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The Iroquois are a playable civilization.

Iroquois Empire
Civilization
Homeland North American
Leaders


Description Edit

The Iroquois Confederacy (Haudenosaunee, also known as the League of Peace and Power, Five Nations, or Six Nations) is a group of First Nations/Native Americans. The Confederacy was based, at the time of the arrival of the Europeans, in what is now upstate New York, as well as parts of Pennsylvania, Ontario, and Quebec.

This union of nations was established prior to major European contact, replete with a constitution known as the Gayanashagowa (or "Great Law of Peace") recorded with the help of a memory device in the form of special beads called wampum that have inherent spiritual value (wampum has been innacurately compared to money in other cultures). Most Western anthropologists speculate that this constitution was created between the middle 1400s and early 1600s, but other scholars who account for Iroquois oral tradition argue that the event took place as early as 1100, with many arguing for August 31, 1142 based on a coinciding solar eclipse (see Fields and Mann, American Indian Culture and Research Journal, vol. 21, #2). Some Westerners have also suggested that the Constitution was written with European help, although most dismiss this notion as racism. 

The two prophets, Hiawatha and "The Great Peacemaker", brought a message of peace to squabbling tribes. The tribes who joined the League were the Seneca, Onondaga, Oneida, Cayuga and Mohawks. Once they ceased (most) infighting, they rapidly became one of the strongest forces in 17th and 18th century northeastern North America. [PARAGRAPH:2]The League engaged in a series of wars against the French and their Iroquoian-speaking Huron or Wyandot allies. They also put great pressure on the Algonquian peoples of the Atlantic coast and what is now subarctic Canada and not infrequently fought the English colonies as well. During the 17th Century, they are also credited with having destroyed the Neutral Indians and Erie Tribe as a way of controlling the fur trade, even though other reasons are often given for these wars. Some survivors of these tribes were absorbed into the Iroquois tribes.  

The Iroquois were at the height of their power in the 17th century with a population of around 12,000 people. League traditions allowed for the dead to be symbolically replaced through the "Mourning War", raids intended to seize captives and take vengeance on non-members. This tradition was common to native people of the northeast and was quite differentfrom European settlers' notions of combat. In 1720, the Tuscarora fled north from the European colonization of North Carolina and petitioned to become the Sixth Nation. This is a non-voting position, but places them under the protection of the Confederacy. 

During the French and Indian War, the Iroquois sided with the British against the French and their Algonquin allies, both traditional enemies of the Iroquois. The Iroquois hoped that aiding the British would also bring favors after the war. Practically, few Iroquois joined the fighting and one early skirmish found a group of Mohawk and French ambush a Mohawk-led British column. The British government issued the Royal Proclamation of 1763 after the war, which restricted white settlement beyond the Appalachians, but this was mainly ignored by the settlers and local governments. 

During the American Revolution, the Oneida and many Tuscarora and Onondaga sided with the Americans, while the Mohawk, Seneca, and Cayuga remained loyal to Great Britain. This marked the first major split among the Six Nations. After a series of successful operations against frontier settlements, led by the Mohawk leader Joseph Brant and his British allies, the United States reacted with vengeance. In 1779, George Washington ordered Col. Daniel Brodhead and General John Sullivan to lead expeditions against the Iroquois nations to "not merely overun, but destroy," the British-Indian alliance. The campaign successfully ended the ability of the British and Iroquois to mount any further significant attacks on American settlements. 

In 1794, the Confederacy entered into the Treaty of Canandaigua with the United States. After the American Revolutionary War, Captain Joseph Brant and the Six Nations Indians left New York to settle in Canada. As a reward for their loyalty to the English Crown, they were given a large land grant on the Grand River. The original Mohawk settlement was on the south edge of the present-day city at a location favourable for landing canoes. Brant's crossing of the river gave the original name to the area: Brant's ford. By 1847, European settlers began to settle further up the river at a ford in the Grand River and named the village Brantford, Ontario. 

The combined leadership of the Nations is known as the Haudenosaunee. It should be noted that "Haudenosaunee" is the term that the people use to refer to themselves. The word "Iroquois" is reputed to come from a French version of a Huron (Wendat) name-considered an insult-meaning "Black Snakes." The Iroquois were enemies of the Huron and the Algonquin, who were allied with the French, due to their rivalry in the fur trade. Haudenosaunee means "People Building a Long House." The term is said to have been introduced by The Great Peacemaker at the time of the formation of the Confederacy. It implies that the Nations of the confederacy should live together as families in the same longhouse. Symbolically, the Seneca were the guardians of the western door of the "tribal long house," and the Mohawk were the guardians of the eastern door. 

There exists another, perhaps more compelling, version explaining the origin of the word "Iroquois," as the French combination of two distinct terms used in the language of the Haudenosaunee. The participants and writers developing the nascent US government compared the Haudenosaunee and their ways to a state of achievement in administrative self-governance that Rome itself never reached, and an ideal that they hoped the US would aspire to and achieve.