Confederate States of America

Confederate States of America

1861–1865
Flag of Confederate States of America
Flag (1861–63)
Seal (1863–65)
Motto: "Deo vindice" (Latin)
"Under God, our Vindicator"
Anthem: 
*   The Confederate States in 1862 *   Claims made by the Confederacy *   Separated West Virginia *   Contested Indian Territory
  •   The Confederate States in 1862
  •   Claims made by the Confederacy
  •   Separated West Virginia
  •   Contested Indian Territory
StatusUnrecognized state[1]
Capital
Common languagesEnglish (de facto)
Demonym(s)Confederate
GovernmentFederal/Confederal presidential non-partisan republic under white rule
President 
• 1861–1865
Jefferson Davis
Vice President 
• 1861–1865
Alexander H. Stephens
LegislatureCongress
Senate
House of Representatives
Historical eraAmerican Civil War / International relations of the Great Powers (1814–1919)
February 8 1861
April 12, 1861
February 22, 1862
April 9, 1865
April 26, 1865
May 5, 1865
Area
186011,995,392 km2 (770,425 sq mi)
Population
• 18601
9,103,332
• Slaves2
3,521,110
Currency
Preceded by
Succeeded by
South Carolina
Mississippi
Florida
Alabama
Georgia
Louisiana
Texas
Virginia
Arkansas
North Carolina
Tennessee
Arizona Territory
West Virginia
Tennessee
Arkansas
Florida
Alabama
Louisiana
North Carolina
South Carolina
Virginia
Mississippi
Texas
Georgia
Arizona Territory
Today part of United States

The Confederate States of America (CSA or C.S.) — commonly referred to as the Confederacy — was a white supremacist[2] unrecognized republic[1] in North America that existed from 1861 to 1865.[3] The Confederacy was originally formed by seven secessionist slave-holding statesSouth Carolina, Mississippi, Florida, Alabama, Georgia, Louisiana, and Texas—in the Lower South region of the United States, whose economy was heavily dependent upon agriculture, particularly cotton, and a plantation system that relied upon the labor of African-American slaves.[4] Convinced that white supremacy[2][5] and the institution of slavery[2][3] were threatened by the November 1860 election of Republican candidate Abraham Lincoln to the U.S. presidency on a platform which opposed the expansion of slavery into the western territories, the Confederacy declared its secession in rebellion to the United States, with the loyal states becoming known as the Union during the ensuing American Civil War. Confederate Vice President Alexander H. Stephens described its ideology as being centrally based "upon the great truth that the negro is not equal to the white man; that slavery, subordination to the superior race, is his natural and normal condition".[5]

Before Lincoln took office in March, a new Confederate government was established in February 1861 which was considered illegal by the government of the United States. States volunteered militia units, and the new government hastened to form its own Confederate States Army from scratch practically overnight. After the American Civil War began in April, four slave states of the Upper SouthVirginia, Arkansas, Tennessee, and North Carolina—also seceded and joined the Confederacy. The Confederacy later accepted Missouri and Kentucky as members, although neither officially declared secession nor were they ever largely controlled by Confederate forces; Confederate shadow governments attempted to control the two states but were later exiled from them. The government of the United States (the Union) rejected the claims of secession, considering it illegitimate.

The war began April 12, 1861, when the Confederates attacked Fort Sumter, a Union fort in the harbor of Charleston, South Carolina. No foreign government officially recognized the Confederacy as an independent country,[1][6][7] although Great Britain and France granted it belligerent status, which allowed Confederate agents to contract with private concerns for arms and other supplies. In early 1865, after four years of heavy fighting which led to 620,000–850,000 military deaths,[8][9] all Confederate forces surrendered. The war lacked a formal end; nearly all Confederate forces had been forced into surrender or deliberately disbanded by the end of 1865, by which point the dwindling manpower and resources of the Confederacy faced overwhelming odds.[4] Jefferson Davis, the President of the Confederate States of America for the duration of the civil war, lamented that the Confederacy had "disappeared".[10]

