Us Constitution Thesis

Us Constitution Thesis-41
Abstract The Iroquois influence thesis on the American constitution which paved the way for the controversial theory of the Iroquois Confederacy and Great Law of Peace was pioneered by Donald Grinde Jr. For the purpose of this research, the paper aims to prove that: The Iroquois League influenced the framing of the American Constitution. The influence thesis has been very controversial due to certain criticisms of the proponents’ logic of the study and treatment of its sources.

Abstract The Iroquois influence thesis on the American constitution which paved the way for the controversial theory of the Iroquois Confederacy and Great Law of Peace was pioneered by Donald Grinde Jr. For the purpose of this research, the paper aims to prove that: The Iroquois League influenced the framing of the American Constitution. The influence thesis has been very controversial due to certain criticisms of the proponents’ logic of the study and treatment of its sources.

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It is with this respect that Grinde and Johansen maintained that the League of the Iroquois together with its representative form of democracy had shaped the federal constitution and also became a catalyst for American unity.

Despite of the strength of these two major groups of arguments, criticisms still emerged in terms of the validity of its claims.

In order to prove this thesis statement, the research provided arguments from various academic journal articles stating the reasons why and how the Iroquois influenced the current Constitution.

To assure objectivity in the research, counterarguments were also presented and various criticisms were taken into consideration; consequently these were critically compared to the arguments leaning towards in favor of the Iroquois League influence.

The research aims to: (1) provide a scholarly secondary data review of the arguments pertaining to the role of the Iroquois League in shaping the American Constitution; (2) present the counter-arguments pertaining to the criticisms of the role of the Iroquois League in shaping the American Constitution; and finally (3) provide a synthesis of the two contrasting views and present the author’s analysis and stand in relation with the problem. On their book, the Exemplars of Liberty, Grinde and Johansen said that they have strong claims on the extent of the native Indian’s influence on the Constitution and there are a number of causal arguments that came from circumstantial evidences that could support such (Levy 1996, 589).

The Iroquois Influence Thesis The Iroquois “influence thesis” on the American constitution which paved the way for the controversial theory of the Iroquois Confederacy and Great Law of Peace was pioneered by Donald Grinde Jr. Tooker said that there are two major arguments supporting the influence thesis.Consequently, the author said that these “wild savages” selected their “own Sachems and forms of religious worship; and made their own laws and tribal regulations” (307) which perfectly serves their need for the state of affairs that they are in.Furthermore, the author claimed that the “white men” experienced problems due to their “unreasonable laws and regulations imposed by a distant king and his local appointees” (307).It is with this respect that the authors concluded that American democracy happened due to the synthesis of Native American political concepts.Grinder and Johansen said that this is evident on the interpretive and documentary evidences of the transference of American Indian perspectives to the American people is vivid in the colonial, revolutionary and national records of the country.Consequently, the second group of arguments focused on the political influences of the Iroquois League that largely came about due to the supposed Franklin-Canastego connection as evident on the certain passages that show similarities between their words.In relation with this, it has also been theorized that the Albany Plan of Union was a result of Franklin’s meeting with the Iroquois.This is evident on instances wherein the “white mean” were often denied of the right for a fair trial by the jury and were often given by huge and unjust taxes (307).On the other hand, the second major argument could be lifted from the proponents of the influence thesis: Grinde and Johansen. Hewitt who is a Smithsonian Institution ethnologist and Tuscarora (591).In addition with this Payne also asserted that the Articles of Confederation was created 20 years after the supposed influence of Benjamin Franklin, hence the weakening of the claim that the Iroquois League indeed directly influenced the creation of the American Constitution.Background of the Problem On 1987, the 1987 Bicentennial of the United States Senate passed Senator Daniel Inouye’s claim “to acknowledge the contribution of the Iroquois Confederacy of Nation to the development of the United States Constitution” (Levy 1996, 589).

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