1. A league or compact for mutual support or common action; alliance
2. A combination of persons for unlawful purposes; conspiracy
The 11 southern states that seceded from the United States in 1861; Also called: Confederate States of America, South, Dixie, Dixieland.
In US history, popular name for the Confederate States of America, the government established by 7 (later 11) Southern states in Feb 1861 when they seceded from the Union, precipitating the American Civil War. Richmond, Virginia, was the capital, and Jefferson Davis the president. The Confederacy fell after its army was defeated 1865 and General Robert E Lee surrendered.
The Confederacy suffered from a lack of political leadership as well as a deficit of troops and supplies. Still, Southern forces won many significant victories. Confederate leaders had hoped to enlist support from Britain and France, but the slavery issue and the Confederacy's uncertain prospects prompted the Europeans to maintain neutrality, although they provided supplies for a time. The Union's blockade and the grinding weight of superior resources made the outcome virtually inevitable 1865. The states of the Confederacy were South Carolina, Georgia, Florida, Alabama, Louisiana, Mississippi, Texas, Virginia, Tennessee, Arkansas, and North Carolina.