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STRUCTURES OF GOVERNMENT The Iroquois Confederacy.

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Presentation on theme: "STRUCTURES OF GOVERNMENT The Iroquois Confederacy."— Presentation transcript:

1 STRUCTURES OF GOVERNMENT The Iroquois Confederacy

2 Sovereignty 1. Supremacy of authority or rule as exercised by a sovereign or sovereign state. 2. Royal rank, authority, or power. 3. Complete independence and self-government. 4. A territory existing as an independent state.

3 There were about 500 distinct aboriginal nations at the time of first contact with Europeans

4 Aboriginal Perspectives on Government  At the time of first contact, Aboriginal people had well established, long standing governments in place as complex as any found in Europe  Each nation recognized the sovereignty of the other; with many forming trade and political alliances with others  All aboriginal societies contained all elements of political communities and nationhood: their own cultures, languages, values, heritage, and territoriality

5 Aboriginal Government Systems Egalitarian  A political doctrine that holds that all people should be treated as equals and have the same political, economic, social, and civil rights.  Generally it applies to being held equal under the law and society at large.

6 Aboriginal Government Systems Democratic  A form of government in which power is held directly or indirectly by citizens under a free electoral system.  All members of the society (citizens) have equal access to power and all members enjoy universally recognized freedoms and liberties.

7 Aboriginal Government Structures  Government structures in each Aboriginal societies varied  Grounded in world view based on spirituality and living in balance with the environment  Valued and respected the rights of individuals  All had role in the decision making process

8 European Government Systems Absolute Monarchy  A monarchical form of government where the king or queen has absolute power over all aspects of his/her subjects' lives  Society is divided by rigid social classes structure  There is no constitution or legal restriction on the monarch's power

9 The Iroquois Confederacy Who: Who:Mohawk, Oneida, Onondaga, Cayuga, and Seneca What: What:Consisted of five First Nations When: When:Can be traced back to 1142 CE (Tuscaroras joined in 1722) Where: Where:Living south of Lake Ontario Why: Why:The original five First Nations were in a constant state of war and peace between them was needed

10 The Iroquois Confederacy  Founded by Dekanahwideh who travelled urging the Nations to join together under the Great Law of Peace  The Great Law of Peace was an unwritten constitution passed down orally from generation to generation  The Great Law of Peace was used as an influence when the American Constitution was created  Motto of the Five Nations was “One Heart, One Mind, One Law” European illustration by Francis Drake in 1884 depicts Dekanahwideh (left), with his disciple Hiawatha (centre), meeting Atotarho, chief of the Great Council

11 The Iroquois Confederacy  A constitution is a statement of the basic principles and laws of a nation, state, or group, such as the Canada’s constitution, The Constitution Act, 1867  Can be written or unwritten  These are the laws which state how we are to govern ourselves

12 The Iroquois Confederacy  People of the Iroquois Confederacy are known today as the Haudenosaunee  Livelihood as accomplished farmers enabled people to establish communities  Developed a complex system based on democratic principles  Power of government began with the individual and flowed outward to the family, clan, village, nation, and then Confederacy

13 The Iroquois Confederacy  Symbol of the Confederacy is the Longhouse  Traditional seating places: Mohawk: Guarded East Door Seneca: Guarded West Door Onondaga: Tended Hearth and Fire Cayuga: Sitting to the South of the Fire Onieda: Sitting to the North of the Fire

14 The Iroquois Confederacy  Culture was matrilineal – families and clans trace ancestral lines on the mother’s side  Men still became chiefs  Oldest woman in village was known as the Clan Mother – held balance of power and had authority to appoint and remove chiefs  Other roles – caretakers of the land, controlling family economic interests, and educating younger generations

15 The Iroquois Confederacy  Clan chiefs in village formed village council  A village chief was selected to serve on the Nations Council  Nations Council Chief selected for Confederacy Council  Form of representative democracy – members voted on issues at annual meetings – consensus required

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