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In 1819, the informal general council government began to reorganize itself to mirror the Government of the United States. An elected headsman was to be the executive head of government. Two legislative bodies were created. They were patterned after the US Congress, the National Committee mirroring the Senate and the National Council mirroring the House of Representatives. The Cherokees were taking their traditionalist institutions and grafting US governmental institutions over them. The former National Council became the Legislative Council, or Congress. The position of the traditionalist speaker at these meetings was formalized. "When the Cherokees…began to structure their government upon the American pattern, the speaker emerged as the head of the legislature, certifying laws for the approval of the principal chief, who was the head of the executive branch."21 The Speaker of the House. The Nation was divided into eight districts. Every two districts were to have a circuit judge and a marshal. One of the marshal's central jobs was the collection of taxes.

"In the national councils of 1819 and 1820, the Cherokee discussed the question of whether to adopt American economic and political institutions or instead continue in the ways of their forebears. The planters and other influential men argued that the nation could be preserved only by further agricultural and political improvements."22 The question was hotly debated before a decision in favor of continued assimilationist policies. "The Cherokee no longer were motivated by the desire to preserve hunting grounds; rather they adopted a patriotic commitment to national and territorial preservation."23 The question was, hence, not one of whether or not to mirror the US government, but whether or not this would prove to be the most effective defense against Western encroachment.

In 1822 a National Superior court was created that mirrored the United States Supreme Court. This court preceded the Supreme Court of the state of Georgia by twenty years. It was to review cases

 


21. John Phillip Reid, A Law of Blood: The Primitive Law of the Cherokee Nation (New York: New York University Press, 1970), 61.
22. Duane Champagne, Social Order and Political Change (Stanford: Stanford University Press, 1992), 134.
23. Ibid., 135.
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