Author Topic: Constitution Was Based On This  (Read 3064 times)

Offline Solitary

Constitution Was Based On This
« on: July 16, 2013, 03:58:47 PM »
Being 1/4 Cherokee and 1/4 Choctaw it really drives me crazy when Christians rewrite history about Native Americans and our Constitution. Here is why: This curricular unit looks at the influence one Native American culture had on the "Founding Fathers" ideas about democracy, governmental structures, the rights of the individual and the public good. Using primary sources, students will  compare and contrast the differences between  Native American and European cultures and how  this affected governance. This will lead to a systematic comparison of the Iroquois Confederacy's Great Law of Peace and the US Constitution.



"Introduction To The Iroquois Constitution" -

"During the bi-centennial year of The Constitution of the United States, a number of books were written concerning the origin of that long-revered document. One of these, The Genius of the People, alleged that after the many weeks of debate a committee sat to combine the many South Carolina. He had served in an earlier time, along with Ben Franklin and others, at the Stamp Act Congress, held in Albany, New York. This Committee of Detail was having trouble deciding just how to formalize the many items of discussion into one document that would satisfy one and all.

 Rutledge proposed they model the new government they were forming into something along the lines of the Iroquois League of which he had observed in Albany. While there were many desirable, as well as undesirable, models from ancient and modern histories in Europe and what we know now as the Middle East, only the Iroquois had a system that seemed to meet most of the demands espoused by the many parties to the debates. The Genius of the People alleged that the Iroquois had a Constitution which began: "We the people, to form a union...."

That one sentence was enough to light a fire under me, and cause me to do some deep research into ancient Iroquoian lore. I never did find that one sentence backed up in what writings there drafting of our own Constitution, and we present-day Americans owe them a very large debt. At the time of the founding of the Iroquois League of Nations, no written language existed; we have only the ear was a written language, and interpreters available, to record that early history. One such document is listed below.

There are several other documents now available in various places which refer to the original founding of the Iroquois, and they seem to substantiate this document as probably truthful and accurate. This version was prepared by Arthur C. Parker, Archeologist of the State Museum in New York in 1915, and published by the University of the State of New York as Bulletin 184 on April 1, 1916. It is entitled: The Constitution of the Five Nations - or - The Iroquois Book of the Great Law. In it, you will find close parallels to our Executive, Legislative and Judiciary branches of government as originally described in our U. S. Constitution.

You will find it very difficult to keep in mind that it survives after some 500 or 600 years, and was originated by people that our ancestors mistakenly considered as "savages". Some sources place the origin of the Five Nation Confederacy as early as 1390 AD, but others insist it was prepared about 1450-1500 AD; in any case, it was well before any possible contamination by European invaders. Early explorers and colonists found the Iroquois well established, as they had for many generations: with a democratic government; with a form of religion that acknowledged a Creator in heaven; with a strong sense of family which was based on, and controlled by, their women; and many other surprises you will soon discover.

It must also be pointed out that this document refers to the "Five" Nations, while other references to the Confederacy speak of the "Six" nations. From the inception, there were the Five Nations discussed in this Constitution. In about 1715, the Tuscarora Nation, once part of the Iroquois peoples in a much earlier-period of their history, moved up from North Carolina to avoid warfare with the invading white settlers, and were adopted into the Confederacy. At this point in time, the Iroquois controlled many parts of our now eastern states from their homelands in what is now New York State."





Solitary
« Last Edit: July 16, 2013, 04:46:04 PM by Solitary »
There is nothing more frightful than ignorance in action.

Offline stromboli

Re: Constitution Was Based On This
« Reply #1 on: July 16, 2013, 04:16:21 PM »
http://americancreation.blogspot.com/20 ... ce-on.html

Quote
Here at American Creation, we have long debated the influences that motivated the Founding Fathers to draft the American Constitution. Everyone from John Locke to Rousseau, Montesquieu to the Holy Bible have been discussed at some length. And while these influences were undoubtedly important, to the formation of the Constitution, there is at least the possibility of a more local influence at play.

Recent scholarship on the history of the American Constitution has uncovered some interesting insights into the role that various Native American tribes may have had on the formation of the Constitution. James Mann, one of the leading writers on this topic, has stated the following with regards to this provocative Constitution/Native American connection:
So vivid were these examples of democratic self-government [from colonial Indian history] that some historians and activists have argued that the [Indians'] Great Law of Peace directly inspired the American Constitution. Taken literally, this assertion seems implausible. With its grant of authority to the federal government to supersede state law, its dependence on rule by the majority rather than consensus and its denial of suffrage to women, the Constitution as originally enacted was not at all like the Great Law. But in a larger sense the claim is correct. The framers of the Constitution, like most colonists in what would become the United States, were pervaded by Indian images of liberty.

