The Constitution of the Confederate States of America, adopted in 1861, closely followed, and was in a sense a commentary upon, the Constitution of the United States. The most important points of divergence were: provision for the heads of executive departments to sit and speak in the Congress, a single six-year term for the President, a line-item VETO POWER over appropriations, explicit provision for presidential power to remove appointed officials, and the requirement of a two-thirds vote in each house to admit new states.
The Confederate Constitution prohibited laws impairing the right of property in slaves; but it also prohibited the foreign slave trade (except with the United States). Other innovations included a ban on federal expenditures for INTERNAL IMPROVEMENTS and provision for state duties on sea-going vessels, to be used for improvement of harbors and navigable waters. The AMENDING PROCESS provided for a convention of the states to be summoned by Congress upon the demand of state conventions; Congress did not have the power to propose amendments itself.
The provisions of the BILL OF RIGHTS of the United States Constitution were written into the body of the...