The Iroquois Confederacy
In 1570 five Iroquois tribes-- Mohawk, Seneca, Onondaga, Oneida, and Cayuga-- formed the Iroquois Confederacy (McCall 7). The confederacy could also be called an oligarchy, because the Iroquois became ruled by a small group of people (Doherty 12). There were 50 delegates in the confederacy, all men, each chosen by the clan mother (Doherty 18). Delegates were named sachem, of which the Onondaga had fourteen, the Cayga ten, the Mohawk and Oneida nine, and the Seneca eight. In addition to Sachem, who could vote during meetings on the Onondaga land, there were Pine Trees who were both male and female advisory council members (McCall 9) (Doherty 18). Pine Trees became advisors because of their heroic feets and accomplishments as warriors (Doherty 18). In 1715 the Tuscarora joined the league, and it was renamed the League of Six Nations (McCall 9). Benjamin Franklin was familiar with the League and helped fram many parts of the new United States government off of the Iroquois's ideas (Doherty 13).