Quote
Skeptics of course point out that the overwhelming majority of written material from the Founders present at the Constitutional Convention contains nothing of their debates regarding the Iroquois Indians. In addition, there are no records or written documents from the Iroquois Confederacy that could substantiate any claim as to their similarities with the government established in the Constitution. With that said, keep in mind two things: first the surviving written record of the Constitutional Convention is relatively small -- most of which is found in the writings of James Madison. The delegates agreed to keep it as such in order to protect the "legacies" of the various participants. Second, the Iroquois Confederacy was predominantly illiterate, meaning that a search for a written historical document would prove futile. However, if oral history is taken into account, some scholars of the Iroquois argue that the confederation they established has a very close resemblance to the Constitution.

Pro and con. I have no doubt there were Native American influences, because much of our history is influenced by them. Just look through all the city and place names in the US and you get an idea. Robert Pirsig, in his book "Lila", a follow up on "Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance" made mention of the philosophical and political influences to our culture by natives. I have also heard that the Iriquois Confederacy (from my mother, a history buff) was a huge influence to the Constitution.

Offline mykcob4

Re: Constitution Was Based On This
« Reply #2 on: July 16, 2013, 06:37:16 PM »
As far as I can tell the Constitution, written by James Madison, was first designed by a subcommittee that included Ben Franklin, John Jay, and James Madison. Clearly the entire congress at the time debated several issues of inclussion and exclussion to be written in the Constitution, but every single night Madison would rewrite the entire Constitution every single night of the deliberation.
Influences and models for the Constitution:
1) The writings and theories of John Locke who was a proponate of self destiny and self rule.
2) Thomas Paine who believed that all men are born equal and there was no such thing as devine right.
3) The historical knowledge of Thomas Jefferson who was an expert on the classic and Greek literature and law.
4) And yes, the Iraquoi league of nations.
Some of the southern representatives wanted to copy the Virginia charter which was considered a constitution of the time, but most of the representatives rejected it as being to heavily ruled by church doctrine.
5) The Dutch had a great deal of influence given that this new nation was one of multicultures and immigrants. In particular New York City was considered the melting pot where all peoples and religions were accepted.
In the end our constitution was influenced by the needs of this nation and its people. It rejected the past and embarked on the great experiment. It was never based of judeo-christian principles as evangelicals would have you believe. It was never based on the European structure where by land and birth dictate freedoms. It was based on a practical way to allow all the people to govern in a democratic society. Since it is impractical to have people vote on every single issue, a representative democracy was designed giving everyone the same and equal rights no matter what demographic they fit in.

Offline Shiranu

Re: Constitution Was Based On This
« Reply #3 on: July 16, 2013, 06:40:51 PM »
Quote
Since it is impractical to have people vote on every single issue, a representative democracy was designed giving everyone the same and equal rights no matter what demographic they fit in.

*Unless you were black, Irish, a woman, Native American...

Offline mykcob4

Re: Constitution Was Based On This
« Reply #4 on: July 16, 2013, 06:42:49 PM »
Quote from: "Shiranu"
Quote
Since it is impractical to have people vote on every single issue, a representative democracy was designed giving everyone the same and equal rights no matter what demographic they fit in.

*Unless you were black, Irish, a woman, Native American...
Ah but even Jefferson remarked at the time that "this will never be a nation until the great crime of humanity is cured." So the Constitution was designed as a living document to rectify the wrongs.

Offline Shiranu

Re: Constitution Was Based On This
« Reply #5 on: July 16, 2013, 06:44:41 PM »
Quote from: "mykcob4"
Quote from: "Shiranu"
Quote
Since it is impractical to have people vote on every single issue, a representative democracy was designed giving everyone the same and equal rights no matter what demographic they fit in.

*Unless you were black, Irish, a woman, Native American...
Ah but even Jefferson remarked at the time that "this will never be a nation until the great crime of humanity is cured." So the Constitution was designed as a living document to rectify the wrongs.

Yeah, to be fair to them I think quite a few did see the ethical problems, but also realized the political impossibility of fixing them.

