina and Georgia also were unable to sign that day, since their delegations were absent.

After the first signing, some delegates signed at the next meeting they attended. For example, John Wentworth of New Hampshire added his name on August 8. John Penn was the first of North Carolina's delegates to arrive (on July 10), and the delegation signed the Articles on July 21, 1778.

The other states had to wait until they ratified the Articles and notified their Congressional delegation. Georgia signed on July 24, New Jersey on November 26, and Delaware on February 12, 1779. Maryland refused to ratify the Articles until every state had ceded its western land claims. Chevalier de La Luzerne, French Minister to the United States, felt that the Articles would help strengthen the American government. In 1780 when Maryland requested France provide naval forces in the Chesapeake Bay for protection from the British (who were conducting raids in the lower part of the bay), he indicated that French Admiral Destouches would do what he could but La Luzerne also “sharply pressed” Maryland to ratify the Articles, thus suggesting the two issues were related. [40]

On February 2, 1781, the much-awaited decision was taken by the Maryland General Assembly in Annapolis. [41] As the last piece of business during the afternoon Session, "among engrossed Bills" was "signed and sealed by Governor Thomas Sim Lee in the Senate Chamber, in the presence of the members of both Houses. an Act to empower the delegates of this state in Congress to subscribe and ratify the articles of confederation" and perpetual union among the states. The Senate then adjourned "to the first Monday in August next." The decision of Maryland to ratify the Articles was reported to the Continental Congress on February 12. The confirmation signing of the Articles by the two Maryland delegates took place in Philadelphia at noon time on March 1, 1781, and was celebrated in the afternoon. With these events, the Articles were entered into force and the United States of America came into being as a sovereign federal state.

Congress had debated the Articles for over a year and a half, and the ratification process had taken nearly three and a half years. Many participants in the original debates were no longer delegates, and some of the signers had only recently arrived. The Articles of Confederation and Perpetual Union were signed by a group of men who were never present in the Congress at the same time.

Signers

The signers and the states they represented were:

Roger Sherman (Connecticut) was the only person to sign all four great state papers of the United States: the Continental Association, the United States Declaration of Independence, the Articles of Confederation and the United States Constitution.

Robert Morris (Pennsylvania) signed three of the great state papers of the United States: the United States Declaration of Independence, the Articles of Confederation and the United States Constitution.

John Dickinson (Delaware), Daniel Carroll (Maryland) and Gouverneur Morris (New York), along with Sherman and Robert Morris, were the only five people to sign both the Articles of Confederation and the United States Constitution (Gouverneur Morris represented Pennsylvania when signing the Constitution).


Contents

The area making up the Ohio Country and the Illinois Country had been contested for over a century, beginning with the Franco-Iroquois Beaver Wars in the 1600s. The Iroquois competed with local tribes for control of the region and the lucrative fur trade, as did the European powers. The French and Indian War proved to be the largest and final Anglo-French contest for control in North America, ending with a British victory. In the Treaty of Paris which ended the war, the French government ceded New France to Great Britain.

That same year, a loose confederation of Native Americans united in Pontiac's War against British rule. [2] [3] The war ended with a peace treaty in 1766, but many of the participating Ohio and Great Lakes nations would later form the Northwestern Confederacy.

Shortly after Pontiac's War, Great Britain negotiated the 1768 Treaty of Fort Stanwix with its Iroquois allies. In the treaty, the Iroquois gave the British Crown control over the lands south of the Ohio River for settlement by American colonists. [4] : 274 This legitimized the Iroquois claim to the territory, [5] and created a land rush of settlers from the Thirteen Colonies in the east. [6]

The Shawnee responded by demanding money from settlers, [7] and formed alliances with other tribes that inhabited the region to prevent subsequent territorial losses. [8] Early formal ties leading to the formation of the Northwestern Confederacy were made in 1774, in response to the Yellow Creek massacre and Lord Dunmore's War. [9]

By 1775, Great Britain was engaged in war with the American colonists thanks to the American Revolution. The British Army abandoned control over several forts along the American frontier and redeployed those forces to the east, which removed an impediment to illegal settlement. [10] Native Americans had different reactions to the war, and many saw it as a "white man's war" in which they should play no role. Early in the conflict, the influential Lenape leader, White Eyes, declared independence for his tribe from their Iroquois "uncles." [11] The Iroquois (who claimed the western lands) were also divided in response to the war, and extinguished their ceremonial flame of unity in 1777. [12] In 1776, commissioners at Fort Pitt sent warning of a “General Confederacy of Western Tribes” planning to attack American settlers in their region. [2]

Although many native peoples fought for the British in the American Revolutionary War, Great Britain made no mention of their allies in the 1783 Treaty of Paris. According to Joseph Brant, a Mohawk chief who had fought for Great Britain, the British "sold the Indians to Congress." [13] Brant worked to establish a pan-Indian confederacy which could negotiate with the new United States, and delegates from 35 "nations" gathered on the upper Sandusky River in September 1783. The conference was also attended by Sir John Johnson and Alexander McKee, who advocated for a strong confederation and an end to violent raids. [14] : 46 The council declared that no agreements with the United States could be made without the consensus of the entire confederation. [14] : 53 Congress passed the Proclamation of 1783, which recognized Native American rights to the land. The Indian Affairs Committee of Congress passed the Resolution of October 15, 1783, however, which claimed the land and called on the native nations to withdraw beyond the Great Miami and Mad rivers. [14] : 51 [15]

The council reconvened in August 1784 at Niagara-on-the-Lake, where US commissioners were to meet with them. The US commission was delayed, however, and many Native American representatives left before the commission arrived. [14] : 52 The commissioners summoned the remaining Iroquois tribes to Fort Stanwix, where the Iroquois nations relinquished their claims to the Ohio lands in the 1784 Treaty of Fort Stanwix. [14] : 52 The Iroquois Confederacy refused to ratify the treaty, saying that it had no right to give the United States rights to the land, and the western nations living in the territory rejected the treaty on the same grounds. The US commissioners negotiated the Treaty of Fort McIntosh in January 1785, however, in which a few Native American representatives agreed to grant to the United States most of present-day Ohio. A small US Army regiment under General Josiah Harmar arrived in the territory later that year. [14] : 52

Councils and treaties Edit

Brant toured Canada, London, and Paris in 1785 to obtain British and French support. [14] : 55-6 A council held that year at Fort Detroit declared that the confederacy would deal jointly with the United States, forbade individual tribes from dealing directly with the United States, and declared the Ohio River as the boundary between their lands and those of the American settlers. [16] Nevertheless, a group of Shawnee, Delaware, and Wyandot agreed to allow U.S. settlement on a tract of land north of the Ohio River in the January 1786 Treaty of Fort Finney. [17] This treaty sparked violence between native inhabitants and U.S. settlers. [18] : 101–102 American trader David Duncan warned that the treaties had "done a Great injury to United States," and tribal leaders warned that they could no longer stop their young men from retaliating. [19]

The Treaty of Fort Finney was rejected by a September 1786 council of 35 native nations (including British representatives) who met at a Wyandot (Huron) village on the upper Sandusky River. [14] : 46-7 Logan's raid into Shawnee territory occurred weeks later, hardening native views of the U.S. That December, Brant returned from Europe to address a council on the Detroit River. The council sent a letter to the U.S. Congress which was signed by eleven native nations, who called themselves "the United Indian Nations, at their Confederate Council." [14] : 58-9 [20] The confederacy assembled again on the Maumee River in the fall of 1787 to consider a reply from the U.S., but adjourned after not receiving one. [14] : 61

Congress appointed Arthur St. Clair as governor of the new Northwest Territory, directing him to make peace with the native peoples. He did not arrive until summer 1788, when he invited the nations to a council at Fort Harmar to negotiate terms by which the United States could purchase lands and avoid war. [21] The sight of Fort Harmar and nearby Marietta, both north of the Ohio River boundary, convinced some that the United States was negotiating from a position of strength. At pre-negotiation meetings, Joseph Brant suggested a compromise to other Native American leaders: allow existing U.S. settlements north of the Ohio River, and draw a new boundary at the mouth of the Muskingum River. [18] : 108-10 Some at the council rejected Brant's compromise. A Wyandot delegation offered a belt of peace to the Miami delegation, who refused to accept it a Wyandot delegate placed it on the shoulder of Little Turtle, a Miami military leader, who shrugged it off. [18] : 112 Brant then sent a letter to St. Clair asking that treaty negotiations be held at a different location St. Clair refused, and accused Brant of working for the British. Brant then declared that he would boycott negotiations with the United States, and suggested that others do the same. About 200 of the remaining moderates came to Fort Harmar in December and agreed to concessions in the 1789 Treaty of Fort Harmar, which moved the border and designated U.S. sovereignty over native lands. [18] : 112-3 To those who had refused to attend, however, the treaty sanctioned the U.S. appetite for native lands in the region without addressing native concerns. [18] : 3 [22]

The composition of the confederacy changed with time and circumstances, and a number of tribes were involved. Because most nations were not centralized political units at the time, involvement in the confederacy could be decided by a village (or an individual) rather than a nation.

The signatories of the 1786 Detroit letter to Congress were the Iroquois (the "Six Nations"), Cherokee, Huron, Shawnee, Delaware, Odawa, Potawatomi, Twitchee, and the Wabash Confederacy. Joseph Brant signed the letter as an individual. [20] Due to their residence in (or near) the Ohio Country, the confederacy mainly comprised the following tribes: [20]

  • The Wyandot (or Huron), the confederacy's honorary sponsors, hosted the first gathering of native nations at their villages on the upper Sandusky River after the 1783 Treaty of Paris. [14] : 46
  • Shawnee
  • Lenape (commonly known as the Delaware at the time)
  • Miami (Potawatomi, Odawa, and Ojibwe): their southern families were involved with the Confederacy, but northern and western villages were occupied at the time with a war with the Sioux. [4] : 313
  • The Wabash Confederacy (Wea, Piankashaw, and others) allied with the Northwestern Confederacy, until it signed a 1792 treaty with the United States. [18] : 256, 262

The Northwestern Confederacy also received support from more-distant nations, including: [ citation needed ]

    and Meskwaki
  • The Iroquois (the Seneca, Cayuga, Onondaga, Oneida, Mohawk and Tuscarora, and smaller groups including the Tutelo and Nanticoke)
  • Members of the Seven Nations of Canada (Algonquin, Nipissing, Abenaki, and Wendat)
  • The Illini Confederacy (Kaskaskia, Cahokia, Peoria and others) (trans-Appalachian Cayuga and Seneca splinter groups)

The confederacy was periodically supported by communities and warriors from west of the Mississippi River and south of the Ohio River, including the Dakota, Chickamauga Cherokee and Upper Creek.

