Sunday, September 6, 2009

Today's Riddle: What is the western hemisphere’s oldest constitution?

Okay, let me think. I know that bunch really cool radical thinkers, who eventually became sanctified as America’s founding fathers, signed some document in 1776.

No wait, that was the Declaration of Independence. The United States Constitution wasn’t written let alone ratified until after the Revolutionary War.

I’m guessing that this is a trick question.

It is probably something that I never learned about in school. Something called The Constitution of the Five Nations, or The Iroquois Book of the Great Law, which some historians believe existed as early as 1390 A.D., while others insist was first created between 1450-1500 A.D…” source

Either way, they beat the American Constitution by a few hundred years. And you know something else? Portland State University had put together an amazing website about the influence of the Iroquois Constitution on our own United States Constitution. It turns out that we modern Americans owe the Iroquois Confederacy quite a lot.

Don’t believe me? See for yourself at

As always, Happy Historybusting...

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