Jacob Devaney, in an October 3 blog for the Huffington Post, thought it was a good time—with Columbus Day coming up and election season upon us—to remind everyone about the roots of the Democracy we all live in. Those roots being the Iroquois Confederacy, which was based on The Great Law of Peace. Many of the teachings of that law, Devaney notes, were incorporated into the United States Constitution.
He quotes from Bruce Johansen’s book Forgotten Founders: How the American Indian Helped Shape Democracy, which says: “The Iroquoian system, expressed through its constitution, ‘The Great Law of Peace,’ rested on assumptions foreign to the monarchies of Europe: it regarded leaders as servants of the people, rather than their masters, and made provisions for the leaders’ impeachment for errant behavior. The Iroquois’ law and custom upheld freedom of expression in political and religious matters, and it forbade the unauthorized entry of homes. It provided for political participation by women and the relatively equitable distribution of wealth.”
Devaney goes on to note how Christopher Columbus was an immigrant to what he called the New World, as well as how many are now calling Columbus Day Native American Day instead.
To read the rest of Devaney’s full blog, click here.