Year
1861
Month Day
March 11

Confederate states adopt new constitution

In Montgomery, Alabama, delegates from South Carolina, Mississippi, Florida, Alabama, Georgia, Louisiana, and Texas adopt the Permanent Constitution of the Confederate States of America.

The constitution resembled the Constitution of the United States, even repeating much of its language, but was actually more comparable to the Articles of Confederation–the initial post-Revolutionary War U.S. constitution–in its delegation of extensive powers to the states. The constitution also contained substantial differences from the U.S. Constitution in its protection of slavery, which was “recognized and protected” in slave states and territories. However, in congruence with U.S. policy since the beginning of the 19th century, the foreign slave trade was prohibited. The constitution provided for six-year terms for the president and vice president, and the president was ineligible for successive terms. Although a presidential item veto was granted, the power of the central Confederate government was sharply limited by its dependence on state consent for the use of any funds and resources.

Although Britain and France both briefly considered entering the Civil War on the side of the South, the Confederate States of America, which survived until April 1865, never won foreign recognition as an independent government.

FACT CHECK: We strive for accuracy and fairness. But if you see something that doesn't look right, click here to contact us! HISTORY reviews and updates its content regularly to ensure it is complete and accurate.

ALSO ON THIS DAY

General MacArthur leaves Corregidor

After struggling against great odds to save the Philippines from Japanese conquest, U.S. General Douglas MacArthur abandons the island fortress of Corregidor under orders from President Franklin Roosevelt. Left behind at Corregidor and on the Bataan Peninsula were 90,000 American ...read more

Terrorists bomb trains in Madrid

On March 11, 2004, 193 people are killed and nearly 2,000 are injured when 10 bombs explode on four trains in three Madrid-area train stations during a busy morning rush hour. The bombs were later found to have been detonated by mobile phones. The attacks, the deadliest against ...read more

Paul McCartney knighted

On March 11, 1997, Paul McCartney, a former member of the most successful rock band in history, The Beatles, was knighted by Queen Elizabeth II for his “services to music.” The 54-year-old lad from Liverpool became Sir Paul in a centuries-old ceremony of pomp and solemnity at ...read more

Lawrence Welk is born

For the generation that grew up on the big bands of the '30s and '40s, The Lawrence Welk Show was a blessed island of calm in a world gone mad for rock and roll, and it aired like clockwork every Saturday night from 1955 to 1982.  But for the children and grandchildren watching ...read more

“Cops” makes TV debut

On March 11, 1989, Cops, a documentary-style television series that follows police officers and sheriff’s deputies as they go about their jobs, debuts on Fox. Cops went on to become one of the longest-running shows in television history. The show, which was created by John ...read more