Indian influence

Discussion in 'History Forum' started by Stratiotes, Oct 25, 2004.

  1. Stratiotes

    Stratiotes
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    How much influence do you think the American Indian tribal governments such as The Iroquois Confederacy have on our founders? I think it must have been far more than we usually think since most of them were from monarchacies where the idea of a democratic republic was rather foreign to their thinking. There are exceptions - Switzerland being one. But, judging just from the state names it is interesting to note how dominant the monarch was in their thinking (e.g., Mary-land, Georgia, Virginia - all named in honor of European monarchs).
     
  2. CoachC

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    The common view of the Indian was that of a savage. Even the civilized eastern woodland Indians were viewed this way.

    I think if you want to know where they learned there democratic ideas I would list the following.

    1. Classical Education- Ancient Athens, the Roman Republic, One of the first cities west of the Blue Ridge was Cinncinati named for the Roman Republican general Cinncinatus. He left his fields to fight the barbarians and then went right back to his fields despite the opportunity to gain greater political power.

    2. Enlightenment Philosophy the works of John Locke and Rousseau.

    3. I also think their had to be so much that appeared Alien about indian culture to the FF's that I don't see that it would be a large influence.
     
  3. mioque

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    My own country was a very succesfull republic in those days and that certainly had an influence.
     
  4. Daisy

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    Stratiotes,

    I think you got that idea from "Lies My Teacher Told Me", which as far as I know is accurate, but I haven't seen it explored elsewhere. I wish I knew more about it, but as CoachC says, the native Americans have been dismissed as ignorant, wild savages. There is the equally bad (unrealistic) school that elevates them, per Rousseau, to Noble Savage and spiritual shamans at one with the natural world.

    This is a bit of history I'd like to know more about.
     
  5. Dr. Bob

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    Overall the AmerIndians were animistic blood-based clans that, as early Baptist colonists noted, desperately needed the Gospel.

    Their entire way of life, though some were sedentary and appeared "civilized" was a far cry from anything parallel in Western Civilization.

    Lots of myths about these early immigrants to America abound, but that they were civilized [by Western or Biblical standards) is a myth that needs to die.
     
  6. billwald

    billwald
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    What has civilization accomplished except producing a more sanitary and economical means of killing?
     
  7. rsr

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    The evidence for Iroquois influence on the Constitution is very weak. The Founders were fluent in the classics and French philosophy, as well as Hume and Locke. They have left behind precious little to indicate Iroquois influence.
     
  8. The Galatian

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  9. Stratiotes

    Stratiotes
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    Excellant point. I suppose one of the marks of "civilization" would be abortion on demand? Sometimes I think we hold ourselves with a little too much regard.
     

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