By 1790 the Northwestern Confederacy was broadly divided into three large divisions. The Iroquois formed a moderate camp who advocated diplomacy with the United States. The Three Fires advocated resistance, but were farther removed from the immediate threat of U.S. invasion. The Miami, Shawnee, and Kickapoo were immediately threatened by U.S. settlements, and pushed for a hard line against U.S. encroachments. [23]

In 1790, General Harmar led an expedition to subdue the native confederacy, marching north from Fort Washington to Kekionga. His forces were defeated in what was, at the time, the largest Native American victory against the U.S. [24] The victory emboldened the confederacy. Because they were both present at Kekionga when it was attacked, it was the first military operation shared by Little Turtle and Shawnee leader Blue Jacket. [18] : 113-115

The following year, determined to defeat the confederacy, St. Clair led a new expedition on the same route. At the time, the confederacy was in Detroit considering terms of peace to present to the United States but when it was alerted to the new campaign it readied for war. [25] : 159 The confederacy ambushed and quickly overwhelmed St. Clair in camp, and St. Clair's defeat remains one of the worst defeats in the history of the U.S. Army. [26]

After this decisive military victory, U.S. president George Washington sent peace emissaries to the confederacy. The first emissary was Major Alexander Truman [27] he and his servant, William Lynch, were killed before they arrived. A similar mission in May 1792 ended when Colonel John Hardin and his servant, Freeman, were mistaken for spies and killed on the site of modern Hardin, Ohio. A U.S. delegation led by Rufus Putnam and John Hamtramck, with assistance from Little Turtle's son-in-law William Wells, negotiated a treaty with the tribes of the Wabash Confederacy later that year. According to Henry Knox, the treaty weakened the Northwestern Confederacy by 800 warriors. [18] : 256, 262

The confederacy continued to debate whether to continue the war or sue for peace while they had the advantage, and a council of several nations met at the confluence of the Auglaize and Maumee Rivers in September 1792. [25] : 223 Alexander McKee, representing British interests, arrived late in the month. For a week in October, pro-war factions (especially Simon Girty, the Shawnee, and the Miami) debated moderate factions—particularly the Iroquois, represented by Cornplanter and Red Jacket. [25] : 226-7 The council agreed that the Ohio River must remain the boundary of the United States, that the forts in the Ohio Country must be destroyed, and that they would meet with the United States at the lower Sandusky River in the spring of 1793. [25] : 227 Although the U.S. received the council's demands with indignation, Knox agreed to send treaty commissioners Benjamin Lincoln, Timothy Pickering and Beverley Randolph to the 1793 council [28] and suspend offensive operations until that time. [25] : 228

At the spring 1793 council, a disagreement arose between the Shawnee and the Iroquois. The Shawnee and Delaware insisted that the U.S. recognize the 1768 Fort Stanwix treaty between the Six Nations and Great Britain, which set the Ohio River as a boundary. Joseph Brant countered that the Six Nations had nothing to gain from this demand, and refused to concede. The U.S. commissioners argued that it would be too expensive to move white settlers who had already established homesteads north of the Ohio River. [25] : 240-45 The council (without the Six Nations) sent a declaration to the U.S. commissioners on 13 August contesting U.S. claims to any lands above the Ohio, since they were based on treaties made with nations that did not live there, and with money which was worthless to the native tribes. [29] The council proposed that the U.S. relocate white settlers with the money that would have been used to buy native lands and pay the Legion of the United States. [25] : 246 It ended with discord among the confederacy, and Benjamin Lincoln wrote to John Adams that they had failed to secure peace in the northwest. [30]

After the failed peace negotiations, the Legion of the United States under General Anthony Wayne mobilized for yet another march north. The legion was better trained and equipped than previous U.S. expeditions, and Wayne had a methodical plan to build supply forts along the way to protect his supply chain. The confederacy was divided in its response to Wayne, with some leaders recommending that it negotiate terms of peace rather than engage in battle. [18] : 337, 369 The perceived cracks in the confederacy concerned the British, who sent reinforcements to Fort Miami on the Maumee River. [31] : 293–294 A large, combined confederacy force attacked Fort Recovery, inflicting heavy casualties and disrupting the legion's supply lines however, it also exposed lingering inter-tribal conflicts and strategic differences. [18] : 323

On 20 August 1794, the legion defeated a combined native force at the Battle of Fallen Timbers. The British commander of nearby Fort Miami refused to come to aid of the native force or give it refuge during its retreat. Wayne finally arrived in Kekionga and selected the site for Fort Wayne, a new U.S. stronghold, on 17 September 1794. [32] : 27–28

The following year, the Northwestern Confederacy negotiated the Treaty of Greenville with the United States. Utilizing St. Clair's defeat and Fort Recovery as a reference point, [33] the treaty forced the northwest Native American tribes to cede southern and eastern Ohio and tracts of land around forts and settlements in Illinois Country to recognize the United States as the ruling power in the Old Northwest, and to surrender ten chiefs as hostages until all American prisoners were returned. The Northwestern Confederacy ceased to function as an entity, and many of its leaders pledged peace with the United States. A new pan-Indian movement, led by Tecumseh, formed a decade later. According to historian William Hogeland, the Northwestern Confederacy was the "high-water mark in resistance to white expansion." [18] : 374


Contents

On February 22, 1862, the Confederate States Constitution of seven state signatories – Mississippi, South Carolina, Florida, Alabama, Georgia, Louisiana, and Texas – replaced the Provisional Constitution of February 8, 1861, with one stating in its preamble a desire for a "permanent federal government". Four additional slave-holding states – Virginia, Arkansas, Tennessee, and North Carolina – declared their secession and joined the Confederacy following a call by U.S. President Abraham Lincoln for troops from each state to recapture Sumter and other seized federal properties in the South. [17]

Missouri and Kentucky were represented by partisan factions adopting the forms of state governments without control of substantial territory or population in either case. The antebellum state governments in both maintained their representation in the Union. Also fighting for the Confederacy were two of the "Five Civilized Tribes" – the Choctaw and the Chickasaw – in Indian Territory and a new, but uncontrolled, Confederate Territory of Arizona. Efforts by certain factions in Maryland to secede were halted by federal imposition of martial law Delaware, though of divided loyalty, did not attempt it. A Unionist government was formed in opposition to the secessionist state government in Richmond and administered the western parts of Virginia that had been occupied by Federal troops. The Restored Government of Virginia later recognized the new state of West Virginia, which was admitted to the Union during the war on June 20, 1863, and relocated to Alexandria for the rest of the war. [17]

Confederate control over its claimed territory and population in congressional districts steadily shrank from three-quarters to a third during the American Civil War due to the Union's successful overland campaigns, its control of inland waterways into the South, and its blockade of the southern coast. [18] With the Emancipation Proclamation on January 1, 1863, the Union made abolition of slavery a war goal (in addition to reunion). As Union forces moved southward, large numbers of plantation slaves were freed. Many joined the Union lines, enrolling in service as soldiers, teamsters and laborers. The most notable advance was Sherman's "March to the Sea" in late 1864. Much of the Confederacy's infrastructure was destroyed, including telegraphs, railroads and bridges. Plantations in the path of Sherman's forces were severely damaged. Internal movement within the Confederacy became increasingly difficult, weakening its economy and limiting army mobility. [19]

These losses created an insurmountable disadvantage in men, materiel, and finance. Public support for Confederate President Jefferson Davis's administration eroded over time due to repeated military reverses, economic hardships, and allegations of autocratic government. After four years of campaigning, Richmond was captured by Union forces in April 1865. A few days later General Robert E. Lee surrendered to Union General Ulysses S. Grant, effectively signalling the collapse of the Confederacy. President Davis was captured on May 10, 1865, and jailed for treason, but no trial was ever held. [20]

The Confederacy was established in the Montgomery Convention in February 1861 by seven states (South Carolina, Mississippi, Alabama, Florida, Georgia, Louisiana, adding Texas in March before Lincoln's inauguration), expanded in May–July 1861 (with Virginia, Arkansas, Tennessee, North Carolina), and disintegrated in April–May 1865. It was formed by delegations from seven slave states of the Lower South that had proclaimed their secession from the Union. After the fighting began in April, four additional slave states seceded and were admitted. Later, two slave states (Missouri and Kentucky) and two territories were given seats in the Confederate Congress. [21]

Southern nationalism was swelling and pride supported the new founding. [22] [23] Confederate nationalism prepared men to fight for "the Cause". For the duration of its existence, the Confederacy underwent trial by war. [24] The "Southern Cause" transcended the ideology of states' rights, tariff policy, and internal improvements. This "Cause" supported, or derived from, cultural and financial dependence on the South's slavery-based economy. The convergence of race and slavery, politics, and economics raised almost all South-related policy questions to the status of moral questions over way of life, commingling love of things Southern and hatred of things Northern. Not only did national political parties split, but national churches and interstate families as well divided along sectional lines as the war approached. [25] According to historian John M. Coski,

The statesmen who led the secession movement were unashamed to explicitly cite the defense of slavery as their prime motive . Acknowledging the centrality of slavery to the Confederacy is essential for understanding the Confederate. [26]

Southern Democrats had chosen John Breckinridge as their candidate during the U.S. presidential election of 1860, but in no Southern state (other than South Carolina, where the legislature chose the electors) was support for him unanimous all the other states recorded at least some popular votes for one or more of the other three candidates (Abraham Lincoln, Stephen A. Douglas and John Bell). Support for these candidates, collectively, ranged from significant to an outright majority, with extremes running from 25% in Texas to 81% in Missouri. [27] There were minority views everywhere, especially in the upland and plateau areas of the South, being particularly concentrated in western Virginia and eastern Tennessee. [28]

Following South Carolina's unanimous 1860 secession vote, no other Southern states considered the question until 1861, and when they did none had a unanimous vote. All had residents who cast significant numbers of Unionist votes in either the legislature, conventions, popular referendums, or in all three. Voting to remain in the Union did not necessarily mean that individuals were sympathizers with the North. Once hostilities began, many of these who voted to remain in the Union, particularly in the Deep South, accepted the majority decision, and supported the Confederacy. [29]

Many writers have evaluated the Civil War as an American tragedy—a "Brothers' War", pitting "brother against brother, father against son, kin against kin of every degree". [30] [31]

A revolution in disunion

According to historian Avery O. Craven in 1950, the Confederate States of America nation, as a state power, was created by secessionists in Southern slave states, who believed that the federal government was making them second-class citizens and refused to honor their belief – that slavery was beneficial to the Negro. [32] They judged the agents of change to be abolitionists and anti-slavery elements in the Republican Party, whom they believed used repeated insult and injury to subject them to intolerable "humiliation and degradation". [32] The "Black Republicans" (as the Southerners called them) and their allies soon dominated the U.S. House, Senate, and Presidency. On the U.S. Supreme Court, Chief Justice Roger B. Taney (a presumed supporter of slavery) was 83 years old and ailing.

During the campaign for president in 1860, some secessionists threatened disunion should Lincoln (who opposed the expansion of slavery into the territories) be elected, including William L. Yancey. Yancey toured the North calling for secession as Stephen A. Douglas toured the South calling for union if Lincoln was elected. [33] To the secessionists the Republican intent was clear: to contain slavery within its present bounds and, eventually, to eliminate it entirely. A Lincoln victory presented them with a momentous choice (as they saw it), even before his inauguration – "the Union without slavery, or slavery without the Union". [34]

Causes of secession

The prevailing ideas entertained by him and most of the leading statesmen at the time of the formation of the old Constitution were, that the enslavement of the African was in violation of the laws of nature that it was wrong in principle, socially, morally and politically. It was an evil they knew not well how to deal with but the general opinion of the men of that day was, that, somehow or other, in the order of Providence, the institution would be evanescent and pass away. Those ideas, however, were fundamentally wrong. They rested upon the assumption of the equality of races. This was an error. It was a sandy foundation, and the idea of a Government built upon it—when the "storm came and the wind blew, it fell."

