DBQ Summary: The Six Nations Of The Iroquois Confederacy

The Six Nations of the Iroquois Confederacy had a significant impact on their area of origin, upstate New York, and parts of the surrounding Northeast U.S.. The Mohawk, Oneida, Onondaga, Cayuga, Seneca, and Tuscarora peoples comprised the Six Nations of the Confederacy after 1722. Their importance on the original American frontier varied throughout the decades of their prominence. However, during the onset of the American Revolution, the Iroquois faced a deeply troubling and confederacy shattering question, who would they support in this continental conflict? Treaties had been made with both the American colonists and British government in the past. Treaties aside, all six nations had their reasons for who they ultimately supported in the …show more content…
Diplomacy, specifically, had a lot of distinct intricacies to it. It’s estimated that the League was founded anywhere from 1450-1650, but, something that later became an important aspect of Iroquois culture was condoling death rituals for the dead and their relatives. “No diplomacy could be conducted, whether with other Indian nations or with whites, until each side had been condole for the loss of its dead.” Another critical aspect of Iroquois diplomacy was the wampum; shell beads of various different colors meant to notate a pledge of truthfulness. Something that eventually frustrated Iroquois peoples was the lack of value placed on the beads when negotiating with white people. Written documentation was often requested by Iroquois diplomats, but sometimes not received. “At the Treaty Fort Stanwix in 1783, the Indians were extremely frustrated in their attempts to secure a written copy of the American commissioners’ speeches and the treaty, for the commissioners insisted that the wampum they had presented in council should be sufficient.” Instances, such as this, breeded mistrust and eventually resentment of many members of the Six Nations towards American …show more content…
It established a brand new independent country, began the dismantlement of the British Empire, inspired others to follow suit in revolutionary action, and upset the infrastructure of the Iroquois Confederacy. The Six Nations that were once a powerful and dominating union would never be the same. Many were honor bound to loyalty, especially with regards to Brant and his assistance of the British military. However, in the face of war, loyalty and even treaties are often forgotten. Although the Iroquois didn’t ultimately support the American colonists as fervently as the British, the colonists would ultimately emerge victorious as a nation united.

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