Vice President of the Confederate States of America

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Vice President of the
Confederate States of America
Seal of the Confederate States of America.svg
Style The Honourable
Residence Court End
Appointer Electoral College
Formation February 18, 1861
First holder Alexander H. Stephens
Final holder Alexander H. Stephens
Abolished May 10, 1865

The Vice President of the Confederate States of America was the office held by Alexander H. Stephens of Georgia, who served under President Jefferson Davis of Mississippi from February 18, 1861 to May 11, 1865. Having first been elected by the Provisional Confederate States Congress, both were considered provisional office-holders until they won the presidential election of November 6, 1861 without opposition[1] and inaugurated on February 22, 1862.

The office

According to the Confederate States Constitution, the Vice President's office was almost entirely identical to that of the Vice President of the United States.[2]

The Vice President was elected by an electoral college (closely modeled after the U.S. Electoral College) along with the President. If no candidate won a majority in the Electoral College, the Confederate Senate would elect the Vice President from the top two vote-getters. Candidates for President and Vice President could not be citizens of the same state. Like the President, the Vice President had to be a natural-born citizen of the Confederacy or a natural-born citizen of the U.S. born prior to December 20, 1860, and a resident in the Confederacy for over 14 years.

The major difference between the U.S. and the C.S. Vice Presidencies was that the Confederate term in office was six years long. The President was explicitly forbidden from running for a second term by the constitution, but the Vice President was not. It was unclear whether or not a Vice President, who became President in the middle of a term, could run for his own term afterward.

Duties

The Vice President's primary duty was presiding over the Confederate Senate and breaking tied votes, as the U.S. Vice President presides and breaks ties in the U.S. Senate. He was also the first person in the line of succession. If the President died, resigned or was removed from office, the Vice President would become the new president for the remainder of his term. This never happened.

During his tenure in office, Vice President Alexander Stephens grew increasingly distant from President Davis and spent less and less time in Richmond, the Confederate capital. He eventually spent much of his time trying, without success, to maintain diplomatic channels with the USA and pushed for a negotiated end to the war. He was sent by Davis to represent the Confederate government at the Hampton Roads peace conference.[3]

List of vice presidents

Portrait Vice President State Term of office Party Term Previous office President
1 Alexander Stephens.jpg    Alexander H. Stephens
February 11, 1812 – March 4, 1883
(aged 71)
Georgia February 18, 1861[n 1]

May 11, 1865
None 1
(1861)
U.S. Representative for
Georgia's 8th
  Jefferson Davis

See also

Notes

  1. ^ Stephens was the Provisional Vice President under the Provisional Confederate States Constitution from February 18, 1861 to February 22, 1862 when his six year term under the permanent Confederate States Constitution began.

References

  1. ^ World Statesmen.org
  2. ^ Yale University
  3. ^ New Georgia Encyclopedia

External links

  • Quotations related to Confederate States of America at Wikiquote
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