The Origins of Modern Democracy

Part of the hegemonous stupidity or just plain ignorance that many people entertain is that modern democracy originated in Greece, with the French Revolution or with US Constitution writers. In other words, it’s the myth that our most modern forms of democracy came from the so-called whites.

(So much for the many diverse lies in our public school books — lies about which I originally learned from Quakers and a Native American childhood friend, Ray Fadden now dead, whom I quote below.)

Here is an overview of the situation:
American History Myths Debunked: No Native Influence on Founding …Indian Country Media Network

In addition, this very short video may be of interest on the topic, especially as it contains factual, historical data in some detail regarding the actual writing of the US Constitution.

The Iroqouis Influence on the Constitution – YouTube

▶ 3:50

Jan 27, 2011 – Uploaded by Massachusetts School of Law at Andover Does the Constitution apply to Native Americans? In this … influenced the American …

I learned much about this topic from my Mohawk childhood friend, Ray Fadden, who used to read wampum belts to me. They look maybe simple, but the information contained in them is quite complex and detailed.


WAMPUM. Bound on strings, wampum (139kb/1sec) beads were used to create intricate patterns on belts. These belts are used as a guide to narrate Haudenosaunee history, traditions and laws, The origins of wampum beads can be traced to Aiionwatha, commonly known as Hiawatha at the founding of the League of Five Nations. – Wampum – Haudenosaunee Confederacy
Frankly, I’m fortunate to have had Quakers (Religious Society of Friends), Ray and others teach me the truth amongst all of the lies and misconceptions that are shoved down the throats of American children. … Let’s confine these childhood lies to the tooth fairy, Santa Claus, Easter Bunny and other mythic characters. …KEEP THEM OUT OF OUR HISTORY BOOKS AND IDEOLOGY! TEACH THE TRUTH INSTEAD AS RAY TRIED TO DO FOR MANY CHILDREN LIKE ME.

For example, he wrote Roots of the Iroquoisfor age Level: 9-12. He wrote many books to educate children.

“Roots Of The Iroquois tells of beginnings of the Iroquois Confederacy or the Haudenosaunee, people of the long house, eventually consisting of 6 bands, the Mohawks, Oneida, Onandagas, Cayugas, Senecas, and in the south, the Tuscarorans. These Native American groups established a coalition government with a Great Law Kalianerakowa, or Great Nice Way. Today historians finally are beginning to realize this confederation and system of government was in fact a viable model for the early American thirteen colonies.” — Midwest Book Revie

Essential for students studying the U.S. Constitution.  Contrary to textbook dogma, the roots of American democracy lay not in European tradition, but in the ideals of the Iroquois Confederacy. Contrary to textbook dogma, the roots of American democracy lay not in European political and religious thought but in the ideals of the Haudenosaunee (Iroquois) Confederacy. Those ideals—freedom of speech, freedom of belief, equality for all, and the right to elect and remove government officials—are mirrored in the principles of the U.S. Constitution. In Roots of the Iroquois, elder and tribal scholar—and, first of all, storyteller—Tehanetorens traces the origins of the Haudenosaunee Confederacy, its history with the white settlers, and how the new American government tried to weaken and destroy it. Along with Kaianerekowa Hotinonsionne/The Great Law of Peace of the Longhouse People and Wampum Belts of the Iroquois, this book is must reading for anyone learning (or teaching) about the U.S. Constitution. – oyate – Roots of the Iroquois

Here, in a nutshell, are Ray’s views on the subject with a preface from his son, John, who illustrated “Roots of the Iroquois.”  They do not surprise me as I grew up with Ray influencing my life, my representation of truth as it actually is and myriad outlooks that I still now hold.
Ray founded: The Six Nations Indian Museum: Mohawk Oneida Onondaga Cayuga

The Six Nations Indian Museum provides for the viewing of 3000-plus artifacts with an emphasis on the culture of the Six Nations of the Iroquois Confederacy (Haudenosaunee). The Six Nations are: Mohawk, Oneida, Onondaga, Cayuga,  Seneca and Tuscarora. The museum features story telling lectures; gift shop carries  Mohawk baskets, beadwork, books, t-shirts, silver jewelry, and acrylic paintings that  reflects Six Nations culture.The museum (family owned-Mohawk of Akwesasne) is located in the Northeastern Adirondack Mountains.