After the war, Confederate states were readmitted to the union under Reconstruction. Lost Cause ideology — a view that the Confederate cause was a just one —emerged in the decades after the war among former Confederate generals and politicians, as well as organizations like the Sons of Confederate Veterans and the United Daughters of the Confederacy. Particularly intense periods of Lost Cause activity came around the time of World War I, as the last Confederate veterans began to die and a push was made to preserve their memories, and during the Civil Rights Movement of the 1950s and 1960s, in reaction to growing public support for racial equality. Through activities such as building prominent Confederate monuments and writing school history textbooks, they sought to ensure future generations of Southern whites would continue to support white supremacist policies such as Jim Crow.[11] The modern display of flags used by and associated with the Confederate States of America primarily started in the mid-20th century and has continued into the present day; their revival in the 1950s and 1960s began with Senator Strom Thurmond's Dixiecrats to show opposition to the Civil Rights Movement, among other things, in 1948.[12]

Span of control

Map of the division of the states in the American Civil War (1861–1865). Blue indicates the northern Union states; light blue represents five Union states that permitted slavery (border states). Red represents southern seceded states in rebellion, also known as the Confederate States of America. Uncolored areas were U.S. territories, with the exception of the Indian Territory (later Oklahoma).

On February 22, 1862, the Confederate Constitution of seven state signatories – Mississippi, South Carolina, Florida, Alabama, Georgia, Louisiana, and Texas – replaced the Provisional Constitution of February 8, 1861, with one stating in its preamble a desire for a "permanent federal government". Four additional slave-holding states – Virginia, Arkansas, Tennessee, and North Carolina – declared their secession and joined the Confederacy following a call by U.S. President Abraham Lincoln for troops from each state to recapture Sumter and other seized federal properties in the South.[13]

Missouri and Kentucky were represented by partisan factions adopting the forms of state governments without control of substantial territory or population in either case. The antebellum state governments in both maintained their representation in the Union. Also fighting for the Confederacy were two of the "Five Civilized Tribes" – the Choctaw and the Chickasaw – in Indian Territory and a new, but uncontrolled, Confederate Territory of Arizona. Efforts by certain factions in Maryland to secede were halted by federal imposition of martial law; Delaware, though of divided loyalty, did not attempt it. A Unionist government was formed in opposition to the secessionist state government in Richmond and administered the western parts of Virginia that had been occupied by Federal troops. The Restored Government later recognized the new state of West Virginia, which was admitted to the Union during the war on June 20, 1863, and relocated to Alexandria for the rest of the war.[13]

Confederate control over its claimed territory and population in congressional districts steadily shrank from 73% to 34% during the course of the American Civil War due to the Union's successful overland campaigns, its control of inland waterways into the South, and its blockade of the southern coast.[14] With the Emancipation Proclamation on January 1, 1863, the Union made abolition of slavery a war goal (in addition to reunion). As Union forces moved southward, large numbers of plantation slaves were freed. Many joined the Union lines, enrolling in service as soldiers, teamsters and laborers. The most notable advance was Sherman's "March to the Sea" in late 1864. Much of the Confederacy's infrastructure was destroyed, including telegraphs, railroads and bridges. Plantations in the path of Sherman's forces were severely damaged. Internal movement became increasingly difficult for Southerners, weakening the economy and limiting army mobility.[15]

These losses created an insurmountable disadvantage in men, materiel, and finance. Public support for Confederate President Jefferson Davis's administration eroded over time due to repeated military reverses, economic hardships, and allegations of autocratic government. After four years of campaigning, Richmond was captured by Union forces in April 1865. A few days later General Robert E. Lee surrendered to Union General Ulysses S. Grant, effectively signalling the collapse of the Confederacy. President Davis was captured on May 10, 1865, and jailed for treason, but no trial was ever held.[16]

Other Languages
беларуская (тарашкевіца)‎: Канфэдэрацыйныя Штаты Амэрыкі
Gaeilge: An Chónaidhm
Bahasa Indonesia: Konfederasi Amerika
Lingua Franca Nova: Statos Federada de America
srpskohrvatski / српскохрватски: Konfederativne Američke Države