Offline AllPurposeAtheist

Re: Constitution Was Based On This
« Reply #6 on: July 16, 2013, 11:09:29 PM »
If it was indeed based on Xtian principles then they would have simply handed power over to Rome and the pope which they obviously did not.
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Offline gussy

Re: Constitution Was Based On This
« Reply #7 on: July 17, 2013, 01:45:16 AM »
During the early settlement of North America, the settlers would have found the natives' way of life much preferable to their own.  Jamestown had difficulty keeping their own people from running off to join the Indians. Their culture must have had an influence on early settlers to the continent.  Religious fundamentalists holding town hall meetings to decide matters probably didn't happen too much in Europe but it was common in North America.  

The natives that did survive the conquest and disease had to scatter into unsettled areas and had to adopt a new way of life.  This became the native culture that most of us know about.  It was a lot less sophisticated than before.  Losing 90% of your population and all of your land can have that effect.  Since this is the culture that we are taught, it seems very unlikely that we would ever have been influenced by them.  But looking back on native culture before it's defeat, it is much easier to see that it had an effect on this country.

Offline Solitary

Re: Constitution Was Based On This
« Reply #8 on: July 17, 2013, 09:00:33 AM »
If you ever want to see what it was really like for Native Americans and the Christians watch the movie: "The Black Robe." Be forewarned, it is the most depressing move I have ever seen, extremely bleak.  :cry:  Solitary
There is nothing more frightful than ignorance in action.

Offline Colanth

Re: Constitution Was Based On This
« Reply #9 on: July 20, 2013, 04:02:57 PM »
Quote from: "AllPurposeAtheist"
If it was indeed based on Xtian principles then they would have simply handed power over to Rome and the pope which they obviously did not.
Not when most Christians in the colonies considered Catholicism the worst thing to ever have happened.  There were laws in the colonies designed to keep Catholicism under control (or worse).  And since there was no single Protestant leader, they had no clergyman to hand the reins over to.  Just imagine the theocracy we'd be living in now if Protestantism had the equivalent of a pope.
Afflicting the comfortable for 70 years.
Science builds skyscrapers, faith flies planes into them.

Re: Constitution Was Based On This
« Reply #10 on: July 20, 2013, 05:17:26 PM »
Quote from: "mykcob4"
As far as I can tell the Constitution, written by James Madison, was first designed by a subcommittee that included Ben Franklin, John Jay, and James Madison. Clearly the entire congress at the time debated several issues of inclussion and exclussion to be written in the Constitution, but every single night Madison would rewrite the entire Constitution every single night of the deliberation.
Influences and models for the Constitution:
1) The writings and theories of John Locke who was a proponate of self destiny and self rule.
2) Thomas Paine who believed that all men are born equal and there was no such thing as devine right.
3) The historical knowledge of Thomas Jefferson who was an expert on the classic and Greek literature and law.
4) And yes, the Iraquoi league of nations.
Some of the southern representatives wanted to copy the Virginia charter which was considered a constitution of the time, but most of the representatives rejected it as being to heavily ruled by church doctrine.
5) The Dutch had a great deal of influence given that this new nation was one of multicultures and immigrants. In particular New York City was considered the melting pot where all peoples and religions were accepted.
In the end our constitution was influenced by the needs of this nation and its people. It rejected the past and embarked on the great experiment. It was never based of judeo-christian principles as evangelicals would have you believe. It was never based on the European structure where by land and birth dictate freedoms. It was based on a practical way to allow all the people to govern in a democratic society. Since it is impractical to have people vote on every single issue, a representative democracy was designed giving everyone the same and equal rights no matter what demographic they fit in.

No, James Madison did have influence, but his main job was simply to be a scribe, a secretary. There is a reason THEY were called the FOUNDER(S=plural), because all of them influenced the outcome. For example, Madison did write the First Amendment, but not as an original he thought of himself, but a model after Jefferson's "Virginia Religious Freedom Act". Ironically, Jefferson most responsible for the First Amendment did not sign the Constitution, because he was overseas at the time of it's ratification.
"We are a nation of Christians and Muslims, Jews and Hindus -- and nonbelievers." Obama
Poetry By Brian37 Like my poetry on Facebook Under BrianJames Rational Poet and also at twitter under Brianrrs37