In response to your request for a few paragraphs on the topic of Iroquois democracy and its influences upon the US Constitution, you’ll find below an excerpt that I sent to Ray Fadden’s grandson, Dave, a while back for a project he was doing.  I think I got this from the video, “They Lied To You In School.” … – John [Fadden, Ray’s son]

Regarding “influence” on the US Government, Constitution, etc. by the Haudenosaunee/Iroquois, here are Ray’s own words used in the report by one of his grandson. The information is located here in this video:

▶ 32:28


Sep 18, 2016 – Uploaded by Shawnee Love HHD, PhD

They lied to you in school by Ray Fadden. Shawnee Love HHD, PhD.

Ray’s words transcribed into writing:

“Even the government of the United States of America, actually in many ways is imitating from the government of the Iroquois Confederacy.  The White man across the ocean never had a true democracy.  They’ll take a magnifying glass and they will desperately, frantically and vainly look all over European history to find just one democracy, just one, to make good their claim, and they’ll come up with this:  “I got it in school, you got it in school, my grandchildren will get it in school unless they start telling the truth for a change!”  They’ll say this:  The Ancient Greeks had a democracy… Doesn’t that sound familiar?  They’ll say the Ancient Greeks discovered democracy.  Well, I studied that so-called Greek democracy.  If that’s a democracy, I live on the moon!  Over half of them were slaves with no voice at all.  Hey wait a minute.  Any country that has slavery, and that includes the United States when they started, is NOT a pure democracy.  And I will never understand why they connect George Washington and Thomas Jefferson with liberty, freedom, equality and democracy.  Are they blind or playing stupid?  Washington, they say, had over 400 slaves.  Jefferson had the same number of slaves.  The Iroquois outlawed slavery on all of their territory, and at one time, their territory was as great as the Roman Empire at it’s greatest height. 

Furthermore, in Ancient Greece, your mother, your wife, your sister, your daughter wouldn’t have a voice, nor would they have a voice anywhere in Europe.  Women were considered chattel, property, so how in the name of heavens can they call the Greek government or any European government a democracy, when one half of them were eliminated because they were women?? 

In my own lifetime, and I’m not 100 years old yet, I can remember myself when not one White nation in the entire world gave their women a voice.  I can remember that.  The first one across there to give their women a voice was New Guinea, north of Australia, and I’m not sure you call them White, three fourths of them are dark. The first one in Europe was England, just before World War One, the United States right after World War One.  Spain gave their women a voice 30 some years ago.  I THOUGHT Switzerland gave their women a voice, but last month there was a Swiss tourist who came here, he sat right on that bench, and I asked him about it.  “Oh, he said…  It didn’t pass in all of our states.”  And guess what little White country last year, as late as that, finally gave their women a voice?  Lichtenstein (west-Switzerland).  The Iroquois, and not only the Iroquois, but most of these Indian people under them, not only gave their women a voice, they gave them far more rights that White women posses today in this country America, contrary to the Big Lie that was slapped in my face when I was a little boy going to school.  How Indians treat their women…  Believe me, White women in this country would envy the rights of Iroquois women.  Many would like to say that great Magna Carta of England had something to do with freedom and democracy, every once in a while that would pop up, the Magna Carta…  Did you ever study it?  The people, who aren’t even mentioned, gave their nobles, their barons a voice, and not much of a voice.  The great mass of people all over Europe in those days, including England were “sirs”, little better than slaves.  And guess who those nobles and barons were? They were little kings themselves. 

