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Confederate States of America the name adopted by the federation of 11 slave holding Southern states of the United States that seceded from the Union and were arrayed against the national government during the American Civil War Immediately after confirmation of the election of Abraham Lincoln as president the legislature of South Carolina convened In a unanimous vote on December 20 1860 the state seceded from the Union During the next two months ordinances of secession were adopted by the states of Mississippi Florida Alabama Georgia Louisiana and Texas President James Buchanan in the last days of his administration declared that the federal government would not forcibly prevent the secessions In February 1861 the seceding states sent representatives to a convention in Montgomery Alabama The convention presided over by Howell Cobb of Georgia adopted a provisional constitution and chose Jefferson Davis of Mississippi as provisional president and Alexander Hamilton Stephens of Georgia as provisional vice president The convention on March 11 1861 unanimously ratified a permanent constitution The constitution which closely resembled the federal Constitution prohibited the African slave trade but allowed interstate commerce in slaves Jefferson Davis 1808-89 first and only president of the Confederate States of America 1861-65 Davis was born on June 3 1808 in Christian now Todd County Kentucky and educated at Transylvania University Lexington Kentucky and at the US Military Academy After his graduation in 1828 he saw frontier service until ill health forced his resignation from the army in 1835 He was a planter in Mississippi from 1835 to 1845 when he was elected to the US Congress In 1846 he resigned his seat in order to serve in the Mexican War and fought at Monterrey and Buena Vista where he was wounded He was US senator from Mississippi from 1847 to 1851 secretary of war in the cabinet of President Franklin Pierce from 1853 to 1857 and again US senator from 1857
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