How different was the Confederate Constitution from the US Version
The Constitution of the Confederate States of America had some striking differences to the US Constitution in addition to many similarities. Maybe some of them might be of benefit to us in the United States today.
The Confederate president was elected for one six year term. He could not be re-elected! He had a line item veto that allowed him to send back to the legislature bills that had appropriations he would not sanction. It helped keep spending down and is often debated as a possible remedy to some of our current spending problems.
The Preamble to the Confederate Constitution specifically states that the Confederate people are “invoking the favor and guidance of Almighty God” in ordaining and establishing the Constitution. The US Constitution makes no reference to a Supreme Being.
Section Nine-Limits of Congress and Bill of Rights defines all ten of the rights of the US Bill of Rights plus some additions that could be of benefit. One that comes to mind is paragraph 20 which limits the Legislature to drafting every law with only one subject which must be expressed in the title. That seems to make things a bit more transparent than some of our recent legislation of multi-thousand page content.
The Confederate Constitution legalized slavery but prohibited inportation of additional slaves from Africa as well as states outside the Confederate States. Slavery was obviously the fundamental basis for the secession which led to the War of the Rebellion and so it is clear that the slavery issue had to be formally and permanently included. Slavery would in most likelyhood have disappeared from the scene of its own economic maladies eventually, many experts believe.
A Supreme Court was codified in the Confederate Constitution but interestingly was never created. The three branches of government that we enjoy in the United States were essentially duplicated in the Confederacy but the court of nine justices was never formed. This uncomplicated the responsibilities of the President, as he had no judicial check on his actions, but left the populace somewhat vulnerable to injustice. Why President Davis never appointed justices is a good question that some legal scholar might want to pursue in a steamy historical tome.