I have a suspicion, it is my own theory, I could be wrong, but I’ll bet I’m not, that what politically formed England, gosh, it probably was directly influenced by the French Revolution, for good reason.  Those nobles in England would have lost their heads if those nobles in France thought they didn’t start thinking about their people for a change.  They must have realized it.  “Freedom is very contagious once it gets started, especially amongst an oppressed people.”  Those European Whites were for generations, for centuries, under their dictators, their kings, their caesars, their czars, their popes, their emperors.  And where do you suppose the French got their idea of freedom and democracy from?  Right over here.  The American Revolution, for men like General Lafayette and french soldiers they brought over here, … during the Revolutionary War to help the Americans.  And where do you suppose the Americans got their idea of freedom and democracy?  From the American Indian, especially the Iroquois.  

A very famous lawyer by the name of Felix Cohen, who worked in the interior department of Washington for a number of years, has written a number of books on law, in fact he was considered one of the greatest authorities on the subject in the entire world.  I always felt very lucky to have known him.  He had a camp right over here by the lake, ten miles away.  He was sitting right there on the floor, showed me a photostatic copy of a report given by three British spies who were sent over here to America just before the Revolutionary war to find out why the colonies

were so rebellious against their Mother country.  And it was their report to their superiors back home in England…  and believe me, it was interesting reading.  It was worded something like this: 

The Aborigine of America, meaning the Indian, are a strange people, with peculiar customs and ways, very different from ours in Europe.. 

Why the people actually elect their own leaders.  And if their leaders don’t abide by the will of the people, they are removed from office.  And this is a serious and a dangerous thing.  This is contagious.  Our American colonies are now demanding a voice and a government and something has got to be done about this immediately.  I read the report.  And why they don’t put these things in the school books when they’re studying about Indians, I’ll never know.  I’ll tell you something, you’ll find the truth about the old Indian far more interesting, educational and instructive than that garbage, and I mean dirty garbage with a capital-and-underlined, that has been brain-washing the minds of people, especially children, about Indians for over 200 years.

Now I’m going to explain our government to you briefly.  There is a diagram of it.

Each one of these rectangles the White man called a tribe was actually a State.  And they who sit in the counsel house, they called Chiefs.  Those chiefs, they weren’t like kings and queens and dukes and barons and what-have-you, the noble’s system of Europe, who’s oldest son across the ocean in Europe automatically became king, baron, duke when his father died, regardless of what the people wished.  Under their system, all over Europe, they inherited the right to rule.  Furthermore, it was backed by every one of their religions.  As a matter of fact, at one time, the Church thought that when the king speaks, Gods’ speaking through his mouth, you got to obey him. 

Those Chiefs simply represented their clans, and since everybody belonged to a clan, in plain english, they represented their people, were put in office by their people to represent them and their government.  That was unknown by White men, at least it wasn’t practiced by him before he came to this land.  There was only one other people across the ocean that built a real democracy:  It was not a White race in Europe, it was a Black race in Africa, called Ashantee. 

Now if those Chiefs, if they didn’t do as their people wanted them to do, after the third warning by the women through their War Chief, they were removed from office, replaced by Chiefs who would do as their people wished them to do.  Furthermore, they could never hold public office again ever as long as they lived.  That’s a democracy. You couldn’t do that with a king, you’d lose by “divine right”, whatever that means.  They had several state governments whereby they controlled their internal state-of-affairs, they had their central federal government at the capital Onondaga where they had two houses.  A bill, in order to become a law, had to go through those two houses…  Now what does that sound like?   THERE’S where they got their idea of democracy, not from the land of kings and queens across the ocean, don’t let them kid you!” – Ray Fadden

Yes, don’t let them kid you. Let’s get rid of hoodwinking once and for all! Yes, let’s speak truth to power!

Sally Dugman is a writer in MA, USA


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