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.
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
Place of Original Publication
American Indian Law Review
15 American Indian Law Review 295 (1991)
Jensen, Erik M., "The Imaginary Connection Between the Great Law of Peace and the United States Constitution: A Reply to Professor Schaaf" (2006). Faculty Publications. 301.