President of the
Confederate States of America
Flag of the President of the Confederate States
Official Standard of the President
Rick Scott
Rick Scott
Since January 1, 2012
Residence Presidential Executive House
Term length Five years, renewable
Inaugural holder Jefferson Davis
Formation 18 February 1861

The President of the Confederate States of America was the head of state and head of government of the Confederate States of America, which was formed from the states which declared their secession from the United States, thus precipitating the American Civil War. The only person to hold the office was Jefferson Davis. He was President from February 18, 1861, to May 10, 1865, and his Vice President was Alexander H. Stephens. Howell Cobb, as president of the Provisional Confederate Congress, was the highest ranking Confederate official before the election of Davis, but he was not titled President of the Confederate States.


According to the Confederate States Constitution, the President's office was almost entirely the same as that of the President of the United States. The President was to be:

  • chosen by an electoral college from each state in the Confederacy. Each state had as many electors as they had members in the Confederate Congress (senators + representatives). The only CSA presidential election took place on November 6, 1861, when electors for the electoral college were chosen in each state. Davis, who was already in office by action of the Confederate Congress, was elected president without opposition (receiving all 109 electoral votes).
  • elected jointly with a Vice Presidential running mate. The President and Vice President could not be citizens of the same state. Like Davis, his running mate Alexander H. Stephens of Georgia received all 109 electoral votes in the November 1861 election.
  • either a born citizen of the Confederacy or a born citizen of the United States born prior to December 20, 1860 and to have "been fourteen years a resident within the limits of the Confederate States, as they may exist at the time of his election."
  • at least thirty-five years of age

Oath of Office

Like the Oath of office of the President of the United States, the oath or affirmation of office of the President of the Confederate States was established in the Confederate States Constitution and was mandatory for a President upon beginning a term of office. The wording, almost an exact copy of the United States' version, was prescribed by the Constitution (Article II, Section 1, Clause 10), as follows:

As with almost every President of the United States, upon taking the oath on February 18, 1861, Jefferson Davis added the words "So help me God" to the end of the oath.


The President of the Confederacy held most of the same powers as the President of the United States. Though he could not directly propose legislation, he was given the power to nominate members of the Supreme Court of the Confederate States, ambassadors, cabinet members, and other executive officials to be approved by the Senate.

He was also Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces and held veto power over legislation.

The President could be impeached by Congress for "treason, bribery, or other high crimes and misdemeanors."


There were a few key differences between the Confederate President and the United States President:

  • Unlike the United States, which allowed for indefinite re-election (until the passage of the 22nd Amendment in 1951) of both the President and Vice President after a four-year term, the Confederacy gave these offices six-year terms, but the President could not be re-elected, similar to the term limits imposed on the President of Mexico. After the war, this innovation gained considerable popularity in the re-constituted Union, most notably being endorsed by Rutherford B. Hayes in his inaugural address.
  • The Confederate president had the ability to subject a bill to a line-item veto, a power held by most state governors.

List of Presidents

  Democratic Party
  Whig Party
  Republican Party
No. President Took office Left office Party Vice President Term
1 Davis Jefferson Davis February 9, 1861 January 1, 1869 Democratic Alexander Stephens
2 Alexander Stephens -1855 Alexander Stephens January 1 1869 January 1, 1875 Democratic Louis T. Wigfall 2
3 100px Robert M. T. Hunter January 1, 1875 January 1, 1881 Democratic Augustus H. Garland 3
4 Augustus Hill Garland - Brady-Handy Augustus H. Garland January 1, 1881 January 1, 1887 Democratic William Smith 4
5 100px James Longstreet February 22, 1887 February 22, 1891 Whig Fitzhugh Lee 5
6 100px Benjamin R. Tillman January 1, 1891 January 1, 1897 Democratic Lawrence Ross 6
7 100px William Lee January 1, 1897 January 1, 1903 Republican George Atkinson 7
8 James Kimble Vardaman James K. Vardaman January 1, 1903 January 1, 1909 Democratic Jeff Davis 8
9 AR Clarke John James P. Clark January 1, 1909 January 1, 1919 American Liberty League William H. Milton 9
10 100px William J. Stone February 22, 1921 February 22, 1915 Revolutionary William E. Chilton
11 Senator and president pro tem Key Pittman (D-NV) Key Pittman February 22, 1921 February 22, 1927 Revolutionary Duncan U. Fletcher 11
12 100px Joseph T. Robinson February 22, 1927 February 22, 1933 Revolutionary Finis J. Garrett 12
13 100px Huey Long February 22, 1933 February 22, 1939 Revolutionary John N. Garner 13
14 Carl Trumbell Hayden Carl Hayden February 22, 1939 February 22, 1945 Revolutionary Carter Glass 14
15 100px Alben W. Barkley February 22, 1945 February 22, 1951 Revolutionary George Marshall 15
16 100px George Marshall February 22, 1951 February 22, 1957 Revolutionary Dwight D. Eisenhower 16
17 Ike Dwight D. Eisenhower February 22, 1957 February 22, 1963 Revolutionary William Revercomb 17
18 100px Lyndon B. Johnson February 22, 1963 February 22, 1969 Revolutionary Robert Byrd 18
19 Sen robert byrd Robert Byrd February 22, 1969 February 22, 1975 Revolutionary Jere Beasley 19
20 100px George Wallace February 22, 1969 February 22, 1975 Revolutionary Strom Thurmond 20
21 James E. Carter - portrait.gif James E. Carter February 22, 1975 February 22, 1981 Revolutionary Zell Miller 21
22 Albert Gore Sr. Albert Gore, Sr. February 22, 1981 February 22, 1985 Revolutionary George Busbee 22
23 Zell B Miller Zell Miller January 1, 1987 January 1, 1993 Democratic Bill Clinton 23
24 R Bill Clinton Bill Clinton January 1, 1993 January 1, 1999 Democratic Al Gore, Jr. 24
25 100px Al Gore, Jr. January 1, 1999 January 1, 2005 Democratic Mel Martinez 25
26 Stephen colbertim Stephen Colbert January 1, 2005 January 1, 2012 Democratic Marco Rubio 26
27 Rick Scott Rick Scott January 1, 2012 incumbent Democratic Sonny Perdue 27