Saturday, February 8, 2014

The Provisional Constitution

The Provisional Constitution of the Confederate States of America was adopted and in force from February 8th through March 11th 1861.

At Montgomery, Alabama on February 4th 1861 a convention made up of delegates from Alabama, Florida, Georgia, Louisiana, Mississippi, and South Carolina met to begin setting up a new government.  Before they could begin working, the Montgomery Convention needed a set of rules to follow.  Christopher Gustavus Memminger proposed a committee be created on February 5th 1861 to draft a provisional constitution.  Thomas Reade Rootes Cobb of Georgia moved that the committee be made up of twelve, two members from state delegation.

Because of the necessity of having a constitution the committee worked fast.  On February 7th 1861 they had copies made of their purposed constitution and distributed to the convention members.  There was very little debate, the main changes being an inclusion of the words “Invoking the favor of Almighty God” in the preamble, providing executive veto, and combining circuit and district courts into one state district.

The Provisional Constitution was ratified on February 8th 1861.  All the members present signed the document at noon on the day of Jefferson Davis’ inauguration as the first and only President of the Confederacy on February 18th 1861.  Fifty men signed the Provisional Constitution including the delegates from Texas who were admitted on March 2nd 1861.

The Provisional Constitution was nullified on March 11th 1861, when the permanent Constitution of the Confederate States of America was ratified.

If you would like to read the Constitution for the Provisional Government you’ll find it here

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