Kids & Teens
Cobblestone American History and Current Events for Kids and Children

Cobblestone American History and Current Events for Kids and Children November/December 2019

COBBLESTONE is the award-winning and respected leader in the study of American history for young people. COBBLESTONE tells America’s story through a unique mix of captivating articles, lively graphics, historical photographs, primary sources, and maps. Each themed-issue examines historical events in detail making them exciting and relevant to today. A must-have for every history classroom and media center. Grades 5-9.

United States
Cricket Media, Inc.
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9 Issues

in this issue

5 min.
meet the haudenosaunee

Thousands of years ago, five distinct Native American nations—the Mohawks, the Oneidas, the Onondagas, the Cayugas, and the Senecas—engaged in constant war with one another. When a message of peace was shared with them, they were convinced to join together in a confederacy. They chose as their name Haudenosaunee for the homes they lived in. Haudenosaunee is a Native American word that means “People who Made a House” or “People of the Longhouse.” It is pronounced “hoe-dee-no-show-nee.” The alliance introduced cooperation among the five nations. It allowed them to stop fighting one another and find ways to work together. It also gave them a position of strength when it came to interacting with other Native American and European groups. Historically, the Haudenosaunee lived in the northeastern United States, primarily in New…

1 min.
what’s in a name?

Haudenosaunee is the preferred term used by the Haudenosaunee to refer to themselves. Five Nations refers to the original five tribal nations that joined together: the Mohawks, the Senecas, the Cayugas, the Oneidas, and the Onondagas. Some sources date the start of the confederacy to the 1000s, others date it to the 1400s. Six Nations refers to the addition of the Tuscaroras to the Five Nations, which took place in 1722. Iroquois Confederacy has been used interchangeably with Five Nations or Six Nations to reflect the political unit formed by the nations joining together. The origins of the word Iroquois are not certain. It is an uncomplimentary term meaning “black snakes.” In the past, it was used by native groups and their French allies to refer to the Haudenosaunee, who…

3 min.
the peacemaker story

Most historians say that the Haudenosaunee Confederacy came together during the 15th century. But it may have happened earlier, and it didn’t happen overnight. The pact for peace demanded skillful negotiations among distinct nations. And all the member nations had to agree to details for the confederacy’s structure and its Great Law of Peace. It took many years to achieve. The Haudenosaunee people commemorate those achievements with their Peacemaker story. The epic tells how the Mohawk, Oneida, Onondaga, Cayuga, and Seneca nations joined together for righteousness, justice, and health. The story begins with a wise man, or prophet, called the Peacemaker. It was during a time of conflict and violence. He hated to see the nations at war with one another. No matter who “won,” all sides suffered losses. War also created…

1 min.
the great law of peace

The Great Law of Peace, or Gayanesshagowa, is the oral constitution for the Haudenosaunee Confederacy. It provides the process for how the confederacy works. The confederacy’s Grand Council has 50 hoyaneh, or chiefs. It meets to discuss issues that impact the entire confederacy. It makes decisions by consensus. That means that all the members must agree. The hoyaneh are selected by the leaders of each nation’s clans, known as clan mothers. The clan mothers listen to and are advised by the men and women in their clans. The clan mothers then counsel their respective chiefs. In this way, all the members of the nations have a say in their governance. The Mohawks and Senecas—the Elder Brothers—begin the process. They discuss an issue until they reach consensus. The Cayugas and the Oneidas—the Younger…

1 min.
hiawatha in poetry

The Song of Hiawatha is a long poem by American poet Henry Wadsworth Longfellow. It tells about a peacemaker who had great adventures and united multiple tribes. Yet, its stories did not come from the Haudenosaunee. Longfellow claimed its tales came “From the forests and the prairies/From the great lakes of the Northland.” He had read tales written down by Henry Rowe Schoolcraft. Schoolcraft was a government agent for Indian affairs. He drew upon tales recorded by his wife, Jane Johnston Schoolcraft. Her mother was a member of the Ojibwa tribe. They live in the United States’ Upper Midwest and in Canada. Longfellow published his poem in 1855. As many as 50,000 copies sold within six months. Some critics claimed Longfellow had borrowed heavily from a Finnish epic with a similar meter.…

5 min.
friends and enemies in times of war

Long before the first European settlers arrived in North America, the Haudenosaunee formed their confederacy. Joining together allowed them to establish themselves as a dominant native force. In the early 1600s, French and Dutch traders established scattered trading posts in Haudenosaunee territory. The European demand for beaver pelts led to a thriving fur trade between the Haudenosaunee and the Europeans. By the mid-1600s, the English had taken over Dutch claims. Both the French and the English expanded their settlements in North America. France built forts and outposts in New France (Canada) and explored inland along the Mississippi River. England established 13 Colonies along the Atlantic Coast. By the mid-1700s, both nations were determined to extend their empires to include all of North America. Native people became caught in their global…