The term Iroquois describes one of U.S. history's most influential Native American confederacies, the Haudenosaunee, or "People of the Longhouse." Based mainly in present-day New York state, they played a major role in regional trade and diplomacy. The Iroquois helped shape democratic ways of life in the new United States mainly through Benjamin Franklin, who started his diplomatic career as Pennsylvania's representative to them. Enduring the theft of much of their traditional land base following 1880, the Iroquois fought proposals to force them to leave their homelands. In the midst of this, they preserved their culture, with its year-round thanksgiving cycle and reverence for nature. The Iroquois describes the significant influence these people had on the creation of the modern United States and their contributed roles in American society.
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