The Iroquois Confederacy, founded by the Great Peacemaker in 1142, is the oldest living participatory democracy on earth. The US constitution was inﬂuenced by the political system developed by the Iroquois Confederacy.
The peoples of the Iroquois Confederacy, also known as the Six Nations, refer to themselves as the Haudenosaunee, (pronounced “hoo-dee-noh-SHAW-nee”). It means “peoples of the longhouse,” and refers to their lengthy bark-covered longhouses that housed many families. Theirs was a sophisticated and thriving society of well over 5,000 people when the ﬁrst European explorers encountered them in the early seventeenth century.