THE CONSTITUTION OF THE CONFEDERATE STATES OF AMERICA
In February of 1861 six states seceded from the United States of America and declared themselves independent. They formed a new, rival country known as the Confederate States of America. In the months that followed, seven more American states followed suit, slicing the former United States into two clearly-divded rival factions.
The Civil War that followed, in which the armies of the Confederacy fought the armies of the remaining United States, is one of the seminial events of American history. But why was the Civil War even fought in the first place? Hecj, why did the Confederacy even exist?
Modern-day Confederate apologists insist the Southern states only separated in response to legitimate political grievances, namely that the South's capacity for self-government was being unjustly restrained by a tyrannical federal government dominated by northern politicians who had no respect for "states' rights," federalism, and local sovereignty. Everyone else insists the Confederacy was founded for a much less noble reason, namely to keep slavery legal at a time when the rest of country was uniting against the practice.
We can get a good glimpse into the founding principles of the Confederacy by taking an in-depth look at the Confederate constitution, which was approved, and came into use by the rebel states on March 11, 1861. The document is largely a word-for-word copy of the United States constitution, but with several key changes. The changes offer the clearest window of insight into how precisely the CSA intended to be different from the USA, and why.
Before we get into a line-by-line comparison, I should point out the minor, mostly cosmetic changes that occurred during the revision process:
- All references to the "United States" were changed to the "Confederate States;" references to the "Union" were changed to "Confederacy."
- The CSA's constitution's punctuation, capitalization, and in some cases spelling, are all updated from 18th Century to 19th Century English standards.
- The CSA constitution numbers its clauses. In most cases, each paragraph from the US constitution is numbered as a single clause, but in some cases the CSA merges multiple clauses into one big one, or breaks up long paragraphs into several smaller ones.
And now the chart. Note that in the CSA column red text indicates new additions to original US clauses.
|We the People of the United States, in Order to form a more perfect Union, establish Justice, insure domestic Tranquility, provide for the common defence, promote the general Welfare, and secure the Blessings of Liberty to ourselves and our Posterity, do ordain and establish this Constitution for the United States of America.||
We, the people of the Confederate States, each State acting in its sovereign and independent character, in order to form a permanent federal government, establish justice, insure domestic tranquillity, and secure the blessings of liberty to ourselves and our posterity — invoking the favor and guidance of Almighty God — do ordain and establish this Constitution for the Confederate States of America.
The Confederacy's preamble more-or-less deleted any reference to collective interests, presumably because it ostensibly intended to be a country focused more on state independence than any sort of grander, national goal. The CSA does not promise to form a "perfect union" nor does it aspire to provide for the "common defense" or promote the "general welfare."
It does, however, explicitly evoke God. So there would be no ACLU court challenges about the Pledge of Allegiance in alternate CSA-won-the-Civl-War-world.
|Section. 1. [legislative branch]||Sec. 1. [legislative branch]|
|All legislative Powers herein granted shall be vested in a Congress of the United States, which shall consist of a Senate and House of Representatives.||All legislative powers herein delegated shall be vested in a Congress of the Confederate States, which shall consist of a Senate and House of Representatives.||Changed the world "granted" to "delegated," which I suppose makes the federal government seem slightly more gentle and conciliatory.|
|Section. 2. [House]||Sec. 2. [House]|
|The House of Representatives shall be composed of Members chosen every second Year by the People of the several States, and the Electors in each State shall have the Qualifications requisite for Electors of the most numerous Branch of the State Legislature.||(1) The House of Representatives shall be composed of members chosen every second year by the people of the several States; and the electors in each State shall be citizens of the Confederate States, and have the qualifications requisite for electors of the most numerous branch of the State Legislature; but no person of foreign birth, not a citizen of the Confederate States, shall be allowed to vote for any officer, civil or political, State or Federal.||
The Confederacy explicitly declares that only citizens of the CSA can vote in elections. In the USA the individual states have the power to decide voter eligibility.
|No Person shall be a Representative who shall not have attained to the Age of twenty five Years, and been seven Years a Citizen of the United States, and who shall not, when elected, be an Inhabitant of that State in which he shall be chosen.||(2) No person shall be a Representative who shall not have attained the age of twenty-five years, and be a citizen of the Confederate States, and who shall not when elected, be an inhabitant of that State in which he shall be chosen.||Since the CSA was just being created, the Confederacy could not demand that their Representatives be citizens for seven years. The USA could, because at the time their constitution was adopted the US had already existed for almost ten years under the Articles of Confederation.|
|Representatives and direct Taxes shall be apportioned among the several States which may be included within this Union, according to their respective Numbers, which shall be determined by adding to the whole Number of free Persons, including those bound to Service for a Term of Years, and excluding Indians not taxed, three fifths of all other Persons. The actual Enumeration shall be made within three Years after the first Meeting of the Congress of the United States, and within every subsequent Term of ten Years, in such Manner as they shall by Law direct. The Number of Representatives shall not exceed one for every thirty Thousand, but each State shall have at Least one Representative; and until such enumeration shall be made, the State of New Hampshire shall be entitled to chuse three, Massachusetts eight, Rhode-Island and Providence Plantations one, Connecticut five, New-York six, New Jersey four, Pennsylvania eight, Delaware one, Maryland six, Virginia ten, North Carolina five, South Carolina five, and Georgia three.||(3) Representatives and direct taxes shall be apportioned among the several States, which may be included within this Confederacy, according to their respective numbers, which shall be determined by adding to the whole number of free persons, including those bound to service for a term of years, and excluding Indians not taxed, three-fifths of all slaves. The actual enumeration shall be made within three years after the first meeting of the Congress of the Confederate States, and within every subsequent term of ten years, in such manner as they shall by law direct. The number of Representatives shall not exceed one for every fifty thousand, but each State shall have at least one Representative; and until such enumeration shall be made, the State of South Carolina shall be entitled to choose six; the State of Georgia ten; the State of Alabama nine; the State of Florida two; the State of Mississippi seven; the State of Louisiana six; and the State of Texas six.||
This is a complicated clause detailing how to measure the population of the states. At the time, the US formally regarded slaves as only counting as "three fifths" of a person, which allowed the non-slave states to be over-represented in the Congress. The CSA kept this rule for some reason, probably to even out representatives among their slave-heavy and slave-light states.
The US constitution also bent over backwards to avoid using the term "slave" or "slavery" in the document, but the pro-slavery CSA apparently didn't have a problem calling a spade a spade.
Lastly, the the CSA appeared to aspire to have a smaller Congress, as Representatives could represent up to 50,000 people, while in the US the max is 30,000 per Congressman.
And obviously the founding states are different.
|When vacancies happen in the Representation from any State, the Executive Authority thereof shall issue Writs of Election to fill such Vacancies.||(4) When vacancies happen in the representation from any State the executive authority thereof shall issue writs of election to fill such vacancies.||No changes.|
|The House of Representatives shall chuse their Speaker and other Officers; and shall have the sole Power of Impeachment.||(5) The House of Representatives shall choose their Speaker and other officers; and shall have the sole power of impeachment; except that any judicial or other Federal officer, resident and acting solely within the limits of any State, may be impeached by a vote of two-thirds of both branches of the Legislature thereof.||
The CSA gave state legislatures the power to impeach federally-appointed state court judges and other federally-appointed state officials.
This is relevant as some federal judicial districts at the time (and today) exist only within a single state, yet state governments are powerless to control them, because they are federal employees. This change thus gives (certain) states more power over their presiding federal judges, which in turn blurs the distinction between federal and state judicial authority.
|Section. 3. [Senate]||Sec. 3. [Senate]|
|The Senate of the United States shall be composed of two Senators from each State, chosen by the Legislature thereof for six Years; and each Senator shall have one Vote.||(1) The Senate of the Confederate States shall be composed of two Senators from each State, chosen for six years by the Legislature thereof, at the regular session next immediately preceding the commencement of the term of service; and each Senator shall have one vote.||
The CSA clarifies that state legislatures will appoint senators at the last session before the Senator's term expires.