Our new government is founded upon exactly the opposite ideas its foundations are laid, its cornerstone rests, upon the great truth that the negro is not equal to the white man that slavery, subordination to the superior race, is his natural and normal condition. This, our new government, is the first, in the history of the world, based upon this great physical, philosophical, and moral truth.

The immediate catalyst for secession was the victory of the Republican Party and the election of Abraham Lincoln as president in the 1860 elections. American Civil War historian James M. McPherson suggested that, for Southerners, the most ominous feature of the Republican victories in the congressional and presidential elections of 1860 was the magnitude of those victories: Republicans captured over 60 percent of the Northern vote and three-fourths of its Congressional delegations. The Southern press said that such Republicans represented the anti-slavery portion of the North, "a party founded on the single sentiment . of hatred of African slavery", and now the controlling power in national affairs. The "Black Republican party" could overwhelm conservative Yankees. The New Orleans Delta said of the Republicans, "It is in fact, essentially, a revolutionary party" to overthrow slavery. [35]

By 1860, sectional disagreements between North and South concerned primarily the maintenance or expansion of slavery in the United States. Historian Drew Gilpin Faust observed that "leaders of the secession movement across the South cited slavery as the most compelling reason for southern independence". [36] Although most white Southerners did not own slaves, the majority supported the institution of slavery and benefited indirectly from the slave society. For struggling yeomen and subsistence farmers, the slave society provided a large class of people ranked lower in the social scale than themselves. [37] Secondary differences related to issues of free speech, runaway slaves, expansion into Cuba, and states' rights.

Historian Emory Thomas assessed the Confederacy's self-image by studying correspondence sent by the Confederate government in 1861–62 to foreign governments. He found that Confederate diplomacy projected multiple contradictory self-images:

The Southern nation was by turns a guileless people attacked by a voracious neighbor, an 'established' nation in some temporary difficulty, a collection of bucolic aristocrats making a romantic stand against the banalities of industrial democracy, a cabal of commercial farmers seeking to make a pawn of King Cotton, an apotheosis of nineteenth-century nationalism and revolutionary liberalism, or the ultimate statement of social and economic reaction. [38]

In what later became known as the Cornerstone Speech, Confederate Vice President Alexander H. Stephens declared that the "cornerstone" of the new government "rest[ed] upon the great truth that the negro is not equal to the white man that slavery – subordination to the superior race – is his natural and normal condition. This, our new government, is the first, in the history of the world, based upon this great physical, philosophical, and moral truth". [39] After the war Stephens tried to qualify his remarks, claiming they were extemporaneous, metaphorical, and intended to refer to public sentiment rather than "the principles of the new Government on this subject". [40] [41]

Four of the seceding states, the Deep South states of South Carolina, [42] Mississippi, [43] Georgia, [44] and Texas, [45] issued formal declarations of the causes of their decision each identified the threat to slaveholders' rights as the cause of, or a major cause of, secession. Georgia also claimed a general Federal policy of favoring Northern over Southern economic interests. Texas mentioned slavery 21 times, but also listed the failure of the federal government to live up to its obligations, in the original annexation agreement, to protect settlers along the exposed western frontier. Texas resolutions further stated that governments of the states and the nation were established "exclusively by the white race, for themselves and their posterity". They also stated that although equal civil and political rights applied to all white men, they did not apply to those of the "African race", further opining that the end of racial enslavement would "bring inevitable calamities upon both [races] and desolation upon the fifteen slave-holding states". [45]

Alabama did not provide a separate declaration of causes. Instead, the Alabama ordinance stated "the election of Abraham Lincoln . by a sectional party, avowedly hostile to the domestic institutions and to the peace and security of the people of the State of Alabama, preceded by many and dangerous infractions of the Constitution of the United States by many of the States and people of the northern section, is a political wrong of so insulting and menacing a character as to justify the people of the State of Alabama in the adoption of prompt and decided measures for their future peace and security". The ordinance invited "the slaveholding States of the South, who may approve such purpose, in order to frame a provisional as well as a permanent Government upon the principles of the Constitution of the United States" to participate in a February 4, 1861 convention in Montgomery, Alabama. [46]

The secession ordinances of the remaining two states, Florida and Louisiana, simply declared their severing ties with the federal Union, without stating any causes. [47] [48] Afterward, the Florida secession convention formed a committee to draft a declaration of causes, but the committee was discharged before completion of the task. [49] Only an undated, untitled draft remains. [50]

Four of the Upper South states (Virginia, Arkansas, Tennessee, and North Carolina) rejected secession until after the clash at Ft. Sumter. [29] [51] [52] [53] [54] Virginia's ordinance stated a kinship with the slave-holding states of the Lower South, but did not name the institution itself as a primary reason for its course. [55]

Arkansas's secession ordinance encompassed a strong objection to the use of military force to preserve the Union as its motivating reason. [56] Before the outbreak of war, the Arkansas Convention had on March 20 given as their first resolution: "The people of the Northern States have organized a political party, purely sectional in its character, the central and controlling idea of which is hostility to the institution of African slavery, as it exists in the Southern States and that party has elected a President . pledged to administer the Government upon principles inconsistent with the rights and subversive of the interests of the Southern States." [57]

North Carolina and Tennessee limited their ordinances to simply withdrawing, although Tennessee went so far as to make clear they wished to make no comment at all on the "abstract doctrine of secession". [58] [59]

In a message to the Confederate Congress on April 29, 1861 Jefferson Davis cited both the tariff and slavery for the South's secession. [60]

Secessionists and conventions

The pro-slavery "Fire-Eaters" group of Southern Democrats, calling for immediate secession, were opposed by two factions. "Cooperationists" in the Deep South would delay secession until several states left the union, perhaps in a Southern Convention. Under the influence of men such as Texas Governor Sam Houston, delay would have the effect of sustaining the Union. [61] "Unionists", especially in the Border South, often former Whigs, appealed to sentimental attachment to the United States. Southern Unionists' favorite presidential candidate was John Bell of Tennessee, sometimes running under an "Opposition Party" banner. [61]

William L. Yancey, Alabama Fire-Eater, "The Orator of Secession"

William Henry Gist, Governor of South Carolina, called the Secessionist Convention

Many secessionists were active politically. Governor William Henry Gist of South Carolina corresponded secretly with other Deep South governors, and most southern governors exchanged clandestine commissioners. [62] Charleston's secessionist "1860 Association" published over 200,000 pamphlets to persuade the youth of the South. The most influential were: "The Doom of Slavery" and "The South Alone Should Govern the South", both by John Townsend of South Carolina and James D. B. De Bow's "The Interest of Slavery of the Southern Non-slaveholder". [63]

Developments in South Carolina started a chain of events. The foreman of a jury refused the legitimacy of federal courts, so Federal Judge Andrew Magrath ruled that U.S. judicial authority in South Carolina was vacated. A mass meeting in Charleston celebrating the Charleston and Savannah railroad and state cooperation led to the South Carolina legislature to call for a Secession Convention. U.S. Senator James Chesnut, Jr. resigned, as did Senator James Henry Hammond. [64]

Elections for Secessionist conventions were heated to "an almost raving pitch, no one dared dissent", according to historian William W. Freehling. Even once–respected voices, including the Chief Justice of South Carolina, John Belton O'Neall, lost election to the Secession Convention on a Cooperationist ticket. Across the South mobs expelled Yankees and (in Texas) executed German-Americans suspected of loyalty to the United States. [65] Generally, seceding conventions which followed did not call for a referendum to ratify, although Texas, Arkansas, and Tennessee did, as well as Virginia's second convention. Kentucky declared neutrality, while Missouri had its own civil war until the Unionists took power and drove the Confederate legislators out of the state. [66]

Attempts to thwart secession

In the antebellum months, the Corwin Amendment was an unsuccessful attempt by the Congress to bring the seceding states back to the Union and to convince the border slave states to remain. [67] It was a proposed amendment to the United States Constitution by Ohio Congressman Thomas Corwin that would shield "domestic institutions" of the states (which in 1861 included slavery) from the constitutional amendment process and from abolition or interference by Congress. [68] [69]

It was passed by the 36th Congress on March 2, 1861. The House approved it by a vote of 133 to 65 and the United States Senate adopted it, with no changes, on a vote of 24 to 12. It was then submitted to the state legislatures for ratification. [70] In his inaugural address Lincoln endorsed the proposed amendment.

No amendment shall be made to the Constitution which will authorize or give to Congress the power to abolish or interfere, within any State, with the domestic institutions thereof, including that of persons held to labor or service by the laws of said State.

Had it been ratified by the required number of states prior to 1865, it would have made institutionalized slavery immune to the constitutional amendment procedures and to interference by Congress. [71] [72]

Inauguration and response

The first secession state conventions from the Deep South sent representatives to meet at the Montgomery Convention in Montgomery, Alabama, on February 4, 1861. There the fundamental documents of government were promulgated, a provisional government was established, and a representative Congress met for the Confederate States of America. [73]

The new 'provisional' Confederate President Jefferson Davis issued a call for 100,000 men from the various states' militias to defend the newly formed Confederacy. [73] All Federal property was seized, along with gold bullion and coining dies at the U.S. mints in Charlotte, North Carolina Dahlonega, Georgia and New Orleans. [73] The Confederate capital was moved from Montgomery to Richmond, Virginia, in May 1861. On February 22, 1862, Davis was inaugurated as president with a term of six years. [74]

The newly inaugurated Confederate administration pursued a policy of national territorial integrity, continuing earlier state efforts in 1860 and early 1861 to remove U.S. government presence from within their boundaries. These efforts included taking possession of U.S. courts, custom houses, post offices, and most notably, arsenals and forts. But after the Confederate attack and capture of Fort Sumter in April 1861, Lincoln called up 75,000 of the states' militia to muster under his command. The stated purpose was to re-occupy U.S. properties throughout the South, as the U.S. Congress had not authorized their abandonment. The resistance at Fort Sumter signaled his change of policy from that of the Buchanan Administration. Lincoln's response ignited a firestorm of emotion. The people of both North and South demanded war, and young men rushed to their colors in the hundreds of thousands. Four more states (Virginia, North Carolina, Tennessee, and Arkansas) refused Lincoln's call for troops and declared secession, while Kentucky maintained an uneasy "neutrality". [73]

Secession

Secessionists argued that the United States Constitution was a contract among sovereign states that could be abandoned at any time without consultation and that each state had a right to secede. After intense debates and statewide votes, seven Deep South cotton states passed secession ordinances by February 1861 (before Abraham Lincoln took office as president), while secession efforts failed in the other eight slave states. Delegates from those seven formed the CSA in February 1861, selecting Jefferson Davis as the provisional president. Unionist talk of reunion failed and Davis began raising a 100,000 man army. [75]

