Describe the traditional government of the Cherokee.  

Expert Answers

An illustration of the letter 'A' in a speech bubbles

Traditionally, the Cherokee had a fairly democratic government.  It was very decentralized.  They did not have a true central government that ruled their whole tribe.  Instead, they had a kind of a tribal government that really didn't have much power.  The real power was in the town governments.  Each town was essentially autonomous.

Within each town, the government was quite democratic.  Each town had a chief, but their was also a council in which all adults of both sexes could participate.  Decisions were made based on consensus.

It should also be noted that each town had both a peacetime government and a wartime government.  These governments did not get involved in each other's spheres.  They were completely separate and each held power during the appropriate times.

Approved by eNotes Editorial Team
Soaring plane image

We’ll help your grades soar

Start your 48-hour free trial and unlock all the summaries, Q&A, and analyses you need to get better grades now.

  • 30,000+ book summaries
  • 20% study tools discount
  • Ad-free content
  • PDF downloads
  • 300,000+ answers
  • 5-star customer support
Start your 48-Hour Free Trial