Few expected the contentious, disruptive politics that dominated the Confederacy. In the first exciting days of independence, Southern leaders looked forward to a purified, harmonious government. Liberated at last, they said, from unconstitutional aggressions and the pollution of Northern parties and demagogues, the Confederate government had a bright future. Even Jefferson Davis, the newly chosen president, who was more realistic than most, proclaimed a new era based on the ties uniting all whites in a slaveholding society. “It is joyous to look around upon a people united in heart,” he declared as he took up his duties.