States

Initially, some secessionists may have hoped for a peaceful departure. [76] Moderates in the Confederate Constitutional Convention included a provision against importation of slaves from Africa to appeal to the Upper South. Non-slave states might join, but the radicals secured a two-thirds requirement in both houses of Congress to accept them. [77]

Seven states declared their secession from the United States before Lincoln took office on March 4, 1861. After the Confederate attack on Fort Sumter April 12, 1861, and Lincoln's subsequent call for troops on April 15, four more states declared their secession: [78]

Kentucky declared neutrality but after Confederate troops moved in, the state government asked for Union troops to drive them out. The splinter Confederate state government relocated to accompany western Confederate armies and never controlled the state population. By the end of the war, 90,000 Kentuckians had fought on the side of the Union, compared to 35,000 for the Confederate States. [79]

In Missouri, a constitutional convention was approved and delegates elected by voters. The convention rejected secession 89–1 on March 19, 1861. [80] The governor maneuvered to take control of the St. Louis Arsenal and restrict Federal movements. This led to confrontation, and in June Federal forces drove him and the General Assembly from Jefferson City. The executive committee of the constitutional convention called the members together in July. The convention declared the state offices vacant, and appointed a Unionist interim state government. [81] The exiled governor called a rump session of the former General Assembly together in Neosho and, on October 31, 1861, passed an ordinance of secession. [82] [83] It is still a matter of debate as to whether a quorum existed for this vote. The Confederate state government was unable to control very much the Missouri territory. It had its capital first at Neosho, then at Cassville, before being driven out of the state. For the remainder of the war, it operated as a government in exile at Marshall, Texas. [84]

Neither Kentucky nor Missouri was declared in rebellion in Lincoln's Emancipation Proclamation. The Confederacy recognized the pro-Confederate claimants in both Kentucky (December 10, 1861) and Missouri (November 28, 1861) and laid claim to those states, granting them Congressional representation and adding two stars to the Confederate flag. Voting for the representatives was mostly done by Confederate soldiers from Kentucky and Missouri. [85]

The order of secession resolutions and dates are:

1. South Carolina (December 20, 1860) [86] 2. Mississippi (January 9, 1861) [87] 3. Florida (January 10) [88] 4. Alabama (January 11) [89] 5. Georgia (January 19) [90] 6. Louisiana (January 26) [91] 7. Texas (February 1 referendum February 23) [92] Inauguration of President Lincoln, March 4 Bombardment of Fort Sumter (April 12) and President Lincoln's call-up (April 15) [93] 8. Virginia (April 17 referendum May 23, 1861) [94] 9. Arkansas (May 6) [95] 10. Tennessee (May 7 referendum June 8) [96] 11. North Carolina (May 20) [97]

In Virginia, the populous counties along the Ohio and Pennsylvania borders rejected the Confederacy. Unionists held a Convention in Wheeling in June 1861, establishing a "restored government" with a rump legislature, but sentiment in the region remained deeply divided. In the 50 counties that would make up the state of West Virginia, voters from 24 counties had voted for disunion in Virginia's May 23 referendum on the ordinance of secession. [98] In the 1860 Presidential election "Constitutional Democrat" Breckenridge had outpolled "Constitutional Unionist" Bell in the 50 counties by 1,900 votes, 44% to 42%. [99] Regardless of scholarly disputes over election procedures and results county by county, altogether they simultaneously supplied over 20,000 soldiers to each side of the conflict. [100] [101] Representatives for most of the counties were seated in both state legislatures at Wheeling and at Richmond for the duration of the war. [102]

Attempts to secede from the Confederacy by some counties in East Tennessee were checked by martial law. [103] Although slave-holding Delaware and Maryland did not secede, citizens from those states exhibited divided loyalties. Regiments of Marylanders fought in Lee's Army of Northern Virginia. [104] But overall, 24,000 men from Maryland joined the Confederate armed forces, compared to 63,000 who joined Union forces. [79]

Delaware never produced a full regiment for the Confederacy, but neither did it emancipate slaves as did Missouri and West Virginia. District of Columbia citizens made no attempts to secede and through the war years, referendums sponsored by President Lincoln approved systems of compensated emancipation and slave confiscation from "disloyal citizens". [105]

Territories

Citizens at Mesilla and Tucson in the southern part of New Mexico Territory formed a secession convention, which voted to join the Confederacy on March 16, 1861, and appointed Dr. Lewis S. Owings as the new territorial governor. They won the Battle of Mesilla and established a territorial government with Mesilla serving as its capital. [106] The Confederacy proclaimed the Confederate Arizona Territory on February 14, 1862, north to the 34th parallel. Marcus H. MacWillie served in both Confederate Congresses as Arizona's delegate. In 1862 the Confederate New Mexico Campaign to take the northern half of the U.S. territory failed and the Confederate territorial government in exile relocated to San Antonio, Texas. [107]

Confederate supporters in the trans-Mississippi west also claimed portions of the Indian Territory after the United States evacuated the federal forts and installations. Over half of the American Indian troops participating in the Civil War from the Indian Territory supported the Confederacy troops and one general were enlisted from each tribe. On July 12, 1861, the Confederate government signed a treaty with both the Choctaw and Chickasaw Indian nations. After several battles Union armies took control of the territory. [108]

The Indian Territory never formally joined the Confederacy, but it did receive representation in the Confederate Congress. Many Indians from the Territory were integrated into regular Confederate Army units. After 1863 the tribal governments sent representatives to the Confederate Congress: Elias Cornelius Boudinot representing the Cherokee and Samuel Benton Callahan representing the Seminole and Creek people. The Cherokee Nation aligned with the Confederacy. They practiced and supported slavery, opposed abolition, and feared their lands would be seized by the Union. After the war, the Indian territory was disestablished, their black slaves were freed, and the tribes lost some of their lands. [109]

Capitals

Montgomery, Alabama, served as the capital of the Confederate States of America from February 4 until May 29, 1861, in the Alabama State Capitol. Six states created the Confederate States of America there on February 8, 1861. The Texas delegation was seated at the time, so it is counted in the "original seven" states of the Confederacy it had no roll call vote until after its referendum made secession "operative". [110] Two sessions of the Provisional Congress were held in Montgomery, adjourning May 21. [111] The Permanent Constitution was adopted there on March 12, 1861. [112]

The permanent capital provided for in the Confederate Constitution called for a state cession of a ten-miles square (100 square mile) district to the central government. Atlanta, which had not yet supplanted Milledgeville, Georgia, as its state capital, put in a bid noting its central location and rail connections, as did Opelika, Alabama, noting its strategically interior situation, rail connections and nearby deposits of coal and iron. [113]

Richmond, Virginia, was chosen for the interim capital at the Virginia State Capitol. The move was used by Vice President Stephens and others to encourage other border states to follow Virginia into the Confederacy. In the political moment it was a show of "defiance and strength". The war for Southern independence was surely to be fought in Virginia, but it also had the largest Southern military-aged white population, with infrastructure, resources, and supplies required to sustain a war. The Davis Administration's policy was that, "It must be held at all hazards." [114]

The naming of Richmond as the new capital took place on May 30, 1861, and the last two sessions of the Provisional Congress were held in the new capital. The Permanent Confederate Congress and President were elected in the states and army camps on November 6, 1861. The First Congress met in four sessions in Richmond from February 18, 1862, to February 17, 1864. The Second Congress met there in two sessions, from May 2, 1864, to March 18, 1865. [115]

As war dragged on, Richmond became crowded with training and transfers, logistics and hospitals. Prices rose dramatically despite government efforts at price regulation. A movement in Congress led by Henry S. Foote of Tennessee argued for moving the capital from Richmond. At the approach of Federal armies in mid-1862, the government's archives were readied for removal. As the Wilderness Campaign progressed, Congress authorized Davis to remove the executive department and call Congress to session elsewhere in 1864 and again in 1865. Shortly before the end of the war, the Confederate government evacuated Richmond, planning to relocate farther south. Little came of these plans before Lee's surrender at Appomattox Court House, Virginia on April 9, 1865. [116] Davis and most of his cabinet fled to Danville, Virginia, which served as their headquarters for about a week.

Unionism

Unionism—opposition to the Confederacy—was widespread, especially in the mountain regions of Appalachia and the Ozarks. [117] Unionists, led by Parson Brownlow and Senator Andrew Johnson, took control of eastern Tennessee in 1863. [118] Unionists also attempted control over western Virginia but never effectively held more than half the counties that formed the new state of West Virginia. [119] [120] [121]

Union forces captured parts of coastal North Carolina, and at first were welcomed by local unionists. That changed as the occupiers became perceived as oppressive, callous, radical and favorable to the Freedmen. Occupiers pillaged, freed slaves, and evicted those who refused to swear loyalty oaths to the Union. [122]

Support for the Confederacy was perhaps weakest in Texas Claude Elliott estimates that only a third of the population actively supported the Confederacy. Many Unionists supported the Confederacy after the war began, but many others clung to their Unionism throughout the war, especially in the northern counties, the German districts, and the Mexican areas. [123] According to Ernest Wallace: "This account of a dissatisfied Unionist minority, although historically essential, must be kept in its proper perspective, for throughout the war the overwhelming majority of the people zealously supported the Confederacy . " [124] Randolph B. Campbell states, "In spite of terrible losses and hardships, most Texans continued throughout the war to support the Confederacy as they had supported secession". [125] Dale Baum in his analysis of Texas politics in the era counters: "This idea of a Confederate Texas united politically against northern adversaries was shaped more by nostalgic fantasies than by wartime realities." He characterizes Texas Civil War history as "a morose story of intragovernmental rivalries coupled with wide-ranging disaffection that prevented effective implementation of state wartime policies". [126]

In Texas, local officials harassed and murdered Unionists and Germans. In Cooke County, 150 suspected Unionists were arrested 25 were lynched without trial and 40 more were hanged after a summary trial. Draft resistance was widespread especially among Texans of German or Mexican descent many of the latter went to Mexico. Confederate officials hunted down and killed potential draftees who had gone into hiding. [123]

Civil liberties were of small concern in both the North and South. Lincoln and Davis both took a hard line against dissent. Neely explores how the Confederacy became a virtual police state with guards and patrols all about, and a domestic passport system whereby everyone needed official permission each time they wanted to travel. Over 4,000 suspected Unionists were imprisoned without trial. [127]

Diplomacy

United States, a foreign power

During the four years of its existence under trial by war, the Confederate States of America asserted its independence and appointed dozens of diplomatic agents abroad. None were ever officially recognized by a foreign government. The United States government regarded the Southern states as being in rebellion or insurrection and so refused any formal recognition of their status.