This prevented state legislatures from appointing a "reserve" senator to wait in the wings until the incumbent guy left office, as was common in some American states.
|Immediately after they shall be assembled in Consequence of the first Election, they shall be divided as equally as may be into three Classes. The Seats of the Senators of the first Class shall be vacated at the Expiration of the second Year, of the second Class at the Expiration of the fourth Year, and of the third Class at the Expiration of the sixth Year, so that one third may be chosen every second Year; and if Vacancies happen by Resignation, or otherwise, during the Recess of the Legislature of any State, the Executive thereof may make temporary Appointments until the next Meeting of the Legislature, which shall then fill such Vacancies.||(2) Immediately after they shall be assembled, in consequence of the first election, they shall be divided as equally as may be into three classes. The seats of the Senators of the first class shall be vacated at the expiration of the second year; of the second class at the expiration of the fourth year; and of the third class at the expiration of the sixth year; so that one-third may be chosen every second year; and if vacancies happen by resignation, or other wise, during the recess of the Legislature of any State, the Executive thereof may make temporary appointments until the next meeting of the Legislature, which shall then fill such vacancies.||No changes.|
|No Person shall be a Senator who shall not have attained to the Age of thirty Years, and been nine Years a Citizen of the United States, and who shall not, when elected, be an Inhabitant of that State for which he shall be chosen.||(3) No person shall be a Senator who shall not have attained the age of thirty years, and be a citizen of the Confederate States; and who shall not, then elected, be an inhabitant of the State for which he shall be chosen.||Again, the CSA is too young to demand nine years of citizenship from its senators.|
|The Vice President of the United States shall be President of the Senate, but shall have no Vote, unless they be equally divided.||(4) The Vice President of the Confederate States shall be president of the Senate, but shall have no vote unless they be equally divided.||No changes.|
|The Senate shall chuse their other Officers, and also a President pro tempore, in the Absence of the Vice President, or when he shall exercise the Office of President of the United States.||(5) The Senate shall choose their other officers; and also a president pro tempore in the absence of the Vice President, or when he shall exercise the office of President of the Confederate states.||No changes.|
|The Senate shall have the sole Power to try all Impeachments. When sitting for that Purpose, they shall be on Oath or Affirmation. When the President of the United States is tried, the Chief Justice shall preside: And no Person shall be convicted without the Concurrence of two thirds of the Members present.||(6) The Senate shall have the sole power to try all impeachments. When sitting for that purpose, they shall be on oath or affirmation. When the President of the Confederate States is tried, the Chief Justice shall preside; and no person shall be convicted without the concurrence of two-thirds of the members present.||No changes.|
|Judgment in Cases of Impeachment shall not extend further than to removal from Office, and disqualification to hold and enjoy any Office of honor, Trust or Profit under the United States: but the Party convicted shall nevertheless be liable and subject to Indictment, Trial, Judgment and Punishment, according to Law.||(7) Judgment in cases of impeachment shall not extend further than to removal from office, and disqualification to hold any office of honor, trust, or profit under the Confederate States; but the party convicted shall, nevertheless, be liable and subject to indictment, trial, judgment, and punishment according to law.||No changes.|
|Section. 4.||Sect. 4.|
|The Times, Places and Manner of holding Elections for Senators and Representatives, shall be prescribed in each State by the Legislature thereof; but the Congress may at any time by Law make or alter such Regulations, except as to the Places of chusing Senators.||(1) The times, places, and manner of holding elections for Senators and Representatives shall be prescribed in each State by the Legislature thereof, subject to the provisions of this Constitution; but the Congress may, at any time, by law, make or alter such regulations, except as to the times and places of choosing Senators.||
The CSA adds a disclaimer that the state legislatures are bound by the federal constitution when creating rules for elections to the Senate and House. This evokes Section 2(1) of the Confederate constitution, which demands that states only grant voting rights to citizens.
The CSA also takes away the Congress' power to alter the time of chosing Senators, as the CSA constitution already sets out a specific timeframe for appointments in Section 3(1).
|The Congress shall assemble at least once in every Year, and such Meeting shall be on the first Monday in December, unless they shall by Law appoint a different Day.||(2) The Congress shall assemble at least once in every year; and such meeting shall be on the first Monday in December, unless they shall, by law, appoint a different day.||No changes.|
|Section. 5.||Sect. 5.|
|Each House shall be the Judge of the Elections, Returns and Qualifications of its own Members, and a Majority of each shall constitute a Quorum to do Business; but a smaller Number may adjourn from day to day, and may be authorized to compel the Attendance of absent Members, in such Manner, and under such Penalties as each House may provide.||(1) Each House shall be the judge of the elections, returns, and qualifications of its own members, and a majority of each shall constitute a quorum to do business; but a smaller number may adjourn from day to day, and may be authorized to compel the attendance of absent members, in such manner and under such penalties as each House may provide.||No changes.|
|Each House may determine the Rules of its Proceedings, punish its Members for disorderly Behaviour, and, with the Concurrence of two thirds, expel a Member.||(2) Each House may determine the rules of its proceedings, punish its members for disorderly behavior, and, with the concurrence of two-thirds of the whole number, expel a member.||No changes.|
|Each House shall keep a Journal of its Proceedings, and from time to time publish the same, excepting such Parts as may in their Judgment require Secrecy; and the Yeas and Nays of the Members of either House on any question shall, at the Desire of one fifth of those Present, be entered on the Journal.||(3) Each House shall keep a journal of its proceedings, and from time to time publish the same, excepting such parts as may in their judgment require secrecy; and the yeas and nays of the members of either House, on any question, shall, at the desire of one-fifth of those present, be entered on the journal.||No changes.|
|Section. 6.||Sect. 6.|
|The Senators and Representatives shall receive a Compensation for their Services, to be ascertained by Law, and paid out of the Treasury of the United States. They shall in all Cases, except Treason, Felony and Breach of the Peace, be privileged from Arrest during their Attendance at the Session of their respective Houses, and in going to and returning from the same; and for any Speech or Debate in either House, they shall not be questioned in any other Place.||(1) The Senators and Representatives shall receive a compensation for their services, to be ascertained by law, and paid out of the Treasury of the Confederate States. They shall, in all cases, except treason, felony, and breach of the peace, be privileged from arrest during their attendance at the session of their respective Houses, and in going to and returning from the same; and for any speech or debate in either House, they shall not be questioned in any other place. No Senator or Representative shall, during the time for which he was elected, be appointed to any civil office under the authority of the Confederate States, which shall have been created, or the emoluments whereof shall have been increased during such time; and no person holding any office under the Confederate States shall be a member of either House during his continuance in office. But Congress may, by law, grant to the principal officer in each of the Executive Departments a seat upon the floor of either House, with the privilege of discussing any measures appertaining to his department.||
Two of the US constitution's original clauses are merged into one big clause here.
Most of the content is unchanged....
|No Senator or Representative shall, during the Time for which he was elected, be appointed to any civil Office under the Authority of the United States, which shall have been created, or the Emoluments whereof shall have been encreased during such time; and no Person holding any Office under the United States, shall be a Member of either House during his Continuance in Office.||
but the CSA tacks on a bit at the end, which introduces a
psuedo-parliamentary reform to the Congress. Under the CSA system,
cabinet secretaries can be given a "seat" in either house of Congress
in order to answer direct questions from members.
