Newspaper article MinnPost.com

The Six-Year Presidential Term?

Newspaper article MinnPost.com

The Six-Year Presidential Term?

Article excerpt

Stumbled on an interesting fact the other day while reading a New Republic piece by historian Sean Wilentz.

In 1861, when the Confederate States of America created a Constitution for their short-lived Confederacy, they gave the president a six-year term but barred him from seeking a second term.

In general, the CSA Constitution was closely modeled on the U.S.A. Constitution. Most of the changes were very states' rightish, designed to curb what were viewed as the excesses in the way federal power had grown over its first 75 years. Other changes were explicitly designed to protect slavery (although the original U.S. version had also protected the slaveocracy).

But the single six-year term for the prez seems different. Apparently, even by 1861, some Americans were tired of seeing presidents who spent too much of their first term positioning themselves politically reelection in their second.

For obvious reasons, we're not accustomed to seeking much positive example from anything done by the Confederacy. …

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