Cat. 34

Constitution of the Confederate States of America, 1861

Curator Commentary

Representatives from the seceded states drafted a constitution for the Confederate States of America. Although written in opposition to the United States, it retained the basic federal structure of the U. S. Constitution while inserting several provisions to protect slavery.

Article I, Section 9, for example, explicitly prohibited the Confederate Congress from passing any laws “denying or impairing the right of property in negro slaves.” Confederate Vice President Alexander H. Stephens (1812–1883) praised the new government, claiming its “corner-stone rests upon the great truth, that the negro is not equal to the white man.”

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