Iroquois Confederacy Constitution

Native Indian Tribe

The Iroquois Confederacy Constitution
Read the 117 Articles of the Iroquois Confederacy Constitution. The Iroquois Confederacy was a powerful  confederation of Native American Indians which was originally composed of 5 tribes consisting of the Mohawk, Oneida, Onondaga, Cayuga and Seneca people. The Great Law of Peace was the basis of the Iroquois Confederacy Constitution which was brought to the tribes by the prophet Deganawida and his spokesman, Hiawatha. 

The Iroquois Confederacy Constitution was also known as the "League of Peace and Power". Deganawida and Hiawatha brought about an alliance of the Iroquois tribes by bringing a message, known as the  Gayanashagowa or the Great Law of Peace, to the warring Iroquoian nations. The Great Law of Peace was the basis of the Iroquois Confederacy Constitution. The Great Law of Peace or the Iroquois Confederacy Constitution is divided into 117 articles.

Iroquois Confederacy Constitution
Read about the History and Founding of the Iroquois Confederacy and discover interesting facts and information about the founders Deganawida the Great Peacemaker and his spokesman Hiawatha, the tribes of the league, where they were located with a map for reference, the People of the Longhouse, the Hiawatha Wampum Belt, the Tree of Peace, Great Law of Peace and the Great Council.

Full Text of the Iroquois Confederacy Constitution
The Constitution contained details of the organization, and function of the Iroquois League. The Constitution covered subjects including the Role of the Great Council, Council membership, Eligibility and Resignation, Candidates, Election of Pine Tree Chiefs, Names, Duties and Rights of War Chiefs, Women, Clans and Consanguinity, Official Symbolism, Wampum, Laws of Adoption, Laws of Emigration, Rights of Foreign Nations, Rights and Powers of War, Treason or Secession of a Nation, Rights of the People of the Five Nations, Religious Ceremonies Protected, Protection of the House and Funeral Addresses. The full text of the 117 Articles of the Iroquois Confederacy Constitution can be accessed via the following links:

Iroquois Confederacy Constitution: Articles 01 - 12 : Role of the Great Council

Iroquois Confederacy Constitution: Articles 13 - 19 : Council membership, Wampum

Iroquois Confederacy Constitution: Articles 20 - 26 : Eligibility and Resignation

Iroquois Confederacy Constitution: Articles 27 - 34 : Candidates

Iroquois Confederacy Constitution: Articles 35 - 54 : Election of Pine Tree Chiefs,
Names, Duties and Rights of War Chiefs, Women, Clans and Consanguinity

Iroquois Confederacy Constitution: Articles 55 - 65 : Official Symbolism and Wampum

Iroquois Confederacy Constitution: Articles 66 - 78 : Laws of Adoption, Laws of Emigration
and Rights of Foreign Nations

Iroquois Confederacy Constitution: Articles 79 - 91 : Rights and Powers of War

Iroquois Confederacy Constitution: Articles 92 - 106 : Treason or Secession of a Nation,
Rights of the People of the Five Nations, Religious Ceremonies Protected

Iroquois Confederacy Constitution: Articles 107 - 117 : Protection of the House, Funeral Addresses

Iroquois Confederacy Constitution and the U.S. Constitution
The democratic ideals of the Gayanashagowa (Iroquois Confederacy Constitution) provided inspiration to Benjamin Franklin, James Madison and the other great authors of the United States Constitution. Many of the articles are very similar but there is a major difference between The Great Law of Peace and the original US Constitution. This was the original denial of suffrage to women, and rule of majority as opposed to consensus in the US Constitution. The women of the Iroquois tribes exercised great influence in the government of the people. Elderly women had the right to sit in the councils and the power to exercise a veto on a declaration of war. The women were also allowed to demand a cessation of hostilities. In October 1988, the US Congress passed Concurrent Resolution 331 to recognize the influence of the Iroquois Confederacy Constitution upon the US Constitution and Bill of Rights.

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