Even before Fort Sumter, U.S. Secretary of State William H. Seward issued formal instructions to the American minister to Britain, Charles Francis Adams:

[Make] no expressions of harshness or disrespect, or even impatience concerning the seceding States, their agents, or their people, [those States] must always continue to be, equal and honored members of this Federal Union, [their citizens] still are and always must be our kindred and countrymen. [128]

Seward instructed Adams that if the British government seemed inclined to recognize the Confederacy, or even waver in that regard, it was to receive a sharp warning, with a strong hint of war:

[if Britain is] tolerating the application of the so-called seceding States, or wavering about it, [they cannot] remain friends with the United States . if they determine to recognize [the Confederacy], [Britain] may at the same time prepare to enter into alliance with the enemies of this republic. [128]

The United States government never declared war on those "kindred and countrymen" in the Confederacy, but conducted its military efforts beginning with a presidential proclamation issued April 15, 1861. [129] It called for troops to recapture forts and suppress what Lincoln later called an "insurrection and rebellion". [130]

Mid-war parleys between the two sides occurred without formal political recognition, though the laws of war predominantly governed military relationships on both sides of uniformed conflict. [131]

On the part of the Confederacy, immediately following Fort Sumter the Confederate Congress proclaimed that "war exists between the Confederate States and the Government of the United States, and the States and Territories thereof". A state of war was not to formally exist between the Confederacy and those states and territories in the United States allowing slavery, although Confederate Rangers were compensated for destruction they could effect there throughout the war. [132]

Concerning the international status and nationhood of the Confederate States of America, in 1869 the United States Supreme Court in Texas v. White, 74 U.S. (7 Wall.) 700 (1869) ruled Texas' declaration of secession was legally null and void. [133] Jefferson Davis, former President of the Confederacy, and Alexander H. Stephens, its former vice-president, both wrote postwar arguments in favor of secession's legality and the international legitimacy of the Government of the Confederate States of America, most notably Davis' The Rise and Fall of the Confederate Government.

International diplomacy

The Confederacy's biggest foreign policy successes were with Spain's Caribbean colonies and Brazil, the "peoples most identical to us in Institutions", [134] in which slavery remained legal until the 1880s. The Captain–General of Cuba declared in writing that Confederate ships were welcome, and would be protected in Cuban ports. [134] They were also welcome in Brazilian ports [135] slavery was legal throughout Brazil, and the abolitionist movement was small. After the end of the war, Brazil was the primary destination of those Southerners who wanted to continue living in a slave society, where, as one immigrant remarked, slaves were cheap (see Confederados).

However, militarily this meant little. Once war with the United States began, the Confederacy pinned its hopes for survival on military intervention by Great Britain and/or France. The Confederate government sent James M. Mason to London and John Slidell to Paris. On their way to Europe in 1861, the U.S. Navy intercepted their ship, the Trent, and forcibly detained them in Boston, an international episode known as the Trent Affair. The diplomats were eventually released and continued their voyage to Europe. [136] However, their diplomacy was unsuccessful historians give them low marks for their poor diplomacy. [137] [ page needed ] Neither secured diplomatic recognition for the Confederacy, much less military assistance.

The Confederates who had believed that "cotton is king", that is, that Britain had to support the Confederacy to obtain cotton, proved mistaken. The British had stocks to last over a year and had been developing alternative sources of cotton, most notably India and Egypt. Britain had so much cotton that it was exporting some to France. [138] England was not about to go to war with the U.S. to acquire more cotton at the risk of losing the large quantities of food imported from the North. [139] [ page needed ] [140]

Aside from the purely economic questions, there was also the clamorous ethical debate. Great Britain took pride in being a leader in suppressing slavery, ending it in its empire in 1833, and the end of the Atlantic slave trade was enforced by British vessels. Confederate diplomats found little support for American slavery, cotton trade or no. A series of slave narratives about American slavery was being published in London. [141] It was in London that the first World Anti-Slavery Convention had been held in 1840 it was followed by regular smaller conferences. A string of eloquent and sometimes well-educated Negro abolitionist speakers criss-crossed not just England but Scotland and Ireland as well. In addition to exposing the reality of America's shameful and sinful chattel slavery—some were fugitive slaves—they put the lie to the Confederate position that negroes were "unintellectual, timid, and dependant", [142] and "not equal to the white man. the superior race," as it was put by Confederate Vice-President Alexander H. Stephens in his famous Cornerstone Speech. Frederick Douglass, Henry Highland Garnet, Sarah Parker Remond, her brother Charles Lenox Remond, James W. C. Pennington, Martin Delany, Samuel Ringgold Ward, and William G. Allen all spent years in Britain, where fugitive slaves were safe and, as Allen said, there was an "absence of prejudice against color. Here the colored man feels himself among friends, and not among enemies". [143] One speaker alone, William Wells Brown, gave more than 1,000 lectures on the shame of American chattel slavery. [144] : 32

Throughout the early years of the war, British foreign secretary Lord John Russell, Emperor Napoleon III of France, and, to a lesser extent, British Prime Minister Lord Palmerston, showed interest in recognition of the Confederacy or at least mediation of the war. British Chancellor of the Exchequer William Ewart Gladstone, convinced of the necessity of intervention on the Confederate side based on the successful diplomatic intervention in Second Italian War of Independence against Austria, attempted unsuccessfully to convince Lord Palmerston to intervene. [145] By September 1862 the Union victory at the Battle of Antietam, Lincoln's preliminary Emancipation Proclamation and abolitionist opposition in Britain put an end to these possibilities. [146] The cost to Britain of a war with the U.S. would have been high: the immediate loss of American grain-shipments, the end of British exports to the U.S., and the seizure of billions of pounds invested in American securities. War would have meant higher taxes in Britain, another invasion of Canada, and full-scale worldwide attacks on the British merchant fleet. Outright recognition would have meant certain war with the United States in mid-1862 fears of race war (as had transpired in the Haitian Revolution of 1791–1804) led to the British considering intervention for humanitarian reasons. Lincoln's Emancipation Proclamation did not lead to interracial violence, let alone a bloodbath, but it did give the friends of the Union strong talking points in the arguments that raged across Britain. [147]

John Slidell, the Confederate States emissary to France, did succeed in negotiating a loan of $15,000,000 from Erlanger and other French capitalists. The money went to buy ironclad warships, as well as military supplies that came in with blockade runners. [148] The British government did allow the construction of blockade runners in Britain they were owned and operated by British financiers and ship owners a few were owned and operated by the Confederacy. The British investors' goal was to get highly profitable cotton. [149]

Several European nations maintained diplomats in place who had been appointed to the U.S., but no country appointed any diplomat to the Confederacy. Those nations recognized the Union and Confederate sides as belligerents. In 1863 the Confederacy expelled European diplomatic missions for advising their resident subjects to refuse to serve in the Confederate army. [150] Both Confederate and Union agents were allowed to work openly in British territories. Some state governments in northern Mexico negotiated local agreements to cover trade on the Texas border. [151] The Confederacy appointed Ambrose Dudley Mann as special agent to the Holy See on September 24, 1863. But the Holy See never released a formal statement supporting or recognizing the Confederacy. In November 1863, Mann met Pope Pius IX in person and received a letter supposedly addressed "to the Illustrious and Honorable Jefferson Davis, President of the Confederate States of America" Mann had mistranslated the address. In his report to Richmond, Mann claimed a great diplomatic achievement for himself, asserting the letter was "a positive recognition of our Government". The letter was indeed used in propaganda, but Confederate Secretary of State Judah P. Benjamin told Mann it was "a mere inferential recognition, unconnected with political action or the regular establishment of diplomatic relations" and thus did not assign it the weight of formal recognition. [152] [153]

Nevertheless, the Confederacy was seen internationally as a serious attempt at nationhood, and European governments sent military observers, both official and unofficial, to assess whether there had been a de facto establishment of independence. These observers included Arthur Lyon Fremantle of the British Coldstream Guards, who entered the Confederacy via Mexico, Fitzgerald Ross of the Austrian Hussars, and Justus Scheibert of the Prussian Army. [154] European travelers visited and wrote accounts for publication. Importantly in 1862, the Frenchman Charles Girard's Seven months in the rebel states during the North American War testified "this government . is no longer a trial government . but really a normal government, the expression of popular will". [155] Fremantle went on to write in his book Three Months in the Southern States that he had

not attempted to conceal any of the peculiarities or defects of the Southern people. Many persons will doubtless highly disapprove of some of their customs and habits in the wilder portion of the country but I think no generous man, whatever may be his political opinions, can do otherwise than admire the courage, energy, and patriotism of the whole population, and the skill of its leaders, in this struggle against great odds. And I am also of opinion that many will agree with me in thinking that a people in which all ranks and both sexes display a unanimity and a heroism which can never have been surpassed in the history of the world, is destined, sooner or later, to become a great and independent nation. [156]

French Emperor Napoleon III assured Confederate diplomat John Slidell that he would make "direct proposition" to Britain for joint recognition. The Emperor made the same assurance to British Members of Parliament John A. Roebuck and John A. Lindsay. [157] Roebuck in turn publicly prepared a bill to submit to Parliament June 30 supporting joint Anglo-French recognition of the Confederacy. "Southerners had a right to be optimistic, or at least hopeful, that their revolution would prevail, or at least endure." [158] Following the double disasters at Vicksburg and Gettysburg in July 1863, the Confederates "suffered a severe loss of confidence in themselves", and withdrew into an interior defensive position. There would be no help from the Europeans. [159]

By December 1864, Davis considered sacrificing slavery in order to enlist recognition and aid from Paris and London he secretly sent Duncan F. Kenner to Europe with a message that the war was fought solely for "the vindication of our rights to self-government and independence" and that "no sacrifice is too great, save that of honor". The message stated that if the French or British governments made their recognition conditional on anything at all, the Confederacy would consent to such terms. [160] Davis's message could not explicitly acknowledge that slavery was on the bargaining table due to still-strong domestic support for slavery among the wealthy and politically influential. European leaders all saw that the Confederacy was on the verge of total defeat. [161]

Confederacy at war

Motivations of soldiers

Most young white men voluntarily joined Confederate national or state military units. Perman (2010) says historians are of two minds on why millions of men seemed so eager to fight, suffer and die over four years:

Some historians emphasize that Civil War soldiers were driven by political ideology, holding firm beliefs about the importance of liberty, Union, or state rights, or about the need to protect or to destroy slavery. Others point to less overtly political reasons to fight, such as the defense of one's home and family, or the honor and brotherhood to be preserved when fighting alongside other men. Most historians agree that, no matter what he thought about when he went into the war, the experience of combat affected him profoundly and sometimes affected his reasons for continuing to fight. [162] [163]

Military strategy

Civil War historian E. Merton Coulter wrote that for those who would secure its independence, "The Confederacy was unfortunate in its failure to work out a general strategy for the whole war". Aggressive strategy called for offensive force concentration. Defensive strategy sought dispersal to meet demands of locally minded governors. The controlling philosophy evolved into a combination "dispersal with a defensive concentration around Richmond". The Davis administration considered the war purely defensive, a "simple demand that the people of the United States would cease to war upon us". [164] Historian James M. McPherson is a critic of Lee's offensive strategy: "Lee pursued a faulty military strategy that ensured Confederate defeat". [165]

As the Confederate government lost control of territory in campaign after campaign, it was said that "the vast size of the Confederacy would make its conquest impossible". The enemy would be struck down by the same elements which so often debilitated or destroyed visitors and transplants in the South. Heat exhaustion, sunstroke, endemic diseases such as malaria and typhoid would match the destructive effectiveness of the Moscow winter on the invading armies of Napoleon. [166]

Early in the war both sides believed that one great battle would decide the conflict the Confederates won a surprise victory at the First Battle of Bull Run, also known as First Manassas (the name used by Confederate forces). It drove the Confederate people "insane with joy" the public demanded a forward movement to capture Washington, relocate the Confederate capital there, and admit Maryland to the Confederacy. [168] A council of war by the victorious Confederate generals decided not to advance against larger numbers of fresh Federal troops in defensive positions. Davis did not countermand it. Following the Confederate incursion into Maryland halted at the Battle of Antietam in October 1862, generals proposed concentrating forces from state commands to re-invade the north. Nothing came of it. [169] Again in mid-1863 at his incursion into Pennsylvania, Lee requested that Davis Beauregard simultaneously attack Washington with troops taken from the Carolinas. But the troops there remained in place during the Gettysburg Campaign.

