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What event ignites

modern democracies?
 The Ancient Greeks?
 The American Revolution?
 The French Revolution?
 How about the….
Iroquois Confederacy!
is the benchmark for, and
beginning of modern day
democracy. The revolutionists are
The Haudenosaunee
The initial five
nations of the
Confederacy were
located mostly in
what is now upper
and central New
A peace treaty between six Indian nations;
(Mohawk, Onondaga, Seneca, Oneida,
Cayuga and the Tuscarora).

The Tuscarora joined later than the first five
tribes. They joined the confederacy in 1702,
after moving from the Carolina’s.
The six nations of the Confederacy;
Oneida, Onondaga, Mohawk, Cayuga,
Tuscarora, and Seneca. Also referred
to as the “People of the Longhouse”
Interior of a Longhouse
 The Haudenosaunee established a
government that became known as
The Great Law of Peace. This allowed
the nations to co-exist peacefully and
 Around 1200 CE
 This great Iroquois leader
persuaded the five Iroquois
nations to accept the
“Great Law of Peace”.
 Deganawida’s beliefs, much like the
Ancient Greek leader, Pericles, are now
seen as the foundations of representative
 Each nation can rule their own territory
 BUT they also elect representatives to
the Grand Council to make decisions
that all the nations must agree to
 An attack on one is an attack on all
 Women elect the men to council
 1765 – Ben Franklin meets with the
Grand Council
Benjamin Franklin
 The Great law of Peace was an oral
treaty and was not written down but
rather passed on from generation to
 The treaty was not put into writing so
it was not given proper recognition
as a fundamental element of
 Finally, after hundred’s of years the Iroquois
people received the acknowledgement they
deserved for their crucial role in shaping the
American Constitution.
 In 1987, Senator Daniel Inouye brought this
before the combined houses of Congress
and it is now written in the congressional
records that the American system is based
on the Iroquois system.
 The British Empire
had full control over
the Thirteen
American Colonies.
 Americans were more
seen as labourers for
the mother country
rather than citizens of
 Iron Act (1750): Britain no longer had to pay to
get iron imported from New England.
 Sugar Act (1764): Placed a tax on wine, sugars
and other delicacies.
 Tea Act (1773): Placed a tax on tea for the
 Quartering Act (1774): Allowed soldiers to be
housed in a given household without the
homeowners’ consent.
 The American
Revolution lasted a
total eight years and
was headed by
George Washington
against the British
Empire, led by King
George III.
 Instated freedom of
speech, freedom of
press and rule of
 Limited government
 Federal and State
level governments
 Introduced free
market economy.
The French Revolution
1789 - 1794
Main Events
• The French support the Americans in their war
against the British (money and soldiers)
• The military returns to France with new ideals
of liberty and equality
• France still lives under the “Old Regime”
– Rigid class structure
– Absolute monarchist
– No elected representatives
• They want change!
Historical Background Info:
• Democracy – Brits/Americans
• Huge debt / unfair tax system
• Inequality in class system
• Crop failure! Famine
• Anger about royalty
Membership Numbers Privileges / Concerns

100 000 Exempt from Lower clergy
taxation sympathized
First Churchmen with concerns of
Estate Eligible for the Third Estate
(Clergy) 0.5 % of prestigious
pop positions

Exempt from
Second Nobility 1.5 % of taxation
Estate pop. Eligible for
Everyone else 27 000 000 Middle class
Had to pay wanted to share
Third almost all taxes in power and
Estate 98 % of Ineligible for
pop Peasants wanted
relief from taxes
positions and feudal dues
• Feudal institution not called since 1614
• Equal numbers of representatives of the 3
estates meet as estates
• One vote per estate
• Role was to give advice to the king
• The Third Estate hoped the king would
hear their main complaints (cahiers)

Bourgeoisie: Upper Middle Class
Proletariate: Working Class
• A constitution
• Equality of taxation
• Rights for citizens
• End to hunting rights of nobility
• More of a political voice
• 3rd Estate demanded vote/head
• They are locked out of the Estates General
• Birth of the “National Assembly”
• Tennis Court Oath
– “We will create a fair constitution for France”
• The Revolution had begun!
The Tennis Court Oath
• June 20, 1789 - Although the Third Estate were locked out of their
meeting room they met in a tennis court. There were members of
the 3rd Estate and some lower clergy involved.
• Members of the National Assembly promised not to disperse until
France had a constitution. This was known as “The Tennis Court
• The king order the National Assembly to disperse, the group had
drawn a number of nobles and a majority of the clergy.
• On June 27, 1789 the king asked the 1st and 2nd Estates to meet
with the National Assembly.
• The National Assembly was renamed the National Constituent
• July 14, 1789 – The Storming of the Bastille
• Feudalism is abolished
– peasants are freed, nobles are stripped of titles
• The “Declaration of Man”
• The Women’s March to Versailles - 1789
• Civil Constitution of the Clergy
– 10% land, state appoints clergy, the divide begins
• The 83 Departments and uniformity
– One: flag, currency, metric, new calendar, single language
• Royals are in trouble! (Secret Letters, Varennes, Treason, Abdicate)
• The National Convention - 1792
– French Republic formed, constitution sworn in
• 1793 - Robespierre leads the NC
• Committee on Public Safety formed
• Guillotine invented
• Reign of Terror begins (20K in one year)
• Denouncing goes overboard (sans-culottes)
• Wars with neighbours
• 1793 – (Jan) Au Revoir, Louis… why?
• (Oct) – Adieu, Madame Deficit
• 1794 – The madness ends..