Friday, February 4, 2011

Confederate States of America formed in Montgomery 150 years ago today

Alabama State Capitol Building
The historic Alabama State Capitol Building became the capitol of a new nation 150 years ago today when delegates from seven Southern states met in Montgomery and declared themselves a provisional legislature for the Confederate States of America.

The so-far bloodless revolution in the Deep South had begun in December of 1860 when South Carolina declared its independence from the United States. The Palmetto State was followed on the road of secession by Mississippi, Florida, Alabama, Georgia, Louisiana and Texas, with each of the states agreeing to send delegates to a meeting in Montgomery on February 4, 1861.

First National Flag of the Confederacy
Alabama's Secession Convention had extended the invitation when the state left the Union in January. The purpose was to consider measures for the common defense and support of the newly independent states.

As a large crowd gathered outside the historic building and military companies paraded on Dexter Avenue, the delegates met 150 years ago today and declared themselves a provisional legislature for a new nation called the Confederate States of America. They authorized a committee to begin work on the drafting of the Confederate Constitution and laid the groundwork for establishing a new national government. The new Constitution would take four days to draft and its approval would be followed on February 11th by the inauguration of Jefferson Davis as the first President of the Confederacy.

The historic building where the delegates met remains in use as the State Capitol of Alabama to this day. To learn more about its role as the First Capitol of the Confederacy, please visit

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