The Impact of the Iroquois Confederacy on the Creation of the United States Government

The Impact of the Iroquois Confederacy on the Creation of the United States Government

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"One arrow is easily broken, but tied together, no man can break the bundle."
-Peacemaker

This philosophy was at the core of the powerful Iroquois League of Five Nations. The League of Five Nations, or Iroquois Confederacy as it is more commonly called, was a thriving and well-functioning form of government very similar to that of the United States Government. Hundreds of years before "civilized" man arrived in the New World -- historians think as early as 1400 A.D.-- the Iroquois had created a radically new and well-organized form of government unlike any other before it. This new form of government was the idea of two peaceful men named Hiawatha and Deganawida (McClard 47). Hiawatha and Deganawida realized that the five Iroquois tribes were constantly fighting with one another resulting in many innocent deaths and ongoing tribal wars. As a solution to the constant stream of violence between the Iroquois people, they proposed a union between the five tribes that would make the Iroquois nation as a whole stronger and more powerful, while uniting their "brothers" together in friendship. The Iroquois Confederacy was a lasting union between the five Iroquois tribes: the Mohawk, Oneida, Onondaga, Cayuga, and Seneca. This union of five Iroquois tribes would prove to have a great deal of impact on the founding fathers of the United States. The grounding principles of unity, freedom of the people, and democracy that defined the Iroquois Confederacy very much impressed certain men who were charged with designing the new government of the United States.

By the time the Europeans arrived in America, the League was already hundreds of years old (McClard 75) and running just as smoothly as when Hiawatha and Deganawida created it so man...


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