The Haudenosaunee, or “people of the longhouse,” also known as the Iroquois or Six Nations, are members of a community/confederacy of Aboriginal nations known as the Haudenosaunee Confederacy. In the beginning, the confederacy was comprised of five nations that lived in the northern part of New York State. Later on, another nation joined the confederacy in the early 18th century, it became known as the Six Nations. These six nations, who were once at war, decided collectively to put an end to their constant conflict and unite under the Great Law of Peace; their oral constitution. The guiding principles of the Great Law of Peace were: divisions of power, equal participation by citizens, and clearly stated rights and freedoms. Today, the Haudenosaunee Confederation is recognized as one of the most ancient democracies in the world.
The Six Nations placed a great emphasis on equality for all members of their society, and they ensured that all members understood the respect everyone should have for each other’s Individual Rights and Freedoms. The Haudenosaunee Confederation through this respect exemplifies the direct contribution that they made to classical liberalism. Along with this, the Confederation was one of the first political systems that divided powers equally among the different branches of government. In such a political system, all members of the confederacy were given the opportunity to have a say in the decisions being made, especially women, who played a great role in government. In modern-day society, historians have discovered direct links between the Haudenosaunee’s oral constitution; The Great Law of Peace and the American Constitution, which goes on to demonstrate how much of an influence the Confederacy had on Classical Liberalism.