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While the history of the Iroquois League can only begin to open the door to analysis of international relations in other cultures, this small extension of the historical and cultural domain of international relations scholarship shows that international systems based on different premises (belief systems) do not necessarily conform to realist predictions about state behavior.
The next sections describe the formation and functioning of the League of the Iroquois as a security regime and examine the pattern of Iroquois warfare before and after the initiation of the Iroquois League. The League of the Iroquois is then compared with the Concert of Europe and is shown to be a much more robust security regime: the key difference between the Iroquois League and the Concert of Europe may be the different levels of institutionalization achieved in both regimes.
How did the members of the Iroquois League keep the peace?
But even if the Iroquois did not tell us, by contrast, much about modern international relations, the Iroquois League is by itself worth knowing about.
Wampum, and the songs made up to memorialize an event, were the official records of agreements between Iroquois League nations.(11)
How important to understanding the end of war among Iroquois League members is it that these members were participatory democracies?
Second, I attempted to sift through the contradictory accounts of Iroquois nation practices and Iroquois League conduct by comparing them directly.
This meant acknowledging startling (apparent) contradictions: members of the Iroquois League and the League itself were genuinely democratic; individual members of the five nations were sometimes torturers and cannibals (they took war captives and sometimes ate those captives).
from what anthropologists have called the "Owasco" peoples.(17) It is difficult to determine exactly when the League of these five Iroquois nations was founded, and this determination is related to the purpose of the confederation: although some scholars believe that the Iroquois League could only have been formed after Europeans appeared, most suggest it was formed sometime in the fifteenth century--well before the arrival of Europeans.
Some scholars have suggested other reasons for the formation of the Iroquois League. Peter Farb argues: "An impetus for Iroquois confederation more likely than any vision of a prophetic Dekanwidah may be traced to the first probings by French ships into the Gulf of St.
The negotiations for the formation of the Iroquois League probably were concluded around 1450, about eighty-five years before the Mohawks, in the League members' first direct contact with Europeans, met Cartier on the Saint Lawrence.
The institution of the Iroquois League was codified in the Great Law of Peace (or the Great Binding Law).