This is actually not that different than what happens today, when Cabinet Secretaries can be summoned to answer questions before a Congressional committee.
|Section. 7.||Sect. 7.|
|All Bills for raising Revenue shall originate in the House of Representatives; but the Senate may propose or concur with Amendments as on other Bills.||(1) All bills for raising revenue shall originate in the House of Representatives; but the Senate may propose or concur with amendments, as on other bills.||No changes.|
|Every Bill which shall have passed the House of Representatives and the Senate, shall, before it become a Law, be presented to the President of the United States: If he approve he shall sign it, but if not he shall return it, with his Objections to that House in which it shall have originated, who shall enter the Objections at large on their Journal, and proceed to reconsider it. If after such Reconsideration two thirds of that House shall agree to pass the Bill, it shall be sent, together with the Objections, to the other House, by which it shall likewise be reconsidered, and if approved by two thirds of that House, it shall become a Law. But in all such Cases the Votes of both Houses shall be determined by yeas and Nays, and the Names of the Persons voting for and against the Bill shall be entered on the Journal of each House respectively. If any Bill shall not be returned by the President within ten Days (Sundays excepted) after it shall have been presented to him, the Same shall be a Law, in like Manner as if he had signed it, unless the Congress by their Adjournment prevent its Return, in which Case it shall not be a Law.||(2) Every bill which shall have passed both Houses, shall, before it becomes a law, be presented to the President of the Confederate States; if he approve, he shall sign it; but if not, he shall return it, with his objections, to that House in which it shall have originated, who shall enter the objections at large on their journal, and proceed to reconsider it. If, after such reconsideration, two-thirds of that House shall agree to pass the bill, it shall be sent, together with the objections, to the other House, by which it shall likewise be reconsidered, and if approved by two-thirds of that House, it shall become a law. But in all such cases, the votes of both Houses shall be determined by yeas and nays, and the names of the persons voting for and against the bill shall be entered on the journal of each House respectively. If any bill shall not be returned by the President within ten days (Sundays excepted) after it shall have been presented to him, the same shall be a law, in like manner as if he had signed it, unless the Congress, by their adjournment, prevent its return; in which case it shall not be a law. The President may approve any appropriation and disapprove any other appropriation in the same bill. In such case he shall, in signing the bill, designate the appropriations disapproved; and shall return a copy of such appropriations, with his objections, to the House in which the bill shall have originated; and the same proceedings shall then be had as in case of other bills disapproved by the President.||
This is the longest clause in the constitution and the Confederates added quite a bit to the end.
The bulk of the clause explains how the Congress can override the president's veto. The Confederates alter this a bit, and give the CSA president the power to approve certain parts of a bill into law, and reject other parts. Today this power is known as a "line-item veto." Many US state governors have such a power, but the American president does not.
|Every Order, Resolution, or Vote to which the Concurrence of the Senate and House of Representatives may be necessary (except on a question of Adjournment) shall be presented to the President of the United States; and before the Same shall take Effect, shall be approved by him, or being disapproved by him, shall be repassed by two thirds of the Senate and House of Representatives, according to the Rules and Limitations prescribed in the Case of a Bill.||(3) Every order, resolution, or vote, to which the concurrence of both Houses may be necessary (except on a question of adjournment) shall be presented to the President of the Confederate States; and before the same shall take effect, shall be approved by him; or, being disapproved by him, shall be repassed by two-thirds of both Houses, according to the rules and limitations prescribed in case of a bill.||One of the few minor meaningless wording changes.|
|Section. 8.||Sec. 8. The Congress shall have power|
|The Congress shall have Power To lay and collect Taxes, Duties, Imposts and Excises, to pay the Debts and provide for the common Defence and general Welfare of the United States; but all Duties, Imposts and Excises shall be uniform throughout the United States;||(1) To lay and collect taxes, duties, imposts, and excises for revenue, necessary to pay the debts, provide for the common defense, and carry on the Government of the Confederate States; but no bounties shall be granted from the Treasury; nor shall any duties or taxes on importations from foreign nations be laid to promote or foster any branch of industry; and all duties, imposts, and excises shall be uniform throughout the Confederate States.||
In the CSA constitution Section 8 has an official title: "Congress shall have power", where as in the original it's much less organized.
The Confederates didn't mention "providing for the common defense" in their constitution's preamble, but they do here. "General welfare" is still omitted, however. Instead we get "carry on the Government."
Lastly, the CSA essentially bans trade protectionism by saying that tariffs cannot be imposed on foreign goods for the sole purpose of protecting local industry. It also bans "bounties" from the Treasury, which at the time was the term used to describe government subsidies distributed to offset the costs of managing certain uncompetitive industries.
Southerners had often been prevented from buying cheaper foreign goods because of such Yankee projectionist measures.
|To borrow Money on the credit of the United States;||(2) To borrow money on the credit of the Confederate States.||No changes.|
|To regulate Commerce with foreign Nations, and among the several States, and with the Indian Tribes;||(3) To regulate commerce with foreign nations, and among the several States, and with the Indian tribes; but neither this, nor any other clause contained in the Constitution, shall ever be construed to delegate the power to Congress to appropriate money for any internal improvement intended to facilitate commerce; except for the purpose of furnishing lights, beacons, and buoys, and other aids to navigation upon the coasts, and the improvement of harbors and the removing of obstructions in river navigation; in all which cases such duties shall be laid on the navigation facilitated thereby as may be necessary to pay the costs and expenses thereof.||
The Confederates added a ton here.
changes basically place limits on the sort of infrastructure spending
Congress can authorize, which the Confederates don't seem very big on.
More important is the latter comment about "duties" to be laid upon
those who use Confederate waterways — this was seen as an important way
for the new country to raise revenue.
|To establish an uniform Rule of Naturalization, and uniform Laws on the subject of Bankruptcies throughout the United States;||(4) To establish uniform laws of naturalization, and uniform laws on the subject of bankruptcies, throughout the Confederate States; but no law of Congress shall discharge any debt contracted before the passage of the same.||The CSA Congress cannot authorize forgiveness of debts.
|To coin Money, regulate the Value thereof, and of foreign Coin, and fix the Standard of Weights and Measures;||(5) To coin money, regulate the value thereof, and of foreign coin, and fix the standard of weights and measures.||No changes.|
|To provide for the Punishment of counterfeiting the Securities and current Coin of the United States;||(6) To provide for the punishment of counterfeiting the securities and current coin of the Confederate States.||No changes.|
|To establish Post Offices and post Roads;||(7) To establish post offices and post routes; but the expenses of the Post Office Department, after the 1st day of March in the year of our Lord eighteen hundred and sixty-three, shall be paid out of its own revenues.||
The Confederates set a cut-off day after which they would no longer provide cash for the Post Office Department.
It's also worth noting that the Confederates use the term "year of our Lord" when referencing dates. The US constitution just says "the year."
|To promote the Progress of Science and useful Arts, by securing for limited Times to Authors and Inventors the exclusive Right to their respective Writings and Discoveries;||(8) To promote the progress of science and useful arts, by securing for limited times to authors and inventors the exclusive right to their respective writings and discoveries.||No changes.|
|To constitute Tribunals inferior to the supreme Court;||(9) To constitute tribunals inferior to the Supreme Court.||No changes.|
|To define and punish Piracies and Felonies committed on the high Seas, and Offences against the Law of Nations;||(10) To define and punish piracies and felonies committed on the high seas, and offenses against the law of nations.||No changes.|
|To declare War, grant Letters of Marque and Reprisal, and make Rules concerning Captures on Land and Water;||(11) To declare war, grant letters of marque and reprisal, and make rules concerning captures on land and water.||No changes.|
|To raise and support Armies, but no Appropriation of Money to that Use shall be for a longer Term than two Years;||(12) To raise and support armies; but no appropriation of money to that use shall be for a longer term than two years.||No changes.|
|To provide and maintain a Navy;||(13) To provide and maintain a navy.||No changes.|
|To make Rules for the Government and Regulation of the land and naval Forces;||(14) To make rules for the government and regulation of the land and naval forces.||No changes.|
|To provide for calling forth the Militia to execute the Laws of the Union, suppress Insurrections and repel Invasions;||(15) To provide for calling forth the militia to execute the laws of the Confederate States, suppress insurrections, and repel invasions.||No changes. By keeping this clause the CSA essentially gives itself the right to fight its own Civil War someday.|
|To provide for organizing, arming, and disciplining, the Militia, and for governing such Part of them as may be employed in the Service of the United States, reserving to the States respectively, the Appointment of the Officers, and the Authority of training the Militia according to the discipline prescribed by Congress;||(16) To provide for organizing, arming, and disciplining the militia, and for governing such part of them as may be employed in the service of the Confederate States; reserving to the States, respectively, the appointment of the officers, and the authority of training the militia according to the discipline prescribed by Congress.||No changes.|
|To exercise exclusive Legislation in all Cases whatsoever, over such District (not exceeding ten Miles square) as may, by Cession of particular States, and the Acceptance of Congress, become the Seat of the Government of the United States, and to exercise like Authority over all Places purchased by the Consent of the Legislature of the State in which the Same shall be, for the Erection of Forts, Magazines, Arsenals, dock-Yards, and other needful Buildings;--And||(17) To exercise exclusive legislation, in all cases whatsoever, over such district (not exceeding ten miles square) as may, by cession of one or more States and the acceptance of Congress, become the seat of the Government of the Confederate States; and to exercise like authority over all places purchased by the consent of the Legislature of the State in which the same shall be, for the erection of forts, magazines, arsenals, dockyards, and other needful buildings; and||
The Confederacy makes the meaningless clarification that "one or more" states can give up territory to provide the country's capital distract.
