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into law. Article Two of the Constitution guaranteed that "the power of this Cherokee Government shall be divided into three distinct departments; the Legislative, the Executive, and the Judicial." The preamble to the Constitution stated that:

We, the Representatives of the people of the Cherokee Nation, in Convention assembled, in order to establish justice, ensure tranquility, promote our common welfare, and secure to ourselves and our posterity the blessings of liberty acknowledging with humility and gratitude the goodness of the sovereign Ruler of the Universe, in offering us an opportunity so favorable to the design, and imploring His aid and direction in its accomplishment, do ordain and establish this Constitution for the Government of the Cherokee Nation.26

The Cherokees had come or gone a long way in the past thirty years. "Since both Georgia and Tennessee claimed that the Cherokee were a barbarous nation without rules of laws, the Cherokee decided to adopt a constitutional government modeled after the American Constitution, and to proceed with agricultural development and education in order to prove that the Cherokee were capable of living under the rule of law."27 The assumption of the Western definition of gender roles and slavery was also apparent in the Constitution; neither blacks nor women were allowed to vote or hold office.

It should be noted that assimilation was not complete. Divisions among the Seven Clans were still apparent. However, this division "did not present institutional obstacles for change, because of the separation of kinship and religion from national political relations."28 The accomplishment stands; the Cherokee had grafted the American system of government on top of their own system of national councils within thirty years, while still preserving the traditionalist goals of social harmony, peace, community and national preservation.

Leaves: Language

There are two divergent theories concerning the creation and dissemination of the Cherokee alphabet. I'll detail them briefly. The first holds that Sequoyah, or George Guess, returned to the Cherokee Nation in 1821 from Arkansas with an alphabet of 86 characters of his own creation.29 Each of the 86

 

26.Cherokee Nation, Cherokee Legislative Council, The Constitution and Laws of the Cherokee Nation. 1839, in Woodward, 153.
27. Champagne, 137-38.
28. Ibid., 107.
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