Abstract

This article challenges the politically correct theory advanced in a 1989 article by Gregory Schaaf, “From the Great Law of Peace to the Constitution of the United States: A Revision of America’s Democratic Roots.” Professor Schaaf argued that large parts of the U.S. Constitution were based on the Great Law of Peace, the founding document of the Iroquois Confederacy. This article points to the lack of primary authority supporting such a counterintuitive proposition and questions the likelihood that Iroquois principles could have silently influenced American founders. Finally, the article questions whether it is desirable to try to further the status of American Indian nations by promulgating a theory that is appealing, but ultimately easily refuted.

Keywords

Gregory Schaaf, From the Great Law of Peace to the Constitution of the United States: A Revision of America’s Democratic Roots, Great Law of Peace, Constitution, Iroquois Confederacy

Publication Date

2006

Document Type

Article

Place of Original Publication

American Indian Law Review

Publication Information

15 American Indian Law Review 295 (1991)

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COinS Erik M. Jensen Faculty Bio