Trivia question: what was the capital district of the CSA?
|To make all Laws which shall be necessary and proper for carrying into Execution the foregoing Powers, and all other Powers vested by this Constitution in the Government of the United States, or in any Department or Officer thereof.||(18) To make all laws which shall be necessary and proper for carrying into execution the foregoing powers, and all other powers vested by this Constitution in the Government of the Confederate States, or in any department or officer thereof.||No changes. It's interesting to note how the Confederacy barely takes away any powers from the federal government.|
|Section. 9.||Sect. 9.|
|The Migration or Importation of such Persons as any of the States now existing shall think proper to admit, shall not be prohibited by the Congress prior to the Year one thousand eight hundred and eight, but a Tax or duty may be imposed on such Importation, not exceeding ten dollars for each Person.||(1) The importation of negroes of the African race from any foreign country other than the slaveholding States or Territories of the United States of America, is hereby forbidden; and Congress is required to pass such laws as shall effectually prevent the same.||
This clause is an updated version of what was originally a time-sensitive article in the US constitution. The original US Section 9(1), in its euphemistic language, stated that Congress could only ban the slave trade after 1808 (and they did).
Confederate clause 9(1) makes this ban on the slave trade permanent,
though slave trading with the US is still permitted. Curiously, the
clause also "requires" Congress to pass anti-slave trading laws to
further outlaw something that's unconstitutional anyway.
|(2) Congress shall also have power to prohibit the introduction of slaves from any State not a member of, or Territory not belonging to, this Confederacy.||
This clause was a completely new addition, the first of a few.
It gives Congress the power to ban slave imports from specific US states and territories, should they ever desire to do so. This clause is thus a clever loophole of sorts, in that it allows the CSA to ban slave imports from the US while simultaneously not contradicting clause 1.
|The Privilege of the Writ of Habeas Corpus shall not be suspended, unless when in Cases of Rebellion or Invasion the public Safety may require it.||(3) The privilege of the writ of habeas corpus shall not be suspended, unless when in cases of rebellion or invasion the public safety may require it.||No changes. Though Confederate apologists often bemoan the fact that the Yankee tyrant Lincoln suspended habeus corpus, there was nothing to stop the President of the Confederacy from doing the exact same thing.|
|No Bill of Attainder or ex post facto Law shall be passed.||(4) No bill of attainder, ex post facto law, or law denying or impairing the right of property in negro slaves shall be passed.||The most important clause in the entire CSA constitution: the right to own slaves.|
|No Capitation, or other direct, Tax shall be laid, unless in Proportion to the Census or enumeration herein before directed to be taken.||(5) No capitation or other direct tax shall be laid, unless in proportion to the census or enumeration hereinbefore directed to be taken.||No changes.|
|No Tax or Duty shall be laid on Articles exported from any State.||(6) No tax or duty shall be laid on articles exported from any State, except by a vote of two-thirds of both Houses.||The
Confederate Congress gains the power to meddle in the free-trading
between the states by imposing tariffs on certain states' exported
goods. The Confederates were eyeing another possible source of revenue.
|No Preference shall be given by any Regulation of Commerce or Revenue to the Ports of one State over those of another; nor shall Vessels bound to, or from, one State, be obliged to enter, clear, or pay Duties in another.||(7) No preference shall be given by any regulation of commerce or revenue to the ports of one State over those of another.||The
CSA ditches the last sentence of the American clause, thus giving its states
the power to tax domestic ships who enter their ports. The reason? See above.
|No Money shall be drawn from the Treasury, but in Consequence of Appropriations made by Law; and a regular Statement and Account of the Receipts and Expenditures of all public Money shall be published from time to time.||(8) No money shall be drawn from the Treasury, but in consequence of appropriations made by law; and a regular statement and account of the receipts and expenditures of all public money shall be published from time to time.||No changes.|
|(9) Congress shall appropriate no money from the Treasury except by a vote of two-thirds of both Houses, taken by yeas and nays, unless it be asked and estimated for by some one of the heads of departments and submitted to Congress by the President; or for the purpose of paying its own expenses and contingencies; or for the payment of claims against the Confederate States, the justice of which shall have been judicially declared by a tribunal for the investigation of claims against the Government, which it is hereby made the duty of Congress to establish.||
The first of two new Confederate clauses that try to impose certain standards of fiscal responsibility on the legislative branch.
The CSA Congress can only appropriate cash:
The document also demands that the Confederate Congress establish a tribunal to "investigate" the validity of such claims made against the CSA.
|(10) All bills appropriating money shall specify in Federal currency the exact amount of each appropriation and the purposes for which it is made; and Congress shall grant no extra compensation to any public contractor, officer, agent, or servant, after such contract shall have been made or such service rendered.||
The CSA Congress is forced to only issue money bills that cite an exact dollar amount, and cannot grant a penny more after such a bill is passed.
|No Title of Nobility shall be granted by the United States: And no Person holding any Office of Profit or Trust under them, shall, without the Consent of the Congress, accept of any present, Emolument, Office, or Title, of any kind whatever, from any King, Prince, or foreign State.||(11) No title of nobility shall be granted by the Confederate States; and no person holding any office of profit or trust under them shall, without the consent of the Congress, accept of any present, emolument, office, or title of any kind whatever, from any king, prince, or foreign state.||No changes.|
[Amendment I, see note at right]
|(12) Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble and petition the Government for a redress of grievances.||The CSA constitution directly incorporates the Bill of Rights into their constitution, which only makes sense. The original Bill of Rights takes the form of 10 amendments tacked to the end of the US constitution (cited here, out of place). This part of the CSA constitution only includes the first eight Bill of Rights amendments, the last two are included at the very end of the document.|
A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed.
|(13) A well-regulated militia being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed.||Though there are no changes per se, Second Amendment scholars in the US have long argued over the significance of the punctuation in this clause. The CSA's version gets rid of a few commas, which makes the language closer to what gun control advocates believe the amendment was supposed to say, namely that the right to keep and bear arms only exists if one belongs to a militia.|
No Soldier shall, in time of peace be quartered in any house, without the consent of the Owner, nor in time of war, but in a manner to be prescribed by law.
|(14) No soldier shall, in time of peace, be quartered in any house without the consent of the owner; nor in time of war, but in a manner to be prescribed by law.||No changes.|
The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no Warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by Oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized.
|(15) The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated; and no warrants shall issue but upon probable cause, supported by oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched and the persons or things to be seized.||No changes.|
No person shall be held to answer for a capital, or otherwise infamous crime, unless on a presentment or indictment of a Grand Jury, except in cases arising in the land or naval forces, or in the Militia, when in actual service in time of War or public danger; nor shall any person be subject for the same offence to be twice put in jeopardy of life or limb; nor shall be compelled in any criminal case to be a witness against himself, nor be deprived of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor shall private property be taken for public use, without just compensation.
