The constitution was copied almost verbatim from the U.S. Constitution with a few significant changes:
- The preamble omitted the general welfare clause and the phrase "a more perfect Union" and added a clause after "We the People" to make it clear that "the People" were acting through sovereign and independent states.
- The Confederate Constitution did away with the old cumbersome language of the U.S. Constitution -- "persons held to service or labor" -- and called a slave a slave.
- The importation of slaves from abroad was prohibited, but slavery would be protected in any new territory the Confederacy might acquire.
- Protective tariffs were forbidden, as were appropriations for internal improvements.
- The president would be limited to one six-year term, but was given a line item veto on appropriations bills.