Iriquois Confederacy Essay, Research Paper
The Iroquois are an American Indian confederacy of New York originally consisting of the Cayuga, Mohawk, Oneida, Onondaga, Seneca, and Tuscarora tribes. When the constitution of the United States was being written it was proposed that the new government should be formed along the lines of the Iroquois League of Nations, which had been functioning as a democratic government for hundreds of years. The Iroquois had a system that seemed to meet most of the demands put forth by the parties at the debates.
The founder of the Iroquois Confederacy is acknowledged to be Kedanawida, who was from the Mohawk tribe. He formed the League of Nations to stop the tribes from having wars with each other. Dekanawida became friends with another Mohawk by the name of Hahyonhwatha (Hiawatha) who was his chief spokesman. Together they traveled around to the different tribes and introduced them to the idea of a League of Nations.
In one article on the Iroquois it stated that the Iroquois government paralleled the Executive, Legislative, and Judiciary branches of the United States government as described in our Constitution. No specific examples were cited but it can be assumed that their government had a system of checks and balances, or in other words, one person didn’t control the government and the people. Early explorers and colonists described the Iroquois as being well established, with a democratic government, with a form of religion that acknowledged a Creator in heaven, and a strong sense of family which was based on and controlled by their women. All of this had existed for many generations prior to the discoveries by the explorers.
The Iroquois were very peaceful people and at one point moved from New York to North Carolina to avoid conflict with the immigrating white settlers. At this point when the white people were first coming across and settling the Iroquois owned much of the eastern United States. Our ancestors drove them off of their lands to form their own colonies.
Even though the Iroquois are probably responsible for the makeup of our own constitution we seem to thank them by driving them off of their land. Native American’s have been pushed off of their lands and onto small reservations so we may colonize and form new states. They were here first yet we seem to think that we should get first choice of where we want to live and put them in the left over areas, which are much smaller in comparison to the land we own.