The Confederate Constitution
Since the Governor of Virginia just declared April as Confederate History Month (because that’s the month they lost the war?), I thought I’d do a post about the Confederate Constitution. It’s interesting to look at because it mostly apes the 1787 Constitution, thus the distinctions are pretty easy to spot. Here are some notable differences:1. The Preamble refers to “each State acting in its sovereign and independent character.” It also expressly invokes “the favor and guidance of Almighty God.”
2. The document uses the word slaves instead of the code words employed in 1787. The text also bars any law “denying or impairing the right of property in negro slaves.”
3. The President was given a line-item veto and was limited to a single six-year term.
4. Two-thirds of each house of a State Legislature could impeach a federal officer (who acted within that State) and refer that matter to the Confederate Senate for trial.
5. The Commerce Clause was expressly limited to exclude most internal improvements.
6. Omnibus bills were prohibited.
7. Congress was not allowed to propose constitutional amendments. The only way that could be done was through a new Constitutional Convention requested by three state conventions.