The Confederate States of America

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A culture is the beliefs and interests of a particular group of people. About 150 years ago, a proud and noble culture was created in the Southern portion of the United States. It was created by Southerners from all walks of life, ranging from the gentry to the "good ol' boys." They loved their culture so much that they created a country. It was a country of blue skies, green hills, beautiful meadows and forests, and old-fashioned Southern hospitality. There were large plantations that grew some of the finest crops in the world. Though this country seemed Utopian, its creation soon instituted the bloodiest war in American history, the War For Southern Independence. The beautiful countryside suddenly became a battlefield. The blue skies turned gray with the smoke of rifles and cannons. The blood of Rebels and Yankees stained the grass as the meadows and forests became overwhelmed with the foul stench of death. Johnny Reb fought hard for what he believed in and what he thought to be right. Though the "boys in gray" lost the greatest battle of their lives, they and their ancestors still hold a special place in their hearts for this short-lived nation. This nation was independent for roughly four years, but the legacy of the Confederate States of America will not be forgotten.

As far as the Constitution of the Confederate States goes, it was not all that different from that of the United States. One difference is that it enables the president to serve a six-year term, as opposed to a four-year term in the United States. Also, the Confederate Congress is prohibited from placing a protective tariff on imported items and goods. The last major difference is that the Constitution grants more reserved powers to state government. In the United States Constitution, state governments had less of these powers. This was the major cause of the War, because Southern states felt that each state should have more reserved powers. Just as the United States government, the Confederate government was divided into three major branches: legislative, judicial, and executive branches. The legislative branch was known as the Confederate Congress. The components of the Confederate Congress were a Senate and a House of Representatives. District courts were the primary components of the judicial branch. A supreme court was never established, because of continuing controversy over the matter. The executive branch of the Confederate government was divided into six different departments. They are the Departments of State, Treasury, War, Navy, Justice, and the Post Office.

Unlike that of the North, the economy of the South was based on agriculture and plantations. The cash crop of the time was cotton, which was shipped to many different countries. There was very little immigration to the South, therefore there were not many cities and there were very few factories. "Slavery was an asset" to the Confederate States. It provided cheap labor for the South's numerous plantations. Inflation rose so high that Confederate money became almost worthless. The government had printed between one and two billion dollars in paper money. About five hundred million dollars in "notes and fractional currency" was issued. The Southern economy was badly hurt for years.

When Abraham Lincoln was elected president of the United States, the Southern states began to secede from the Union. There were eleven original Confederate states. Twenty-three states remained in the Union. The population of the Confederacy was about nine million and the Union population was about twenty-three million. Although the Union had greater naval power, the Confederate States had easier access to transportation for troop movements. Northern armies were given the names for rivers, such as the Army of the Potomac, but Southern armies were named for regions, such as the Army of Northern Virginia. The Union usually referred to battles by the name of the nearest stream; however,...
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