Native American Influence on the Constitution Essay

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Feryl Cutkomp Hist 331 Dr. Warren 02/19/14 Native American Influence on the Constitution Native Americans are looked over quite a bit in Revolutionary times in America. They are seen as very insignificant until the beginning of the nineteenth century, but some historians believe that they may have had a large amount of influence on the drafting of the United States Constitution. The Iroquois, to be specific, are the group of Native Americans that most historians like to look at for this proposal. They argue that the Iroquois had been practicing the very same ideals that are present in the Constitution for years before it had been written. The Iroquois had a type of government set up that is most commonly referred to as the Iroquois League. This League was said to have been an example that the Founding Fathers looked to in order to set up the Constitution. But how close is that to the truth? Samuel Payne Jr. believes that the Iroquois had very little to do with the founding of the United States. He does not believe that the Iroquois League was a major factor in how the Constitution came to be. In his essay, “The Iroquois League, the Articles of Confederation, and the Constitution”, he argues that American colonies had introduced these ideas of freedoms and rights independent of the influence of the Iroquois. He believes these ideas originated from the Old World values from Europe. He gives the example that the colony New England had created a confederation in 1643 which was well before diplomatic relations were ever made with the Iroquois. Payne instead supports the idea that the colonists looked to European experience of confederations instead. Payne refutes any claim of Iroquois influence on early American politics, but does not stop there. Later in his essay, Payne goes further into Iroquois influence on American politics regarding the Constitution
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