The Imaginary Connection between the Great Law of Peace and the United States Constitution: A Reply to Professor Schaaf

American Indian Law Review, Vol. 15, p. 25, 1991

16 Pages Posted: 10 Aug 2009

See all articles by Erik M. Jensen

Erik M. Jensen

Case Western Reserve University School of Law

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

JEL Classification: K10, K39

Suggested Citation

Jensen, Erik M., The Imaginary Connection between the Great Law of Peace and the United States Constitution: A Reply to Professor Schaaf. American Indian Law Review, Vol. 15, p. 25, 1991. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1444999

Erik M. Jensen (Contact Author)

Case Western Reserve University School of Law ( email )

11075 East Boulevard
Cleveland, OH 44106-7148
United States
216-368-3613 (Phone)
216-368-2086 (Fax)

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