Vice President of the Confederate States of America

The vice president of the Confederate States was the second highest executive officer of the government of the Confederate States of America and the deputy to the president of the Confederate States. The office was held by Alexander H. Stephens of Georgia, who served under President Jefferson Davis of Mississippi from February 18, 1861, until the dissolution of the Confederacy on May 5, 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 and inaugurated on February 22, 1862.[1]

Vice-President of the
Confederate States
StyleThe Honorable
ResidenceCourt End
AppointerElectoral College
FormationFebruary 18, 1861
First holderAlexander H. Stephens
Final holderAlexander H. Stephens
AbolishedMay 5, 1865

The office Edit

According to the Constitution of the Confederate States, 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. Electors had to cast one of their votes for someone not from their State. If no candidate won a majority in the Electoral College, the Confederate Senate would elect the vice president from the top two vote-getters. 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, if he succeeded to the presidency, in the middle of a term, could run for a full presidential term afterward.

Duties Edit

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 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 Edit

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

May 5, 1865
Democrat 1
U.S. Representative for
Georgia's 8th
  Jefferson Davis

See also Edit

Notes Edit

  1. ^ Stephens was the vice-president under the Provisional Constitution of the Confederate States from February 18, 1861 to February 22, 1862 when his six year term under the permanent constitution began.

References Edit

  1. ^ World
  2. ^ "Yale University". Archived from the original on 2012-09-17. Retrieved 2012-03-20.
  3. ^ New Georgia Encyclopedia

External links Edit