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Colonization (1609–1775)English colonization in the area that known today as the Confederate States was began by the London Company at Jamestown, on the James River in Virginia in May 14, 1607. In 1624, the Company's charter was revoked and the colony transferred to royal authority as a crown colony. As a crown colony, Virginia began to expand to the North and West with additional settlements. The majority of early English settlers were indentured servants, who gained freedom after enough work to pay off their passage. After Bacon's Rebellion, African slaves rapidly replaced indentured servants as Virginia's main labor force.
There were twenty English colonies in North America by 1775, thirteen among them later rebelled against the British rule and formed the First Union of the United States of America. Those colonies were Delaware, Pennsylvania, New Jersey, Georgia, Connecticut, Massachusetts Bay, Maryland, South Carolina, New Hampshire, Virginia, New York, North Carolina, and Rhode Island and Providence Plantations. By the 18th century, the American colonies were growing very rapidly because of the abundant supplies of food and low death rates which attracted a steady flow of immigrants.
American Revolution (1775–1783)
The resistance against the tax imposition by the British Parliament in late 1760s preceded the moment of American Revolution. The colonists felt the Parliament had no any rights to tax them since they have no any representation in the British Parliament. The colonists began to set up the militia, in a preparation for the war against the British Empire. They who rebelled against the British Empire called as the Patriots.
In 1774, the First Continental Congress was convened by the Patriot leaders from the Thirteen Colonies as a response for the Coercive Acts that was passage to repress the Boston Tea Party in 1773. The Congress called for a boycott for British trade, rights and grievances; and petitioned King George III of the Great Britain and Ireland for redress of those grievances. The appeal to the Crown had no effect, and the Second Continental Congress was convened in 1775 to organize the resistance to the British rule under one armed and diplomatic effort.The independence of the thirteen colonies as the United States of America was declared by the Second Continental Congress on July 4, 1776. With Virginia in the lead, the Southern colonies embraced the American Revolution. Under the command from General George Washington of Virginia, the Patriots waged a war against the Loyalist forces that lasted until 1783 when the United States and Great Britain were agreed to end the war by signed the Treaty of Paris. The treaty recognized the United States as an independent nation and its sovereignty over most territory east of the Mississippi River.
United States of America (1776–1865)
The Revolution provided a shock to slavery in the Southern states. Thousands of slaves took advantage of wartime disruption to find their own freedom. In addition, some slaveholders were inspired to free their slaves after the Revolution, including the first U.S. president, George Washington. In the upper South, more than 10 percent of all blacks were free by 1810, a significant expansion from pre-war proportions of less than 1 percent free. However, Southern state leaders were able to protect their sectional interests during the Constitutional Convention of 1787, preventing the insertion of any explicit anti-slavery position in the U.S. Constitution.By 1804 a North-South line over slavery emerged; it was called the Mason-Dixon Line, separating free Pennsylvania and slave Maryland. After a compromise between the North and the South, the constitution provided the representation in the House of Representatives would be in proportion to the relative state populations, including the slaves in the Southern states that not even had right to vote. This increased the power of Southern states in the Congress and the Supreme Court of the United States for decades, affecting national policies and legislation. The planter elite dominated the southern Congressional delegations and the United States presidency for nearly 50 years.
Despite compromises in 1820 and 1850, the slavery issues exploded in the 1850s. Following the Texas Treaty of 1845, the Yankees attempted to exclude slavery from gained territories in the Wilmot Proviso in order to end the Southern domination in the federal government. The Compromise of 1850 that aimed to resolve the problem, instead alarmed both the Northerners as adding new territory on the Southern side simply meant the expansion of slavery and the Southerners that viewed its as early steps toward abolition of slavery. By 1856, the Southern states had lost control of Congress, and was no longer able to silence calls for an end to slavery.
War for Southern Independence (1861–1865)By 1860, tensions between slave and free states worsened and mounted with arguments about the relationship between the state and federal governments, as well as bloodshed and violent conflicts over the spread of slavery into new states. Abraham Lincoln, candidate of the largely antislavery Republican Party, was elected president in 1860. As result, seven Southern states declared their secession and declared the independence of the Confederate States of America on February 9, 1861 with Robert Rhett was elected its first president.
After General Pierre Beauregard opened fire upon Union troops at Fort Sumter in South Carolina, the War for Southern Independence (or the War of Southern Secession as it known in the United States) began and four more slave states joined the Confederacy. The Independence War reached its stalemate in 1863 and after received the pressures from Radical Republicans and the abolitionists, the United States government recognized the independence of the Confederate States in August 1, 1864 with the signing of Treaty of Princeton in Princeton, Kentucky.
Postbellum Era (1865–1905)
A new constitution was adopted in 1870. The 1870 Constitution of the Confederate States provided an executive presidency and a bicameral Congress, consisted of an appointed Senate and a popularly elected House of Representatives. The President of the Confederate States was elected in a single, non-renewable seven-year term by the electoral colleges. The president appointed the members of Senate that considered by the state legislatures every two years and had a veto power over the legislation passed by the Congress. However, the president only could form a government with the approval from the Congress.
While the 1870 Constitution prescribed democracy, in reality the Confederate States was governed by the oligarchy of rich planters and veterans of the Independence War. During its early years, the newly-independent country saw a range of warlords compete for power in each state. The politics of the Confederate States at that time was also dominated by single strongman who hold significant influences over the federal and state politics; the partisanship was very minimum. Leading political figures include Jefferson Davis (1867–1874), Simon B. Buckner (1874–1895) and William B. Bate (1895–1905).Following the War of Independence, the economy of the Confederate States was heavily devastated. It was only supported by the cotton trade with France and the United Kingdom. Plantation became the country's main source of income and when the cotton price decreased, the Confederate States suffered a period of economic stagnation. The Confederate States was badly hit by the Panic of 1873. Most states deep in debt, burdened with heavy taxes and, at worst, even went into the bankruptcy. At the risk of disunion, the martial laws were proclaimed by President Jefferson Davis, effectively suspending the federal and state constitutions.
In the middle of chaos, Davis was ousted by a coup led by Simon Bolivar Buckner in 1874. Buckner became the provisional president until he partially repealed the martial laws and was constitutionally elected as president in 1879. Albeit governing iron-handedly, Buckner was popular among the citizens and portrayed in a benevolent light by the historians for his liberal-oriented policies and the commitment for the fighting against corruptions. His 12-year long presidency guaranteed the political and economic stability. He also re-established a friendly relations after the war between the Confederate States and the United States.