The eleven states of the Confederacy were outnumbered by the North about four-to-one in white men of military age. It was overmatched far more in military equipment, industrial facilities, railroads for transport, and wagons supplying the front.

Confederates slowed the Yankee invaders, at heavy cost to the Southern infrastructure. The Confederates burned bridges, laid land mines in the roads, and made harbors inlets and inland waterways unusable with sunken mines (called "torpedoes" at the time). Coulter reports:

Rangers in twenty to fifty-man units were awarded 50% valuation for property destroyed behind Union lines, regardless of location or loyalty. As Federals occupied the South, objections by loyal Confederate concerning Ranger horse-stealing and indiscriminate scorched earth tactics behind Union lines led to Congress abolishing the Ranger service two years later. [170]

The Confederacy relied on external sources for war materials. The first came from trade with the enemy. "Vast amounts of war supplies" came through Kentucky, and thereafter, western armies were "to a very considerable extent" provisioned with illicit trade via Federal agents and northern private traders. [171] But that trade was interrupted in the first year of war by Admiral Porter's river gunboats as they gained dominance along navigable rivers north–south and east–west. [172] Overseas blockade running then came to be of "outstanding importance". [173] On April 17, President Davis called on privateer raiders, the "militia of the sea", to wage war on U.S. seaborne commerce. [174] Despite noteworthy effort, over the course of the war the Confederacy was found unable to match the Union in ships and seamanship, materials and marine construction. [175]

An inescapable obstacle to success in the warfare of mass armies was the Confederacy's lack of manpower, and sufficient numbers of disciplined, equipped troops in the field at the point of contact with the enemy. During the winter of 1862–63, Lee observed that none of his famous victories had resulted in the destruction of the opposing army. He lacked reserve troops to exploit an advantage on the battlefield as Napoleon had done. Lee explained, "More than once have most promising opportunities been lost for want of men to take advantage of them, and victory itself had been made to put on the appearance of defeat, because our diminished and exhausted troops have been unable to renew a successful struggle against fresh numbers of the enemy." [176]

Armed forces

The military armed forces of the Confederacy comprised three branches: Army, Navy and Marine Corps.

The Confederate military leadership included many veterans from the United States Army and United States Navy who had resigned their Federal commissions and were appointed to senior positions. Many had served in the Mexican–American War (including Robert E. Lee and Jefferson Davis), but some such as Leonidas Polk (who graduated from West Point but did not serve in the Army) had little or no experience.


Congress had no power to coin money, therefore each state developed its own currency. Congress was unable to regulate interstate and foreign commerce some states refused to pay for goods they purchased from abroad. Congress was unable to impose taxes it could only borrow money on credit.

It is also called the Southern Confederacy and refers to 11 states that renounced their existing agreement with others of the United States in 1860–1861 and attempted to establish a new nation in which the authority of the central government would be strictly limited and the institution of slavery would be protected.


Secession Acts of the Thirteen Confederate States

We, the people of the State of South Carolina, in convention assembled, do declare and ordain, and it is hereby declared and ordained, That the ordinance adopted by us in convention on the twenty-third day of May, in the year of our Lord one thousand seven hundred and eighty-eight, whereby the Constitution of the United States of America was ratified, and also all acts and parts of acts of the General Assembly of this State ratifying amendments of the said Constitution, are hereby repealed and that the union now subsisting between South Carolina and other States, under the name of the "United States of America," is hereby dissolved.

Done at Charleston the twentieth day of December, in the year of our Lord one thousand eight hundred and sixty.

AN ORDINANCE to dissolve the union between the State of Mississippi and other States united with her under the compact entitled "The Constitution of the United States of America." The people of the State of Mississippi, in convention assembled, do ordain and declare, and it is hereby ordained and declared, as follows, to wit:

Section 1. That all the laws and ordinances by which the said State of Mississippi became a member of the Federal Union of the United States of America be, and the same are hereby, repealed, and that all obligations on the part of the said State or the people thereof to observe the same be withdrawn, and that the said State doth hereby resume all the rights, functions, and powers which by any of said laws or ordinances were conveyed to the Government of the said United States, and is absolved from all the obligations, restraints, and duties incurred to the said Federal Union, and shall from henceforth be a free, sovereign, and independent State.

Sec. 2. That so much of the first section of the seventh article of the constitution of this State as requires members of the Legislature and all officers, executive and judicial, to take an oath or affirmation to support the Constitution of the United States be, and the same is hereby, abrogated and annulled.

Sec. 3. That all rights acquired and vested under the Constitution of the United States, or under any act of Congress passed, or treaty made, in pursuance thereof, or under any law of this State, and not incompatible with this ordinance, shall remain in force and have the same effect as if this ordinance had not been passed.

Sec. 4. That the people of the State of Mississippi hereby consent to form a federal union with such of the States as may have seceded or may secede from the Union of the United States of America, upon the basis of the present Constitution of the said United States, except such parts thereof as embrace other portions than such seceding States.

Thus ordained and declared in convention the 9th day of January, in the year of our Lord 1861.

We, the people of the State of Florida, in convention assembled, do solemnly ordain, publish, and declare, That the State of Florida hereby withdraws herself from the confederacy of States existing under the name of the United States of America and from the existing Government of the said States and that all political connection between her and the Government of said States ought to be, and the same is hereby, totally annulled, and said Union of States dissolved and the State of Florida is hereby declared a sovereign and independent nation and that all ordinances heretofore adopted, in so far as they create or recognize said Union, are rescinded and all laws or parts of laws in force in this State, in so far as they recognize or assent to said Union, be, and they are hereby, repealed.

An Ordinance to dissolve the union between the State of Alabama and the other States united under the compact styled "The Constitution of the United States of America"

Whereas, the election of Abraham Lincoln and Hannibal Hamlin to the offices of president and vice-president of the United States of America, by a sectional party, avowedly hostile to the domestic institutions and to the peace and security of the people of the State of Alabama, preceded by many and dangerous infractions of the constitution of the United States by many of the States and people of the Northern section, is a political wrong of so insulting and menacing a character as to justify the people of the State of Alabama in the adoption of prompt and decided measures for their future peace and security, therefore:

Be it declared and ordained by the people of the State of Alabama, in Convention assembled, That the State of Alabama now withdraws, and is hereby withdrawn from the Union known as "the United States of America," and henceforth ceases to be one of said United States, and is, and of right ought to be a Sovereign and Independent State.

Sec 2. Be it further declared and ordained by the people of the State of Alabama in Convention assembled, That all powers over the Territory of said State, and over the people thereof, heretofore delegated to the Government of the United States of America, be and they are hereby withdrawn from said Government, and are hereby resumed and vested in the people of the State of Alabama.

And as it is the desire and purpose of the people of Alabama to meet the slaveholding States of the South, who may approve such purpose, in order to frame a provisional as well as permanent Government upon the principles of the Constitution of the United States,

Be it resolved by the people of Alabama in Convention assembled, That the people of the States of Delaware, Maryland, Virginia, North Carolina, South Carolina, Florida, Georgia, Mississippi, Louisiana, Texas, Arkansas, Tennessee, Kentucky and Missouri, be and are hereby invited to meet the people of the State of Alabama, by their Delegates, in Convention, on the 4th day of February, A.D., 1861, at the city of Montgomery, in the State of Alabama, for the purpose of consulting with each other as to the most effectual mode of securing concerted and harmonious action in whatever measures may be deemed most desirable for our common peace and security.

And be it further resolved, That the President of this Convention, be and is hereby instructed to transmit forthwith a copy of the foregoing Preamble, Ordinance, and Resolutions to the Governors of the several States named in said resolutions.

Done by the people of the State of Alabama, in Convention assembled, at Montgomery, on this, the eleventh day of January, A.D. 1861.

We the people of the State of Georgia in Convention assembled do declare and ordain and it is hereby declared and ordained that the ordinance adopted by the State of Georgia in convention on the 2nd day of Jany. in the year of our Lord seventeen hundred and eighty-eight, whereby the constitution of the United States of America was assented to, ratified and adopted, and also all acts and parts of acts of the general assembly of this State, ratifying and adopting amendments to said constitution, are hereby repealed, rescinded and abrogated.

We do further declare and ordain that the union now existing between the State of Georgia and other States under the name of the United States of America is hereby dissolved, and that the State of Georgia is in full possession and exercise of all those rights of sovereignty which belong and appertain to a free and independent State.

AN ORDINANCE to dissolve the union between the State of Louisiana and other States united with her under the compact entitled "The Constitution of the United States of America."

We, the people of the State of Louisiana, in convention assembled, do declare and ordain, and it is hereby declared and ordained, That the ordinance passed by us in convention on the 22d day of November, in the year eighteen hundred and eleven, whereby the Constitution of the United States of America and the amendments of the said Constitution were adopted, and all laws and ordinances by which the State of Louisiana became a member of the Federal Union, be, and the same are hereby, repealed and abrogated and that the union now subsisting between Louisiana and other States under the name of "The United States of America" is hereby dissolved.

We do further declare and ordain, That the State of Louisiana hereby resumes all rights and powers heretofore delegated to the Government of the United States of America that her citizens are absolved from all allegiance to said Government and that she is in full possession and exercise of all those rights of sovereignty which appertain to a free and independent State.

We do further declare and ordain, That all rights acquired and vested under the Constitution of the United States, or any act of Congress, or treaty, or under any law of this State, and not incompatible with this ordinance, shall remain in force and have the same effect as if this ordinance had not been passed.

Adopted in convention at Baton Rouge this 26th day of January, 1861.

AN ORDINANCE To dissolve the Union between the State of Texas and the other States united under the Compact styled "the Constitution of the United States of America."

WHEREAS, The Federal Government has failed to accomplish the purposes of the compact of union between these States, in giving protection either to the persons of our people upon an exposed frontier, or to the property of our citizens, and

WHEREAS, the action of the Northern States of the Union is violative of the compact between the States and the guarantees of the Constitution and,

WHEREAS, The recent developments in Federal affairs make it evident that the power of the Federal Government is sought to be made a weapon with which to strike down the interests and property of the people of Texas, and her sister slave-holding States, instead of permitting it to be, as was intended, our shield against outrage and aggression THEREFORE,

SECTION 1.-- We, the people of the State of Texas, by delegates in convention assembled, do declare and ordain that the ordinance adopted by our convention of delegates on the 4th day of July, A.D. 1845, and afterwards ratified by us, under which the Republic of Texas was admitted into the Union with other States, and became a party to the compact styled "The Constitution of the United States of America," be, and is hereby, repealed and annulled that all the powers which, by the said compact, were delegated by Texas to the Federal Government are revoked and resumed that Texas is of right absolved from all restraints and obligations incurred by said compact, and is a separate sovereign State, and that her citizens and people are absolved from all allegiance to the United States or the government thereof.