|(16) No person shall be held to answer for a capital or otherwise infamous crime, unless on a presentment or indictment of a grand jury, except in cases arising in the land or naval forces, or in the militia, when in actual service in time of war or public danger; nor shall any person be subject for the same offense to be twice put in jeopardy of life or limb; nor be compelled, in any criminal case, to be a witness against himself; nor be deprived of life, liberty, or property without due process of law; nor shall private property be taken for public use, without just compensation.||No changes.|
In all criminal prosecutions, the accused shall enjoy the right to a speedy and public trial, by an impartial jury of the State and district wherein the crime shall have been committed, which district shall have been previously ascertained by law, and to be informed of the nature and cause of the accusation; to be confronted with the witnesses against him; to have compulsory process for obtaining witnesses in his favor, and to have the Assistance of Counsel for his defence.
|(17) In all criminal prosecutions the accused shall enjoy the right to a speedy and public trial, by an impartial jury of the State and district wherein the crime shall have been committed, which district shall have been previously ascertained by law, and to be informed of the nature and cause of the accusation; to be confronted with the witnesses against him; to have compulsory process for obtaining witnesses in his favor; and to have the assistance of counsel for his defense.||No changes.|
In Suits at common law, where the value in controversy shall exceed twenty dollars, the right of trial by jury shall be preserved, and no fact tried by a jury, shall be otherwise re-examined in any Court of the United States, than according to the rules of the common law.
|(18) In suits at common law, where the value in controversy shall exceed twenty dollars, the right of trial by jury shall be preserved; and no fact so tried by a jury shall be otherwise reexamined in any court of the Confederacy, than according to the rules of common law.||No changes.|
Excessive bail shall not be required, nor excessive fines imposed, nor cruel and unusual punishments inflicted.
|(19) Excessive bail shall not be required, nor excessive fines imposed, nor cruel and unusual punishments inflicted.||No changes.|
|(20) Every law, or resolution having the force of law, shall relate to but one subject, and that shall be expressed in the title.||The Confederates add this little clause at the end of Section 9. This is quite an interesting addition, as it demands that all bills only relate to "one subject." This would prevent what we see today, where Congress routinely passes all sorts of extraordinarily complicated "omnibus" bills that regulate dozens of different, unrelated realms at once.|
|Section. 10.||Sec. 10.|
|No State shall enter into any Treaty, Alliance, or Confederation; grant Letters of Marque and Reprisal; coin Money; emit Bills of Credit; make any Thing but gold and silver Coin a Tender in Payment of Debts; pass any Bill of Attainder, ex post facto Law, or Law impairing the Obligation of Contracts, or grant any Title of Nobility.||(1) No State shall enter into any treaty, alliance, or confederation; grant letters of marque and reprisal; coin money; make anything but gold and silver coin a tender in payment of debts; pass any bill of attainder, or ex post facto law, or law impairing the obligation of contracts; or grant any title of nobility.||The CSA deletes the words "emit bills of credit," thereby allowing its states to issue them. By the standards of the time, this could have given states the right to issue their own paper currency. Today, however, a "bill of credit" is usually just understood to be a government loan of some sort.|
|No State shall, without the Consent of the Congress, lay any Imposts or Duties on Imports or Exports, except what may be absolutely necessary for executing it's inspection Laws: and the net Produce of all Duties and Imposts, laid by any State on Imports or Exports, shall be for the Use of the Treasury of the United States; and all such Laws shall be subject to the Revision and Controul of the Congress.||(2) No State shall, without the consent of the Congress, lay any imposts or duties on imports or exports, except what may be absolutely necessary for executing its inspection laws; and the net produce of all duties and imposts, laid by any State on imports, or exports, shall be for the use of the Treasury of the Confederate States; and all such laws shall be subject to the revision and control of Congress.||No changes.|
|No State shall, without the Consent of Congress, lay any Duty of Tonnage, keep Troops, or Ships of War in time of Peace, enter into any Agreement or Compact with another State, or with a foreign Power, or engage in War, unless actually invaded, or in such imminent Danger as will not admit of delay.||(3) No State shall, without the consent of Congress, lay any duty on tonnage, except on seagoing vessels, for the improvement of its rivers and harbors navigated by the said vessels; but such duties shall not conflict with any treaties of the Confederate States with foreign nations; and any surplus revenue thus derived shall, after making such improvement, be paid into the common treasury. Nor shall any State keep troops or ships of war in time of peace, enter into any agreement or compact with another State, or with a foreign power, or engage in war, unless actually invaded, or in such imminent danger as will not admit of delay. But when any river divides or flows through two or more States they may enter into compacts with each other to improve the navigation thereof.||
The CSA threw a lot of qualifications into this one.
The Confederates were quite eager to raise money by taxing ships that used their waterways, so this clause had to be rewritten to allow that.
The Confederate states also gain the power to make river-related treaties with each other. In the US, the federal government regulates bodies of water that overlap multiple states.
|Section. 1.||Section. 1.|
|The executive Power shall be vested in a President of the United States of America. He shall hold his Office during the Term of four Years, and, together with the Vice President, chosen for the same Term, be elected, as follows:||(1) The executive power shall be vested in a President of the Confederate States of America. He and the Vice President shall hold their offices for the term of six years; but the President shall not be reeligible. The President and Vice President shall be elected as follows:||
The Confederate president can only serve a single, six-year term, unlike the US president, who (at the time) could be re-elected forever.
the Confederate vice president could be re-elected.
|Each State shall appoint, in such Manner as the Legislature thereof may direct, a Number of Electors, equal to the whole Number of Senators and Representatives to which the State may be entitled in the Congress: but no Senator or Representative, or Person holding an Office of Trust or Profit under the United States, shall be appointed an Elector.||(2) Each State shall appoint, in such manner as the Legislature thereof may direct, a number of electors equal to the whole number of Senators and Representatives to which the State may be entitled in the Congress; but no Senator or Representative or person holding an office of trust or profit under the Confederate States shall be appointed an elector.||No changes.|
|(3) The electors shall meet in their respective States and vote by ballot for President and Vice President, one of whom, at least, shall not be an inhabitant of the same State with themselves; they shall name in their ballots the person voted for as President, and in distinct ballots the person voted for as Vice President, and they shall make distinct lists of all persons voted for as President, and of all persons voted for as Vice President, and of the number of votes for each, which lists they shall sign and certify, and transmit, sealed, to the seat of the Government of. the Confederate States, directed to the President of the Senate; the President of the Senate shall,in the presence of the Senate and House of Representatives, open all the certificates, and the votes shall then be counted; the person having the greatest number of votes for President shall be the President, if such number be a majority of the whole number of electors appointed; and if no person have such majority, then from the persons having the highest numbers, not exceeding three, on the list of those voted for as President, the House of Representatives shall choose immediately, by ballot, the President. But in choosing the President the votes shall be taken by States~the representation from each State having one vote; a quorum for this purpose shall consist of a member or members from two-thirds of the States, and a majority of all the States shall be necessary to a choice. And if the House of Representatives shall not choose a President, whenever the right of choice shall devolve upon them, before the 4th day of March next following, then the Vice President shall act as President, as in case of the death, or other constitutional disability of the President.||
The CSA constitution breaks this clause, originally from the US constitution's 12th amendment, into three parts, but it is otherwise unchanged.
|(4) The person having the greatest number of votes as Vice President shall be the Vice President, if such number be a majority of the whole number of electors appointed; and if no person have a majority, then, from the two highest numbers on the list, the Senate shall choose the Vice President; a quorum for the purpose shall consist of two-thirds of the whole number of Senators, and a majority of the whole number shall be necessary to a choice.|
|(5) But no person constitutionally ineligible to the office of President shall be eligible to that of Vice President of the Confederate States.|
|The Congress may determine the Time of chusing the Electors, and the Day on which they shall give their Votes; which Day shall be the same throughout the United States.||(6) The Congress may determine the time of choosing the electors, and the day on which they shall give their votes; which day shall be the same throughout the Confederate States.||No changes.|
|No Person except a natural born Citizen, or a Citizen of the United States, at the time of the Adoption of this Constitution, shall be eligible to the Office of President; neither shall any Person be eligible to that Office who shall not have attained to the Age of thirty five Years, and been fourteen Years a Resident within the United States.||(7) No person except a natural-born citizen of the Confederate; States, or a citizen thereof at the time of the adoption of this Constitution, or a citizen thereof born in the United States prior to the 20th of December, 1860, shall be eligible to the office of President; neither shall any person be eligible to that office who shall not have attained the age of thirty-five years, and been fourteen years a resident within the limits of the Confederate States, as they may exist at the time of his election.||Once
again, the Confederacy has to create various grandfather clauses since no
one had been a citizen of the CSA prior to their constitution's ratification.
