The Confederate States of America, (also known as the CSA, Dixie or the Confederacy) is a federal constitutional republic consisting of sixteen states. Along with the United States and Canada, it is one of three Anglophone nations located on the North American continent.
The CSA was originally part of the United States, which gained independence from Britain in 1781. However, due to a dispute over the legality of slavery, the power of the federal government, and a wholly unique and distinct culture and economy separate from that of the northern states, the Confederacy seceded from the United States in 1861, and the War of Southern Independence began with the shelling of Fort Sumter in April of that year. In 1862, the French Empire and Mexican Empire both recognized the Confederacy, and in 1863 the Confederacy was officially granted independence by a war-weary north.
Since 1863, the agrarian Confederacy has relied heavily on foreign support, with the bulk of its heavy industry located in Texas, Florida and Cuba.
Government and Politics
The Confederate States are regarded as a federal republic in that there is a central government based out of Richmond, Virginia but each state has a fair amount of autonomy. In comparison to its "sister country," the United States, the Confederacy is considerably more decentralized, with the central government being fairly weak (in particular the Presidency), though on matters of foreign policy and national defense it supersedes state authority.
The Confederacy has an independent executive branch headed by a President and Vice President who are elected to a single, non-renewable six-year term. Though not explicit in the Confederate Constitution, procedurally and through precedent the Presidency in the Confederacy has weakened over time to the point that it is often compared to a Presidency in a parliamentary republic, such as Canada or Hawai'i. However, it is the President, not Congress, who forms a Cabinet and as such wields outright executive power.
The Congress of the Confederate States is the legislative body of the Confederacy and has two houses - the House of Representatives, apportioned by population, and the House of the Senate, which has two Senators per state.