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Thursday, February 8, 2018

This Day in Confederate History - Feb 8: A Provisional Constitution

As we suffer through Black History Month and as states continue to pass laws acting as if the Confederacy and those who died for it never existed, we're going to try to counter-balance the deluge

As much as possible we are going to provide readers with as much Confederate History as we can when non-important events are not occurring to write about

On this day in history, February 8, 1861, the Confederacy made up at the time of 7 states adopted its provisional Constitution
For those with a very minimal knowledge of the Civil War, this was two months before Ft Sumter which officially started the war on April 12th of that year..

All committee members were well educated and had extensive legislative experience.

Due to the necessity of a constitution, they worked with considerable speed, reporting back to the convention on February 7 to which it was ratified on midnight of the 8th.
Their key changes to the committee’s draft was an inclusion of the phrase “Invoking the favor of Almighty God” into the preamble and the addition of an executive line item veto which to this day US Presidents have sought from Congress and been denied

The document also removed a congressional restriction of 15% on import tariffs which was set up at the time hurt southern planters who exported their cotton abroad to Liverpool instead of northern textile mills to have processed before returning back

It addition they combined circuit and district court systems into one district system where each state comprised one district.
The Provisional Constitution was then unanimously ratified near midnight on February 8, 1861 and was signed by all present members at noon the day of Jefferson Davis’s inaugural address on February 18, 1861.

The framers of the Provisional Constitution used the US Constitution as a basis for their own, and thus there are many similarities.

Large sections were copied without any change, and others with only cosmetic changes (such as replacing "United States" with "Confederate States" or "Confederacy").
There were also several noticeable differences, including the aforementioned changes, as well as a clause which allowed Congress to use a two-thirds vote to declare the president unable to perform his duties.

Article IV permitted Congress to amend the constitution with another two-thirds vote, while Article VI granted Congress the power to admit other states into the Confederacy.

Issues such as slavery and how to tax the chattel would be decided in the permanent Constitution.
The most significant difference from the United States Constitution was that under the Provisional Constitution, the Provisional Confederate Congress was a unicameral legislature, i.e it had only one chamber, and voting was by states.

This was changed to the more familiar bicameral legislature in the permanent Constitution, with Senators and Representatives voting individually.

Slavery is dealt with very briefly in the Provisional Constitution with Article I, Section 7 of the Provisional Constitution outlawing the overseas slave trade, but allowing importation from the slave-holding states of the U.S.
Unlike the U.S. Constitution, the Confederate Provisional Constitution dispenses with the euphemistic phraseology of "other persons," "such persons," and "Person held to Service or Labour in one State," honestly and forthrightly referring to them as "slaves" and "negroes".

Slavery would be additionally addressed in the Permanent Constitution.

In addition to the outlawing the slave trade and requiring the return of fugitive slaves as was set up in the Compromise of 1850, the Permanent Constitution forbid Congress passing any law "denying or impairing the right of property in negro slaves;" and guaranteed the right of "transit and sojourn ...with their slaves and other property;"
The Permanent Constitution also required that in any Confederate territory "the institution of negro slavery, as it now exists in the Confederate States," must exist while restoring the "3/5ths provision" of the original US Constitution for allocating Representatives and direct taxes.

Had the US Constitution in 1787 been so clear cut on such matters including that of the legal right of a state to secede, yes or no, perhaps the war could have been averted and 600,000 would not have died for absolutely nothing

History is not something one can twist and mold and taint to their own social-political values
There is a Black history and a White history to go along with a Hispanic, Asian, and every other kind of history

There is an American history and a Confederate history just like a Canadian, Mexican and every other nation histor

The Confederacy like America also has a Memorial Day.. That is deserving of the same respect and honoring no matter what blacks and putrid white-guilt/shame liberals feel

One person, group or nation's history is Not more important or special than another