Offline mykcob4

Re: Constitution Was Based On This
« Reply #11 on: July 20, 2013, 06:58:47 PM »
Quote from: "Brian37"
Quote from: "mykcob4"
As far as I can tell the Constitution, written by James Madison, was first designed by a subcommittee that included Ben Franklin, John Jay, and James Madison. Clearly the entire congress at the time debated several issues of inclussion and exclussion to be written in the Constitution, but every single night Madison would rewrite the entire Constitution every single night of the deliberation.
Influences and models for the Constitution:
1) The writings and theories of John Locke who was a proponate of self destiny and self rule.
2) Thomas Paine who believed that all men are born equal and there was no such thing as devine right.
3) The historical knowledge of Thomas Jefferson who was an expert on the classic and Greek literature and law.
4) And yes, the Iraquoi league of nations.
Some of the southern representatives wanted to copy the Virginia charter which was considered a constitution of the time, but most of the representatives rejected it as being to heavily ruled by church doctrine.
5) The Dutch had a great deal of influence given that this new nation was one of multicultures and immigrants. In particular New York City was considered the melting pot where all peoples and religions were accepted.
In the end our constitution was influenced by the needs of this nation and its people. It rejected the past and embarked on the great experiment. It was never based of judeo-christian principles as evangelicals would have you believe. It was never based on the European structure where by land and birth dictate freedoms. It was based on a practical way to allow all the people to govern in a democratic society. Since it is impractical to have people vote on every single issue, a representative democracy was designed giving everyone the same and equal rights no matter what demographic they fit in.

No, James Madison did have influence, but his main job was simply to be a scribe, a secretary. There is a reason THEY were called the FOUNDER(S=plural), because all of them influenced the outcome. For example, Madison did write the First Amendment, but not as an original he thought of himself, but a model after Jefferson's "Virginia Religious Freedom Act". Ironically, Jefferson most responsible for the First Amendment did not sign the Constitution, because he was overseas at the time of it's ratification.
Madison was far more than a scribe. He had at the time the best legal mind and it served as a resource for the final document.

Re: Constitution Was Based On This
« Reply #12 on: July 21, 2013, 06:48:31 PM »
Quote from: "mykcob4"
Quote from: "Brian37"
Quote from: "mykcob4"
As far as I can tell the Constitution, written by James Madison, was first designed by a subcommittee that included Ben Franklin, John Jay, and James Madison. Clearly the entire congress at the time debated several issues of inclussion and exclussion to be written in the Constitution, but every single night Madison would rewrite the entire Constitution every single night of the deliberation.
Influences and models for the Constitution:
1) The writings and theories of John Locke who was a proponate of self destiny and self rule.
2) Thomas Paine who believed that all men are born equal and there was no such thing as devine right.
3) The historical knowledge of Thomas Jefferson who was an expert on the classic and Greek literature and law.
4) And yes, the Iraquoi league of nations.
Some of the southern representatives wanted to copy the Virginia charter which was considered a constitution of the time, but most of the representatives rejected it as being to heavily ruled by church doctrine.
5) The Dutch had a great deal of influence given that this new nation was one of multicultures and immigrants. In particular New York City was considered the melting pot where all peoples and religions were accepted.
In the end our constitution was influenced by the needs of this nation and its people. It rejected the past and embarked on the great experiment. It was never based of judeo-christian principles as evangelicals would have you believe. It was never based on the European structure where by land and birth dictate freedoms. It was based on a practical way to allow all the people to govern in a democratic society. Since it is impractical to have people vote on every single issue, a representative democracy was designed giving everyone the same and equal rights no matter what demographic they fit in.

No, James Madison did have influence, but his main job was simply to be a scribe, a secretary. There is a reason THEY were called the FOUNDER(S=plural), because all of them influenced the outcome. For example, Madison did write the First Amendment, but not as an original he thought of himself, but a model after Jefferson's "Virginia Religious Freedom Act". Ironically, Jefferson most responsible for the First Amendment did not sign the Constitution, because he was overseas at the time of it's ratification.
Madison was far more than a scribe. He had at the time the best legal mind and it served as a resource for the final document.

No, sorry, but if I was to place bets on the person most responsible for the constitution, Jefferson, hands down, did the most even prior to the discussion of starting a war said that our future was mutual. His "Virgina Religious Freedom act" was the model of the First Amendment that Madison took vision from. My only fault with Jefferson was while he raged against religious tyranny, he did not give enough weight to economic tyranny, which was the basis of the war.

If you check my post I said that ALL THE FOUNDERS had a hand in it. Madison did leave his footprint, but his main job was to take the data in, transcribe what everyone was saying and then condense it. But I will never give him credit for the start of this country . He had a hand in it. But Jefferson is single handedly the most responsible for our Constitution.
"We are a nation of Christians and Muslims, Jews and Hindus -- and nonbelievers." Obama
Poetry By Brian37 Like my poetry on Facebook Under BrianJames Rational Poet and also at twitter under Brianrrs37