Both the CSA and USA constitutions want only "natural-born citizens" to become president, but both constitutions create a window in which it is possible for immigrants to become president so long as they were citizens at the time the constitution was adopted. The Confederate secretary of state Judah Benjamin, who was born in the British Virgin Islands in 1811, could have been president under these terms.
|In Case of the Removal of the President from Office, or of his Death, Resignation, or Inability to discharge the Powers and Duties of the said Office, the Same shall devolve on the Vice President, and the Congress may by Law provide for the Case of Removal, Death, Resignation or Inability, both of the President and Vice President, declaring what Officer shall then act as President, and such Officer shall act accordingly, until the Disability be removed, or a President shall be elected.||(8) In case of the removal of the President from office, or of his death, resignation, or inability to discharge the powers and duties of said office, the same shall devolve on the Vice President; and the Congress may, by law, provide for the case of removal, death, resignation, or inability, both of the President and Vice President, declaring what officer shall then act as President; and such officer shall act accordingly until the disability be removed or a President shall be elected.||No changes.|
|The President shall, at stated Times, receive for his Services, a Compensation, which shall neither be increased nor diminished during the Period for which he shall have been elected, and he shall not receive within that Period any other Emolument from the United States, or any of them.||(9) The President shall, at stated times, receive for his services a compensation, which shall neither be increased nor diminished during the period for which he shall have been elected; and he shall not receive within that period any other emolument from the Confederate States, or any of them.||No changes.|
|Before he enter on the Execution of his Office, he shall take the following Oath or Affirmation:--"I do solemnly swear (or affirm) that I will faithfully execute the Office of President of the United States, and will to the best of my Ability, preserve, protect and defend the Constitution of the United States."||
(10) Before he enters on the execution of his office he shall take the following oath or affirmation:
"I do solemnly swear (or affirm) that I will faithfully execute the office of President of the Confederate States, and will, to the best of my ability, preserve, protect, and defend the Constitution thereof."
|Section. 2.||Sec. 2.|
|The President shall be Commander in Chief of the Army and Navy of the United States, and of the Militia of the several States, when called into the actual Service of the United States; he may require the Opinion, in writing, of the principal Officer in each of the executive Departments, upon any Subject relating to the Duties of their respective Offices, and he shall have Power to grant Reprieves and Pardons for Offences against the United States, except in Cases of Impeachment.||(1) The President shall be Commander-in-Chief of the Army and Navy of the Confederate States, and of the militia of the several States, when called into the actual service of the Confederate States; he may require the opinion, in writing, of the principal officer in each of the Executive Departments, upon any subject relating to the duties of their respective offices; and he shall have power to grant reprieves and pardons for offenses against the Confederate States, except in cases of impeachment.||No changes.|
|He shall have Power, by and with the Advice and Consent of the Senate, to make Treaties, provided two thirds of the Senators present concur; and he shall nominate, and by and with the Advice and Consent of the Senate, shall appoint Ambassadors, other public Ministers and Consuls, Judges of the supreme Court, and all other Officers of the United States, whose Appointments are not herein otherwise provided for, and which shall be established by Law: but the Congress may by Law vest the Appointment of such inferior Officers, as they think proper, in the President alone, in the Courts of Law, or in the Heads of Departments.||2) He shall have power, by and with the advice and consent of the Senate, to make treaties; provided two-thirds of the Senators present concur; and he shall nominate, and by and with the advice and consent of the Senate shall appoint, ambassadors, other public ministers and consuls, judges of the Supreme Court, and all other officers of the Confederate States whose appointments are not herein otherwise provided for, and which shall be established by law; but the Congress may, by law, vest the appointment of such inferior officers, as they think proper, in the President alone, in the courts of law, or in the heads of departments.||No changes.|
|(3) The principal officer in each of the Executive Departments, and all persons connected with the diplomatic service, may be removed from office at the pleasure of the President. All other civil officers of the Executive Departments may be removed at any time by the President, or other appointing power, when their services are unnecessary, or for dishonesty, incapacity. inefficiency, misconduct, or neglect of duty; and when so removed, the removal shall be reported to the Senate, together with the reasons therefor.||The Confederate President is given the power to fire pretty much any civil servant he wishes, from cabinet secretaries on down. He must then inform the Senate of the reasons for the firing. The American president has these powers as well, but they are codified in the various laws establishing the cabinet departments and not in the constitution itself.|
|The President shall have Power to fill up all Vacancies that may happen during the Recess of the Senate, by granting Commissions which shall expire at the End of their next Session.||(4) The President shall have power to fill all vacancies that may happen during the recess of the Senate, by granting commissions which shall expire at the end of their next session; but no person rejected by the Senate shall be reappointed to the same office during their ensuing recess.||The
CSA adds an additional check to prevent the President from exploiting recess
appointments. If someone is rejected by the Senate, the President cannot
weasel around it by just making that person a recess appointment. Bad news, Claire Underwood.
|Section. 3.||Sec. 3.|
|He shall from time to time give to the Congress Information of the State of the Union, and recommend to their Consideration such Measures as he shall judge necessary and expedient; he may, on extraordinary Occasions, convene both Houses, or either of them, and in Case of Disagreement between them, with Respect to the Time of Adjournment, he may adjourn them to such Time as he shall think proper; he shall receive Ambassadors and other public Ministers; he shall take Care that the Laws be faithfully executed, and shall Commission all the Officers of the United States.||(1) The President shall, from time to time, give to the Congress information of the state of the Confederacy, and recommend to their consideration such measures as he shall judge necessary and expedient; he may, on extraordinary occasions, convene both Houses, or either of them; and in case of disagreement between them, with respect to the time of adjournment, he may adjourn them to such time as he shall think proper; he shall receive ambassadors and other public ministers; he shall take care that the laws be faithfully executed, and shall commission all the officers of the Confederate States.||The Confederates were kind enough to clarify as to who this mysterious "he" is.|
|Section. 4.||Sec. 4.|
|The President, Vice President and all civil Officers of the United States, shall be removed from Office on Impeachment for, and Conviction of, Treason, Bribery, or other high Crimes and Misdemeanors.||The President, Vice President, and all civil officers of the Confederate States, shall be removed from office on impeachment for and conviction of treason, bribery, or other high crimes and misdemeanors.||No changes.|
|Section. 1.||Sect. 1.|
|The judicial Power of the United States shall be vested in one supreme Court, and in such inferior Courts as the Congress may from time to time ordain and establish. The Judges, both of the supreme and inferior Courts, shall hold their Offices during good Behaviour, and shall, at stated Times, receive for their Services a Compensation, which shall not be diminished during their Continuance in Office.||Section 1. (1) The judicial power of the Confederate States shall be vested in one Supreme Court, and in such inferior courts as the Congress may, from time to time, ordain and establish. The judges, both of the Supreme and inferior courts, shall hold their offices during good behavior, and shall, at stated times, receive for their services a compensation which shall not be diminished during their continuance in office.||No changes.|
|Section. 2.||Sect. 2.|
|The judicial Power shall extend to all Cases, in Law and Equity, arising under this Constitution, the Laws of the United States, and Treaties made, or which shall be made, under their Authority;--to all Cases affecting Ambassadors, other public Ministers and Consuls;--to all Cases of admiralty and maritime Jurisdiction;--to Controversies to which the United States shall be a Party;--to Controversies between two or more States;-- between a State and Citizens of another State;--between Citizens of different States;--between Citizens of the same State claiming Lands under Grants of different States, and between a State, or the Citizens thereof, and foreign States, Citizens or Subjects.||(1) The judicial power shall extend to all cases arising under this Constitution, the laws of the Confederate States, and treaties made, or which shall be made, under their authority; to all cases affecting ambassadors, other public ministers and consuls; to all cases of admiralty and maritime jurisdiction; to controversies to which the Confederate States shall be a party; to controversies between two or more States; between a State and citizens of another State, where the State is plaintiff; between citizens claiming lands under grants of different States; and between a State or the citizens thereof, and foreign states, citizens, or subjects; but no State shall be sued by a citizen or subject of any foreign state.||
modifications to this section are based on the 11th Amendment to the US
constitution, which enhanced the so-called "sovereign immunity"
protection of states from federal lawsuits launched by non-residents.
