CONSTITUTION OF 1861

RATIFICATION


The Constitution of 1861 was not submitted to the people for ratification, and became operable upon adoption by the Convention, March 20, 1861.

Beginning with the fight over the Ordinance of Secession, the decision on ratification engendered bitter divisions among the delegates, primarily between those from North and South Alabama. The Secessionists, however, consistently held the majority, and effectively blocked efforts by the Pro-Unionists to force votes being taken on submitting the Ordinance of Secession, itself, and the Constitution to the electorate.

Debate over this issue continued long after the Convention adjourned, March 21st. While it is generally accepted that the Constitution would have been ratified by a majority of the electorate, had it been submitted to them, the failure of the Convention to do so served to further divide North and South Alabama at a time when Alabama was preparing for war.


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