President of the Confederate States of America

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President of the Confederate States of America
Former political post
Seal of the Confederate States of America.svg
President-Jefferson-Davis.jpg
Jefferson Davis
First officeholderJefferson Davis
Last officeholderJefferson Davis
StyleMr. President
Official residenceWhite House
AppointerElectoral College
Office began18 February 1861
Office ended10 May 1865
 
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President of the Confederate States of America
Former political post
Seal of the Confederate States of America.svg
President-Jefferson-Davis.jpg
Jefferson Davis
First officeholderJefferson Davis
Last officeholderJefferson Davis
StyleMr. President
Official residenceWhite House
AppointerElectoral College
Office began18 February 1861
Office ended10 May 1865

The President of the Confederate States of America was the head of state and head of government of the Confederate States of America, which was formed from the states which declared their secession from the United States, thus precipitating the American Civil War. The only person to hold the office was Jefferson Davis. He was President from February 18, 1861, to May 10, 1865, and his Vice President was Alexander H. Stephens. Howell Cobb, as president of the Provisional Confederate Congress, was the highest ranking Confederate official before the election of Davis, but he was not titled President of the Confederate States.

Office[edit]

According to the Confederate States Constitution, the President's office was almost entirely the same as that of the President of the United States. The President was to be:

Election Ballot, Virginia, 6 November 1861.
Inauguration of Jefferson Davis in February 1861

Oath of Office[edit]

Like the Oath of office of the President of the United States, the oath or affirmation of office of the President of the Confederate States was established in the Confederate States Constitution and was mandatory for a President upon beginning a term of office. The wording, almost an exact copy of the United States' version, was prescribed by the Constitution (Article II, Section 1, Clause 10), as follows:

I do solemnly swear (or affirm) that I will faithfully execute the office of President of the Confederate States, and will, to the best of my ability, preserve, protect, and defend the Constitution thereof.

As with almost every President of the United States, upon taking the oath on February 18, 1861, Jefferson Davis added the words "So help me God" to the end of the oath.

Powers[edit]

The President of the Confederacy held most of the same powers as the President of the United States. Though he could not directly propose legislation, he was given the power to nominate members of the Supreme Court of the Confederate States, ambassadors, cabinet members, and other executive officials to be approved by the Senate.

He was also Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces and held veto power over legislation.

The President could be impeached by Congress for "treason, bribery, or other high crimes and misdemeanors."

Differences[edit]

There were a few key differences between the Confederate President and the United States President:

List of presidents[edit]

No.PresidentTook officeLeft officeVice President
1President-Jefferson-Davis.jpgJefferson Davis
(1808–1889)
February 18, 1861May 10, 1865Alexander H. Stephens

Davis was the provisional president from February 18, 1861 to February 22, 1862 when his six year term under the CSA constitution began.

Notes[edit]

See also[edit]