CSA deletes the phrase "in law and equity" from the opening line.
CSA clarifies that a federal court can only hear a lawsuit with between
a state and
non-residents when the state is the plaintiff, a restriction on federal
jurisdiction that is similar to the terms of 11th Amendment but doesn't
actually go quite as far.
They also reword the context in which citizens who are claiming multi-state land can sue. Originally the clause specifically says that this power is only available to "citizens of the same state" but the Confederates remove this qualifier, so that any citizen can sue.
Lastly, the CSA notes in this section that that foreigners cannot sue the states in federal court, which is also in the 11th Amendment.
The Judicial power of the United States shall not be construed to extend to any suit in law or equity, commenced or prosecuted against one of the United States by Citizens of another State, or by Citizens or Subjects of any Foreign State
|In all Cases affecting Ambassadors, other public Ministers and Consuls, and those in which a State shall be Party, the supreme Court shall have original Jurisdiction. In all the other Cases before mentioned, the supreme Court shall have appellate Jurisdiction, both as to Law and Fact, with such Exceptions, and under such Regulations as the Congress shall make.||(2) In all cases affecting ambassadors, other public ministers and consuls, and those in which a State shall be a party, the Supreme Court shall have original jurisdiction. In all the other cases before mentioned, the Supreme Court shall have appellate jurisdiction both as to law and fact, with such exceptions and under such regulations as the Congress shall make.||No changes. Federal courts remain the only judicial body allowed to resolve disputes between the states.|
|The Trial of all Crimes, except in Cases of Impeachment, shall be by Jury; and such Trial shall be held in the State where the said Crimes shall have been committed; but when not committed within any State, the Trial shall be at such Place or Places as the Congress may by Law have directed.||(3) The trial of all crimes, except in cases of impeachment, shall be by jury, and such trial shall be held in the State where the said crimes shall have been committed; but when not committed within any State, the trial shall be at such place or places as the Congress may by law have directed.||No changes.|
|Section. 3.||Sect. 3.|
|Treason against the United States, shall consist only in levying War against them, or in adhering to their Enemies, giving them Aid and Comfort. No Person shall be convicted of Treason unless on the Testimony of two Witnesses to the same overt Act, or on Confession in open Court.||(1) Treason against the Confederate States shall consist only in levying war against them, or in adhering to their enemies, giving them aid and comfort. No person shall be convicted of treason unless on the testimony of two witnesses to the same overt act, or on confession in open court.||No changes.|
|The Congress shall have Power to declare the Punishment of Treason, but no Attainder of Treason shall work Corruption of Blood, or Forfeiture except during the Life of the Person attainted.||(2) The Congress shall have power to declare the punishment of treason; but no attainder of treason shall work corruption of blood, or forfeiture, except during the life of the person attainted.||No changes.|
|Section. 1.||Sect. 1.|
|Full Faith and Credit shall be given in each State to the public Acts, Records, and judicial Proceedings of every other State. And the Congress may by general Laws prescribe the Manner in which such Acts, Records and Proceedings shall be proved, and the Effect thereof.||(1) Full faith and credit shall be given in each State to the public acts, records, and judicial proceedings of every other State; and the Congress may, by general laws, prescribe the manner in which such acts, records, and proceedings shall be proved, and the effect thereof.||No changes. The CSA still forces states to recognize the court rulings of other states.|
|Section. 2.||Sect. 2.|
|The Citizens of each State shall be entitled to all Privileges and Immunities of Citizens in the several States.||(1) The citizens of each State shall be entitled to all the privileges and immunities of citizens in the several States; and shall have the right of transit and sojourn in any State of this Confederacy, with their slaves and other property; and the right of property in said slaves shall not be thereby impaired.||Solidifying
the right to slavery further, the CSA adds that government cannot prohibit
the rights of individuals to haul their slaves around the country as they
so please, thereby eliminating the possibility of another Dred Scott-style lawsuit.
|A Person charged in any State with Treason, Felony, or other Crime, who shall flee from Justice, and be found in another State, shall on Demand of the executive Authority of the State from which he fled, be delivered up, to be removed to the State having Jurisdiction of the Crime.||(2) A person charged in any State with treason, felony, or other crime against the laws of such State, who shall flee from justice, and be found in another State, shall, on demand of the executive authority of the State from which he fled, be delivered up, to be removed to the State having jurisdiction of the crime.||CSA does a bit of odd meddling with this clause. By adding the qualifier "against the laws of such state" they seem to be implying that only criminals accused of a state offense can be extradited from one state to another. So if a guy committed a federal offense he could presumably not be extradited in this manner.|
|No Person held to Service or Labour in one State, under the Laws thereof, escaping into another, shall, in Consequence of any Law or Regulation therein, be discharged from such Service or Labour, but shall be delivered up on Claim of the Party to whom such Service or Labour may be due.||(3) No slave or other person held to service or labor in any State or Territory of the Confederate States, under the laws thereof, escaping or lawfully carried into another, shall, in consequence of any law or regulation therein, be discharged from such service or labor; but shall be delivered up on claim of the party to whom such slave belongs, or to whom such service or labor may be due.||
In both constitutions, this clause was supposed to prevent slaves from escaping into freedom in another state.
Confederates strengthen and clarify the language, though this is
somewhat pointless since Article I, Sec. 9(4) already prevents states
from passing "any law or regulation" that could possibly result in a
slave becoming free by moving/being moved to a different state.
|Section. 3.||Sect. 3.|
|New States may be admitted by the Congress into this Union; but no new State shall be formed or erected within the Jurisdiction of any other State; nor any State be formed by the Junction of two or more States, or Parts of States, without the Consent of the Legislatures of the States concerned as well as of the Congress.||(1) Other States may be admitted into this Confederacy by a vote of two-thirds of the whole House of Representatives and two-thirds of the Senate, the Senate voting by States; but no new State shall be formed or erected within the jurisdiction of any other State, nor any State be formed by the junction of two or more States, or parts of States, without the consent of the Legislatures of the States concerned, as well as of the Congress.||The Confederates make it a bit harder for new states to join their country, by requiring a vote of approval by a two-thirds majority vote in the House of Representatives, and a two-thirds vote in the Senate (with each state having only one vote). In the US it just takes a simple majority.|
|The Congress shall have Power to dispose of and make all needful Rules and Regulations respecting the Territory or other Property belonging to the United States; and nothing in this Constitution shall be so construed as to Prejudice any Claims of the United States, or of any particular State.||(2) The Congress shall have power to dispose of and make all needful rules and regulations concerning the property of the Confederate States, including the lands thereof.||
language in this clause is simplified a bit in the CSA version. In both
versions the federal government is given jurisdiction over the physical
lands and property possessed by the country. The CSA does not promise
that their constitution is free of prejudice towards specific property
|(3) The Confederate States may acquire new territory; and Congress shall have power to legislate and provide governments for the inhabitants of all territory belonging to the Confederate States, lying without the limits of the several Sates [sic]; and may permit them, at such times, and in such manner as it may by law provide, to form States to be admitted into the Confederacy. In all such territory the institution of negro slavery, as it now exists in the Confederate States, shall be recognized and protected be Congress and by the Territorial government; and the inhabitants of the several Confederate States and Territories shall have the right to take to such Territory any slaves lawfully held by them in any of the States or Territories of the Confederate States.||
Another new clause created for the Confederacy.