SEC. 2. This ordinance shall be submitted to the people of Texas for their ratification or rejection, by the qualified voters, on the 23rd day of February, 1861, and unless rejected by a majority of the votes cast, shall take effect and be in force on and after the 2d day of March, A.D. 1861.PROVIDED, that in the Representative District of El Paso said election may be held on the 18th day of February, 1861.

Done by the people of the State of Texas, in convention assembled, at Austin, this 1st day of February, A.D. 1861.

Ratified 23 Feb 1861 by a vote of 46,153 for and 14,747 against.

AN ORDINANCE to repeal the ratification of the Constitution of the United State of America by the State of Virginia, and to resume all the rights and powers granted under said Constitution.

The people of Virginia in their ratification of the Constitution of the United States of America, adopted by them in convention on the twenty-fifth day of June, in the year of our Lord one thousand seven hundred and eighty-eight, having declared that the powers granted under said Constitution were derived from the people of the United States and might be resumed whensoever the same should be perverted to their injury and oppression, and the Federal Government having perverted said powers not only to the injury of the people of Virginia, but to the oppression of the Southern slave-holding States:

Now, therefore, we, the people of Virginia, do declare and ordain, That the ordinance adopted by the people of this State in convention on the twenty-fifth day of June, in the year of our Lord one thousand seven hundred and eighty-eight, whereby the Constitution of the United States of America was ratified, and all acts of the General Assembly of this State ratifying and adopting amendments to said Constitution, are hereby repealed and abrogated that the union between the State of Virginia and the other States under the Constitution aforesaid is hereby dissolved, and that the State of Virginia is in the full possession and exercise of all the rights of sovereignty which belong and appertain to a free and independent State.

And they do further declare, That said Constitution of the United States of America is no longer binding on any of the citizens of this State.

This ordinance shall take effect and be an act of this day, when ratified by a majority of the voter of the people of this State cast at a poll to be taken thereon on the fourth Thursday in May next, in pursuance of a schedule hereafter to be enacted.

Adopted by the convention of Virginia April 17,1861 ratified by a vote of 132,201 to 37,451 on 23 May 1861.

AN ORDINANCE to dissolve the union now existing between the State of Arkansas and the other States united with her under the compact entitled "The Constitution of the United States of America."

Whereas, in addition to the well-founded causes of complaint set forth by this convention, in resolutions adopted on the 11th of March, A.D. 1861, against the sectional party now in power in Washington City, headed by Abraham Lincoln, he has, in the face of resolutions passed by this convention pledging the State of Arkansas to resist to the last extremity any attempt on the part of such power to coerce any State that had seceded from the old Union, proclaimed to the world that war should be waged against such States until they should be compelled to submit to their rule, and large forces to accomplish this have by this same power been called out, and are now being marshaled to carry out this inhuman design and to longer submit to such rule, or remain in the old Union of the United States, would be disgraceful and ruinous to the State of Arkansas:

Therefore we, the people of the State of Arkansas, in convention assembled, do hereby declare and ordain, and it is hereby declared and ordained, That the "ordinance and acceptance of compact" passed and approved by the General Assembly of the State of Arkansas on the 18th day of October, A.D. 1836, whereby it was by said General Assembly ordained that by virtue of the authority vested in said General Assembly by the provisions of the ordinance adopted by the convention of delegates assembled at Little Rock for the purpose of forming a constitution and system of government for said State, the propositions set forth in "An act supplementary to an act entitled `An act for the admission of the State of Arkansas into the Union, and to provide for the due execution of the laws of the United States within the same, and for other purposes,'" were freely accepted, ratified, and irrevocably confirmed, articles of compact and union between the State of Arkansas and the United States, and all other laws and every other law and ordinance, whereby the State of Arkansas became a member of the Federal Union, be, and the same are hereby, in all respects and for every purpose herewith consistent, repealed, abrogated, and fully set aside and the union now subsisting between the State of Arkansas and the other States, under the name of the United States of America, is hereby forever dissolved.

And we do further hereby declare and ordain, That the State of Arkansas hereby resumes to herself all rights and powers heretofore delegated to the Government of the United States of America that her citizens are absolved from all allegiance to said Government of the United States, and that she is in full possession and exercise of all the rights and sovereignty which appertain to a free and independent State.

We do further ordain and declare, That all rights acquired and vested under the Constitution of the United States of America, or of any act or acts of Congress, or treaty, or under any law of this State, and not incompatible with this ordinance, shall remain in full force and effect, in nowise altered or impaired, and have the same effect as if this ordinance had not been passed.

Adopted and passed in open convention on the 6th day of May, A.D. 1861.

AN ORDINANCE to dissolve the union between the State of North Carolina and the other States united with her, under the compact of government entitled "The Constitution of the United States."

We, the people of the State of North Carolina in convention assembled, do declare and ordain, and it is hereby declared and ordained, That the ordinance adopted by the State of North Carolina in the convention of 1789, whereby the Constitution of the United States was ratified and adopted, and also all acts and parts of acts of the General Assembly ratifying and adopting amendments to the said Constitution, are hereby repealed, rescinded, and abrogated.

We do further declare and ordain, That the union now subsisting between the State of North Carolina and the other States, under the title of the United States of America, is hereby dissolved, and that the State of North Carolina is in full possession and exercise of all those rights of sovereignty which belong and appertain to a free and independent State.

Done in convention at the city of Raleigh, this the 20th day of May, in the year of our Lord 1861, and in the eighty-fifth year of the independence of said State.

DECLARATION OF INDEPENDENCE AND ORDINANCE dissolving the federal relations between the State of Tennessee and the United States of America.

First. We, the people of the State of Tennessee, waiving any expression of opinion as to the abstract doctrine of secession, but asserting the right, as a free and independent people, to alter, reform, or abolish our form of government in such manner as we think proper, do ordain and declare that all the laws and ordinances by which the State of Tennessee became a member of the Federal Union of the United States of America are hereby abrogated and annulled, and that all the rights, functions, and powers which by any of said laws and ordinances were conveyed to the Government of the United States, and to absolve ourselves from all the obligations, restraints, and duties incurred thereto and do hereby henceforth become a free, sovereign, and independent State.

Second. We furthermore declare and ordain that article 10, sections 1 and 2, of the constitution of the State of Tennessee, which requires members of the General Assembly and all officers, civil and military, to take an oath to support the Constitution of the United States be, and the same are hereby, abrogated and annulled, and all parts of the constitution of the State of Tennessee making citizenship of the United States a qualification for office and recognizing the Constitution of the United States as the supreme law of this State are in like manner abrogated and annulled.

Third. We furthermore ordain and declare that all rights acquired and vested under the Constitution of the United States, or under any act of Congress passed in pursuance thereof, or under any laws of this State, and not incompatible with this ordinance, shall remain in force and have the same effect as if this ordinance had not been passed.

Sent to referendum 6 May 1861 by the legislature, and approved by the voters by a vote of 104,471 to 47,183 on 8 June 1861.

An act declaring the political ties heretofore existing between the State of Missouri and the United States of America dissolved.
Whereas the Government of the United States, in the possession and under the control of a sectional party, has wantonly violated the compact originally made between said Government and the State of Missouri, by invading with hostile armies the soil of the State, attacking and making prisoners the militia while legally assembled under the State laws, forcibly occupying the State capitol, and attempting through the instrumentality of domestic traitors to usurp the State government, seizing and destroying private property, and murdering with fiendish malignity peaceable citizens, men, women, and children, together with other acts of atrocity, indicating a deep-settled hostility toward the people of Missouri and their institutions and

Whereas the present Administration of the Government of the United States has utterly ignored the Constitution, subverted the Government as constructed and intended by its makers, and established a despotic and arbitrary power instead thereof: Now, therefore, Be it enacted by the general assembly of the State of Missouri, That all political ties of every character new existing between the Government of the United States of America and the people and government of the State of Missouri are hereby dissolved, and the State of Missouri, resuming the sovereignty granted by compact to the said United States upon admission of said State into the Federal Union, does again take its place as a free and independent republic amongst the nations of the earth.

This act to take effect and be in force from and after its passage.

Approved, October 31, 1861. This act was passed by a rump legislature called into session in Neosho, Mo., by Gov. C.F. Jackson (who had been removed from office by the State Convention)

Whereas, the Federal Constitution, which created the Government of the United States, was declared by the framers thereof to be the supreme law of the land, and was intended to limit and did expressly limit the powers of said Government to certain general specified purposes, and did expressly reserve to the States and people all other powers whatever, and the President and Congress have treated this supreme law of the Union with contempt and usurped to themselves the power to interfere with the rights and liberties of the States and the people against the expressed provisions of the Constitution, and have thus substituted for the highest forms of national liberty and constitutional government a central despotism founded upon the ignorant prejudices of the masses of Northern society, and instead of giving protection with the Constitution to the people of fifteen States of this Union have turned loose upon them the unrestrained and raging passions of mobs and fanatics, and because we now seek to hold our liberties, our property, our homes, and our families under the protection of the reserved powers of the States, have blockaded our ports, invaded our soil, and waged war upon our people for the purpose of subjugating us to their will and
Whereas, our honor and our duty to posterity demand that we shall not relinquish our own liberty and shall not abandon the right of our descendants and the world to the inestimable blessings of constitutional government: Therefore,

Be it ordained, That we do hereby forever sever our connection with the Government of the United States, and in the name of the people we do hereby declare Kentucky to be a free and independent State, clothed with all power to fix her own destiny and to secure her own rights and liberties.

And whereas, the majority of the Legislature of Kentucky have violated their most solemn pledges made before the election, and deceived and betrayed the people have abandoned the position of neutrality assumed by themselves and the people, and invited into the State the organized armies of Lincoln have abdicated the Government in favor of a military despotism which they have placed around themselves, but cannot control, and have abandoned the duty of shielding the citizen with their protection have thrown upon our people and the State the horrors and ravages of war, instead of attempting to preserve the peace, and have voted men and money for the war waged by the North for the destruction of our constitutional rights have violated the expressed words of the constitution by borrowing five millions of money for the support of the war without a vote of the people have permitted the arrest and imprisonment of our citizens, and transferred the constitutional prerogatives of the Executive to a military commission of partisans have seen the writ of habeus corpus suspended without an effort for its preservation, and permitted our people to be driven in exile from their homes have subjected our property to confiscation and our persons to confinement in the penitentiary as felons, because we may choose to take part in a cause for civil liberty and constitutional government against a sectional majority waging war against the people and institutions of fifteen independent States of the old Federal Union, and have done all these things deliberately against the warnings and vetoes of the Governor and the solemn remonstrances of the minority in the Senate and House of Representatives: Therefore,

Be it further ordained, That the unconstitutional edicts of a factious majority of a Legislature thus false to their pledges, their honor, and their interests are not law, and that such a government is unworthy of the support of a brave and free people, and that we do therefore declare that the people are thereby absolved from all allegiance to said government, and that they have a right to establish any government which to them may seem best adapted to the preservation of their rights and liberties.


