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Leadership Qualities of Jefferson Davis

Jefferson Davis was one of the most influential politicians in the 19th century. He was an important military figure serving as Colonel of Mississippi rifles in the Mexican war and bringing in important military inventions as Secretary of State. His most important role came as President of the Confederate States of America, trying to lead the new nation to victory against the Union. He was hailed as a hero in the South. During the war, he had many enemies, but most rallied around and cherished him, even as they were forced to give up.

He had four main characters that made him a great leader—trust in God, decisiveness, choice of men and integrity.

Davis was a Christian who attended church, but as the Confederacy entered dark times he turned to God even more. He frequently referred to God in both public and private writings and requested his help in their cause

Davis demonstrated decisiveness as the leader of the Confederacy. He made mistakes, but he was not rash, although he made his mind up quickly and worked to implement his decision. Davis made errors, but indecision was not one of them; he was confident his views were indisputable.

Davis had the ability to choose good men as his subordinates. He steered clear of political appointments and selected officers for their qualifications. He was loyal to his friends and cool to his enemies. One of his greatest services to the Confederacy was to appoint Robert E. Lee Commander of the Army of Northern Virginia; he made history as one of the greatest generals in modern times.

Jefferson Davis’s had the strength of integrity. When he swore to uphold the Constitution, he believed that he had to obey the oath. He believed that it was his duty to strictly apply his interpretation of the Constitution. He believed in the State's Right doctrine with all his heart, and applied it throughout his life. Although the Confederacy was defeated, Davis hoped that the principles for which they had fought would still live on.


Source: Leadership Qualities of Jefferson Davis
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