Like the United States, the CSA creates two tiers of local self-government in its federal system: territories and states. This clause simply clarifies that slavery is legal in the former as well as the latter, an issue that had often been debated in the antebellum United States.
|The United States shall guarantee to every State in this Union a Republican Form of Government, and shall protect each of them against Invasion; and on Application of the Legislature, or of the Executive (when the Legislature cannot be convened), against domestic Violence.||(4) The Confederate States shall guarantee to every State that now is, or hereafter may become, a member of this Confederacy, a republican form of government; and shall protect each of them against invasion; and on application of the Legislature or of the Executive (when the Legislature is not in session) against domestic violence.||No real changes. The federal government retains the right to deploy troops to states when asked.|
|Section. 1.||Sect. 1.|
|The Congress, whenever two thirds of both Houses shall deem it necessary, shall propose Amendments to this Constitution, or, on the Application of the Legislatures of two thirds of the several States, shall call a Convention for proposing Amendments, which, in either Case, shall be valid to all Intents and Purposes, as Part of this Constitution, when ratified by the Legislatures of three fourths of the several States, or by Conventions in three fourths thereof, as the one or the other Mode of Ratification may be proposed by the Congress; Provided that no Amendment which may be made prior to the Year One thousand eight hundred and eight shall in any Manner affect the first and fourth Clauses in the Ninth Section of the first Article; and that no State, without its Consent, shall be deprived of its equal Suffrage in the Senate.||(1) Upon the demand of any three States, legally assembled in their several conventions, the Congress shall summon a convention of all the States, to take into consideration such amendments to the Constitution as the said States shall concur in suggesting at the time when the said demand is made; and should any of the proposed amendments to the Constitution be agreed on by the said convention — voting by States — and the same be ratified by the Legislatures of two-thirds of the several States, or by conventions in two-thirds thereof — as the one or the other mode of ratification may be proposed by the general convention — they shall thenceforward form a part of this Constitution. But no State shall, without its consent, be deprived of its equal representation in the Senate.||
The CSA method for making constitutional amendments is a bit different, but keeps the general spirit intact.
The biggest difference is that in the Confederacy the Congress has no role in passing amendments. It's all done by the state legislatures.
In the CSA system it only takes three states to summon a constitutional convention, where as in the US it takes the request of "two-thirds" of them. Likewise, in the CSA it only takes two-thirds of the states to ratify an amendment, while in the US it takes three-fourths.
CSA changes the final rule. In the US a state cannot be deprived of its
equal suffrage in the Senate, but under the Confederacy it cannot
be denied equal representation. So theoretically CSA states could be given different voting powers so long as they all have the same number of senators.
|Section. 1.||Sect. 1.|
|1. The Government established by this Constitution is the successor of the Provisional Government of the Confederate States of America, and all the laws passed by the latter shall continue in force until the same shall be repealed or modified; and all the officers appointed by the same shall remain in office until their successors are appointed and qualified, or the offices abolished.||The CSA indicates it has legal continuity with its previous provisional government.|
|All Debts contracted and Engagements entered into, before the Adoption of this Constitution, shall be as valid against the United States under this Constitution, as under the Confederation.||2. All debts contracted and engagements entered into before the adoption of this Constitution shall be as valid against the Confederate States under this Constitution, as under the Provisional Government.||No changes.|
|This Constitution, and the Laws of the United States which shall be made in Pursuance thereof; and all Treaties made, or which shall be made, under the Authority of the United States, shall be the supreme Law of the Land; and the Judges in every State shall be bound thereby, any Thing in the Constitution or Laws of any State to the Contrary notwithstanding.||3. This Constitution, and the laws of the Confederate States made in pursuance thereof, and all treaties made, or which shall be made, under the authority of the Confederate States, shall be the supreme law of the land; and the judges in every State shall be bound thereby, anything in the constitution or laws of any State to the contrary notwithstanding.||No changes, except that the CSA inexplicably gets rid of the words "which shall be" in the first sentence.|
The Senators and Representatives before mentioned, and the Members of the several State Legislatures, and all executive and judicial Officers, both of the United States and of the several States, shall be bound by Oath or Affirmation, to support this Constitution; but no religious Test shall ever be required as a Qualification to any Office or public Trust under the United States.
|4. The Senators and Representatives before mentioned, and the members of the several State Legislatures, and all executive and judicial officers, both of the Confederate States and of the several States, shall be bound by oath or affirmation to support this Constitution; but no religious test shall ever be required as a qualification to any office or public trust under the Confederate States.||No changes.|
The enumeration in the Constitution, of certain rights, shall not be construed to deny or disparage others retained by the people.
|5. The enumeration, in the Constitution, of certain rights shall not be construed to deny or disparage others retained by the people of the several States.||The last two amendments from the US Bill of Rights are incorporated into the end of the CSA constitution.|
The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States respectively, or to the people.
|6. The powers not delegated to the Confederate States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States, respectively, or to the people thereof.||No changes.|
|Sect. 1.||Sect. 1.|
The Ratification of the Conventions of nine States, shall be sufficient for the Establishment of this Constitution between the States so ratifying the Same.
|1. The ratification of the conventions of five States shall be sufficient for the establishment of this Constitution between the States so ratifying the same.||Both constitutions' Article VII has to do with how the constitution is adopted.|
|2. When five States shall have ratified this Constitution, in the manner before specified, the Congress under the Provisional Constitution shall prescribe the time for holding the election of President and Vice President; and for the meeting of the Electoral College; and for counting the votes, and inaugurating the President. They shall, also, prescribe the time for holding the first election of members of Congress under this Constitution, and the time for assembling the same. Until the assembling of such Congress, the Congress under the Provisional Constitution shall continue to exercise the legislative powers granted them; not extending beyond the time limited by the Constitution of the Provisional Government.||The
CSA established a provisional constitution immediately after its founding.
That document was to continue to be used until the interim Congress could
set an election date for the election of a new, permanent Congress and president.
This day never came. This constitution was never used.
Overall, the CSA constitution does not radically alter the federal system that was established by the United States constitution. It is therefore very debatable as to whether the CSA was a significantly more pro-"states' rights" country (as supporters claim) in any meaningful sense. At least three states rights are explicitly taken away — the freedom of states to grant voting rights to non-citizens, the freedom of states to trade freely with each other, and of course the freedom of states to outlaw slavery within their borders.
States only gain four minor rights under the Confederate system — the power to enter into treaties with other states to regulate waterways, the power to tax foreign and domestic ships that use their waterways, the power to impeach federally-appointed state officials, and the power to distribute "bills of credit."
As previously noted, the CSA constitution does not modify many of the most controversial (from a states' rights perspective) clauses of the American constitution, including the "Supremacy" clause (Art. VI, Sec. 1), the "Commerce" clause (Art. I, Sec. 8) and the "Necessary and Proper" clause (Art. I, Sec. 8). Nor does the CSA take away the federal government's right to suspend habeus corpus or "suppress insurrections."
As far as slave-owning rights go, however, the document is much more effective. Four different clauses entrench the legality of slavery in a number of different ways, and together they virtually guarantee that any sort of anti-slave law or policy would be unconstitutional. People can claim the Civil War was "not about slavery" as much as they want, but the fact remains that anyone who fought for the Confederacy was fighting for a country in which a universal right to own slaves was one of the most entrenched laws of the land.
In the end, however, many of the most interesting changes introduced in the CSA constitution have nothing to do with federalism or slavery at all. The president's term limit and line-item veto, along with the various fiscal restraints, and the ability of cabinet members to answer questions on the floor of Congress are all innovative, neutral ideals whose merits may still be worth pondering today.
This page last updated: 01/03/17 06:00 PM © Griffin PNP
|Main Sub Webs|
|Home||Family||Library||My Ministry||Photo Albums||Places|