Confederate Army History

The confederacy was created at the start of the American Civil War. In 1860, when Abraham Lincoln won the election, the southern states began seceding from the Union. They decided to create a confederacy and thus having an organization by which to make decisions. The strength of the Confederate Army was half of the Union Army. There were only so many soldiers who were against the Federal Forces and the Central government.

There were not only Army men of the Union in the Confederate Army, but also the prisoners who were captured in the war from different skirmishes. They also included the Native Americans. There were around 28,693 Native Americans who served both in the Union and Confederate Army. The Confederate Army had African Americans and Chinese. The incomplete and destroyed records give an inaccurate number of the numbers that served in Confederate Army, but as far as best estimates 1.5 million soldiers participated in civil war against Union Army.


Individual and Group Contributions

Although disputed by some, there is significant evidence that the Iroquois Confederacy served as a model or inspiration for the U.S. Constitution. Benjamin Franklin and Thomas Paine were well acquainted with the League. John Rutledge, chairman of the committee that wrote the first draft of the Constitution, began the process by quoting some passages from the Haudenosaunee Great Law. The Iroquois form of government was based on democracy and personal freedom, and included elements equivalent to the modern political tools of initiative, referendum, and recall. In 1987 Senator Daniel Inouye sponsored a resolution that would commemorate the Iroquois' contributions to the formation of the federal government.

Many Iroquois people have made notable contributions to society and culture that transcend political boundaries. A dramatic example is Oren Lyons (1930 – ), an Onondaga chief who has led political delegations to numerous countries in support of the rights of indigenous people. Twice named an All-American lacrosse goal-keeper, he led his 1957 team at Syracuse University to an undefeated season and was eventually enrolled in the sport's Hall of Fame. He was a successful amateur boxer in both the U.S. Army and in the Golden Gloves competition. He worked as a commercial artist for several years before returning to the reservation to assume his position as faithkeeper. An author and illustrator, he has served as Chairman of American Studies at the State University of New York (SUNY) at Buffalo and as publisher of Daybreak, a national quarterly newspaper of Native American views. In 1992 he became the first indigenous leader to have addressed the United Nations General Assembly.

ACADEMIA AND SCHOLARSHIP

Arthur C. Parker (Seneca, 1881-1955) was a leading authority on Iroquois culture as well as museum administration. He joined the New York State Museum at Albany as an archeologist in 1906 and became director of the Rochester Museum of Arts and Sciences in 1925. He wrote 14 major books and hundreds of articles.

Dr. John Mohawk (Seneca) teaches Native American law and history at SUNY in Buffalo. He has written extensively on the Iroquois philosophy and approach to government. He founded Akwesasne Notes, a quarterly activist magazine, and the Indigenous Press Network, a computerized news service focusing on Indian affairs.

The poetry of Roberta Hill Whiteman (Oneida) has been published in anthologies and magazines including American Poetry Review. She has been involved with Poets-in-the-Schools programs in at least seven states and has taught at the University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire.

GOVERNMENT

Robert L. Bennett (Oneida) and Louis R. Bruce Jr. (Mohawk) served in the 1960s and early 1970s as commissioners of the United States Bureau of Indian Affairs. Ely Parker (Seneca, 1828-1895), the first Native American to hold that post, had been appointed by Ulysses S. Grant in 1869.

Katsi Cook (Mohawk), a midwife and lecturer on women's health, is active is the Akwesasne Environment Project. Her health-related writings have appeared in national magazines as well as in medical books.

Amber Coverdale Sumrall (Mohawk), a writer and poet, has been active in the Sanctuary Movement. She also lectures and teaches workshops on the topic of disabilities.

Tahnahga (Mohawk) has a degree in Rehabilitation Counseling she incorporates traditional Native American healing methods into her work with chemical dependency. She also uses her talent as a poet and storyteller to show Indian youth how to use visions and dreaming to enhance their lives.

VISUAL ARTS AND LITERATURE

Richard Hill (1950 – ) followed in his father's footsteps and became an ironworker in construction before enrolling in the Art Institute of Chicago. His watercolor paintings include a series on Iroquois culture, and he has also documented the culture through photography. Since the early 1970s, he has curated numerous art shows, prepared museum exhibits for such clients as the Smithsonian Institution, and written many articles about history and art. A past Director of the North American Indian Museums Association, he has also taught at the State University of New York at Buffalo.

Maurice Kenny (Mohawk), a poet nominated for the Pulitzer prize, received the American Book Award in 1984 for The Mama Poems. His work has been widely anthologized, and he has been Writerin-Residence at North County Community College in Saranac Lake, New York. He is described as having "a distinctive voice, one shaped by the rhythms of Mohawk life and speech, yet one which defines and moves beyond cultural boundaries" (Joseph Bruchac, New Voices from the Longhouse: An Anthology of Contemporary Iroquois Writing [Greenfield Center, NY: Greenfield Review Press, 1989] p. 161). He has also received the National Public Radio Award for Broadcasting.

Daniel Thompson (Mohawk, 1953 – ) has been a photographer, graphic artist, and editor of several publications including the Northeast Indian Quarterly published by Cornell University. He writes poetry in both English and Mohawk and is working to devise an improved written form for the Mohawk language. He has also served as news director for the Mohawk radio station.

Using the knowledge she acquired when earning bachelor's and master's degrees in zoology, Carol Snow (Seneca) has written and illustrated a dozen reports on endangered and rare species for the Bureau of Land Management. As an artist, in 1980 she created a technique incorporating ink and acrylic paint, which she employed in her renderings of Native American and wildlife themes.

Tuscarora sculptor Duffy Wilson works in both wood and stone. Tom Huff, another stone sculptor, is also a writer and poet he served as editor of the Institute of American Indian Arts' literary journal in 1979. Alex Jacobs (Mohawk), whose sculptures, paintings, and prints can be found in New York galleries, has had his written works included in several Native American poetry and literature anthologies.

FILM TELEVISION, AND THEATER

Jay Silverheels (Mohawk,1918-1980) was born on the Six Nations Indian Reservation in Ontario. Siverheels was an actor perhaps best known for his portrayal of Tonto, the loyal Indian sidekick to the Lone Ranger series, which ran from 1949 to 1957. His noted performances include his depiction of the Apache Indian chief, Geronimo, in Broken Arrow (1950), a film acclaimed by many as the first picture to portray Native Americans in a sympathetic light, as well as three "Lone Ranger" films. Silverheels was the first Native American to be given a star on Hollywood's Walk of Fame.

Gary Dale Farmer (Cayuga, 1953-), born on the Six Nations Indian Reservation, is an actor, film producer and activist. Farmer appeared in the movies Friday the Thirteenth and Police Academy. He also appeared on the television series Miami Vice and China Beach. After 1989, Farmer began lecturing on Native American culture and issues on many campuses in the United States and Canada, focusing on media, environmental, and social topics relevant to Native communities. In 1998, Farmer had a role in the well-received film Smoke Signals.

Graham Greene (Oneida, 1952-) is a film actor who has found success in both Canada and the United States. Greene is one of the most visible Native American actors working on the stage and in film today. He is best known for his roles in Dances with Wolves (1990), for which he was nominated for an Academy Award for Best Supporting Actor, and Thunderheart (1992). Greene also appeared in the films Maverick (1994) and Die Hard: With a Vengeance, as well as on the television series Northern Exposure.


BIBLIOGRAPHY

Beringer, Richard E., Herman Hattaway, Archer Jones, and William N. Still Jr. Why the South Lost the Civil War. Athens: University of Georgia Press, 1986.

Coulter, E. Merton. The Confederate States of America 1861 – 1865. Baton Rouge: Louisiana State University Press, 1950.

Durden, Robert F. The Gray and the Black: The Confederate Debate on Emancipation. Baton Rouge: Louisiana State University Press, 1972.

Eaton, Clement. A History of the Southern Confederacy. New York: Macmillan, 1954.

Escott, Paul D. After Secession: Jefferson Davis and the Failure of Confederate Nationalism. Baton Rouge: Louisiana State University Press, 1978.

Faust, Drew Gilpin. The Creation of Confederate Nationalism: Ideology and Identity in the Civil War South. Baton Rouge: Louisiana State University Press, 1988.

Freehling, William W. The South versus the South: How Anti-Confederate Southerners Shaped the Course of the Civil War. New York: Oxford University Press, 2001.

Gallagher, Gary W. The Confederate War. Cambridge, Mass.: Harvard University Press, 1997.

Hubbard, Charles M. The Burden of Confederate Diplomacy. Knoxville: University of Tennessee Press, 1998.

Mohr, Clarence. On the Threshold of Freedom: Masters and Slaves in Civil War Georgia. Athens: University of Georgia Press, 1986.

Neely, Mark E., Jr. Southern Rights: Political Prisoners and the Myth of Confederate Constitutionalism. Charlottesville: University Press of Virginia, 1999.

Owsley, Frank L. King Cotton Diplomacy: Foreign Relations of the Confederate States of America. Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1931, 1936, 1959.

Rable, George C. The Confederate Republic: A Revolution against Politics. Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press, 1994.

Ramsdell, Charles W. Behind the Lines in the Southern Confederacy. Baton Rouge: Louisiana State University Press, 1944.

Roland, Charles P. The Confederacy. Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1960.

Thomas, Emory M. The Confederate Nation, 1861 – 1865. New York: Harper and Row, 1979.

Todd, Richard C. Confederate Finance. Athens: University of Georgia Press, 1954.

Vandiver, Frank E. Ploughshares into Swords: Josiah Gorgas and Confederate Ordnance. Austin: University of Texas Press, 1952.

Wiley, Bell I. Southern Negroes, 1861 – 1865. New Haven, Conn.: Yale University Press, 1938. Reprinted in 1953 and 1974.

Woodward, C. Vann, ed. Mary Chesnut's Civil War. New Haven, Conn.: Yale University Press, 1981.

Yearns, Wilfred B. The Confederate Congress. Athens: University of Georgia Press, 1960.

Martin Crawford

See also Antislavery Appomattox Army, Confederate Blockade Runners, Confederate Civil War Emancipation Movement Impressment, Confederate Inflation in the Confederacy King Cotton Navy, Confederate Slavery .

We, the people of the Confederate States, each State acting in its sovereign and independent character, in order to form a more permanent federal government, establish justice, insure domestic tranquillity, and secure the blessings of liberty to ourselves and our posterity — invoking the favour and guidance of Almighty God — do ordain and establish this Constitution for the Confederate States of America.

— Preamble to the Constitution of the Confederate States

SOURCE: Reprinted from James D. Richardson, The Messages and Papers of Jefferson Davis and the Confederacy, 2 vols. New York, 1983

Use all the negroes you can get, for all the purposes for which you need them, but don't arm them. The day you make soldiers of them is the beginning of the end of the revolution. If slaves will make good soldiers our whole theory of slavery is wrong — but they won't make soldiers.