Four days after his resignation, Davis was commissioned a Major General of Mississippi troops.
On February 9, 1861, a Constitutional convention at Montgomery, Alabama named him provisional President of the Confederate States of America and he was inaugurated on February 18, 1861. In meetings of his own Mississippi legislature, Davis had argued against secession; but when a majority of the delegates opposed him, he gave in.
The Montgomery Convention marked the formal beginning of the Confederate States of America. Convened in Montgomery, Alabama, and opening on February 4, 1861, the Convention organized a provisional government for the Confederacy and created the Constitution of the Confederate States of America. On January 7, 1861 the committee submitted a secession ordinance accompanied by a report in favor of immediate secession.
George Taliafero Ward, of Leon County, Florida and Jackson Morton, of Santa Rosa County, Florida both former Whigs, led the opposition in an effort to amend the ordinance to defer action until after Georgia and Alabama had seceded and to require popular ratification of the measure. They were overruled and on January 10, the ordinance was passed by a vote of 62 to 7.
The Convention named Jefferson Davis of Mississippi as provisional President of the Confederate States of America and Alexander Stephens of Georgia as Vice-President. The Convention also set dates for a formal election for these offices; both Davis and Stephens were elected without opposition.