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In 1893, the island nation of Hawaii, with support of plantation owners and missionaries from the United States, was invaded by the United States. In doing so, a treaty was being broken between the United States and the Hawaiian government. It also broke an international law, which forbids acts of aggression. Just five years later, with President Cleveland s disapproval, Congress passed the Newland Resolution which claimed Hawaii as a United States territory. (Annexation) All this happened in little over a century after it was discovered. It was 1768, and the Master s Mate, James Cook of England, was given the command of captain of two ships that would carry astronomers to Tahiti so they could look at Venus cross paths with the sun. This was the first of three major trips Cook takes that will make him one of the worlds leading explorers of his time.
It was on his third expedition where he discovered something that no other western man had seen before. His goal had been to head north towards the artic and look for a passage from the North Pacific to the North Atlantic, a Northwest Passage. Heading north he discovered many islands but on January 19, 1777, he discovered one that would become Hawaii. It was when they sighted many birds; birds that were only found near tropical islands that he realized how close he could be. Captain Cook wrote down in his journal, All these are looked upon signs of vicinity of land. However, we discovered none till daybreak, on the morning of the 18 th when an island made its appearance, bearing northeast by east; and soon after, we saw more land, bearing north, and entirely detached from the former.
On the 19 th, at sunrise, the island first seen bore east, several leagues distant. This being directly to windward, which prevented our getting near it, I stood for the other, which we could reach; and not long after, discovered a third island, in the direction of west-northwest. (5 Day) These three islands, which he spoke of, were the islands Oahu, Kauai, and Niihau, all part of the Hawaiian archipelago. Cook and his crew soon discovered how primitive the inhabitants were. Only seen in small fragments from driftwood, they had never seen or used tools of iron. An officer by the name of Charles Clerk, officer on the ship Discovery, which was one of the two ships that went with Cook during his travels, said, A moderate sized nail will supply my ship s company very plentifully with excellent pork for the day, and as to the potatoes and taro, they are attained upon still easier terms, such is these people avidity for iron. (5 Day) The Hawaiians and the foreigners were on friendly terms partly by the fact that some of the sailors learned to speak a language in Tahiti that was very similar of those of the islanders. Although a fairly small island, Hawaii found ways to make a profit off trade.
Many ships in the early years made trades for fruits, vegetables and pork. Later on whaling in the Hawaiian waters became fairly profitable. But the most profitable trade in the early years was the trade of Sandalwood trees. Sandalwood was traded with merchant ships, who sold them to the orient. The orient would then use this wood for the following: incense sticks, perfumes, cosmetics, and carvings. In the late 1830 s, many sugar mills were started up throughout the kingdom.
In the latter part of the century, Hawaii averaged 9, 586 tons of sugar a year that was being exported. Although not a big industry, tourism became fairly popular. A few companies offered trips to Hawaii aboard makeshift passenger boats from San Francisco. Throughout its history, before the annexation by the United States, Hawaii had many emperors. The first major leader was a man by the name of Kamehameha. In the late 1700 s, Kamehameha came to power by force by the help of a few Englishmen s teachings of western battle techniques.
He also helped make the sandalwood market, a very valuable wood used for furniture, by forcing his people into labor to cut down the trees. Liholiho Kamehameha II, son of Kamehameha, was highly influenced by missionaries. He is known for introducing whaling to the islands. Missionaries raised Kauikeaouli Kamehameha III, the younger brother of Liholiho. Kamehameha III had the longest reign out of all of them.
He is known for having many white cabinet members due to the fact that he took the throne at age ten. During his reign the sandalwood and whaling industry came to an end and made way for the first Hawaiian sugar mill. In 1848, heavily influenced by his white cabinet members, he signed a constitution, which divided all the land. His reign was the start of the fall to the Kamehameha dynasty.
Next on the throne was his nephew, Alexander Liholiho Kamehameha IV. The only major contributions he made to the island were the establishment of the Queens Hospital and the translation of a prayer book from English to the native language. His brother, Lot Kapuaiwa Kamehameha V, was famous for doing away with the constitution, thus giving more power to the royalty. He also fought to stop the sale of alcohol to the native Hawaiians. Unfortunately, he had no heir to the throne and brought an end to the Kamehameha dynasty.
After his death, there was an election held to decide who the next ruler would be. Winning the election, William Charles Lunalilo became king. However, he soon became sick and white advisors, who were pushing the idea of being annexed by the United States, did most of the business. This caused a lot of controversy because most Hawaiians at that time did not think that the kingdom should be ruled by any one other than a non-white Hawaiian.
After Lunalilo s death, David Kalakaua was elected to power. While in power, he replaced most of the white cabinet members with Hawaiian s. He was probably the least popular king. He would often throw giant parties and waist money on frivolous things.
One such thing he purchased was a war ship in the hopes that he could use it to become the king of the Pacific. The last of the rulers of Hawaii was Queen Liliuokalani. Although very ambitious and very loving of her people she was overthrown by group of white businessmen, which were helped by the United States government. In 1892 in Honolulu, a group of whites formed the Annexation Club which was a small secret group whose main purpose was to be annexed by a country. They felt that this was the only step left to take for a stable government in Hawaii. (Day, 213) This group played a key role in the revolution that took Queen Liliuokalani off her throne.
In 1893, a committee of safety was started and a man by the name of Sanford Dole was named the leader of it. This group was mainly made of businessmen. After request of the committee of safety, the United States government felt that some of the lives and interest of the United States citizens in Hawaii were in jeopardy. These citizens were the United States businessmen who had taken up permanent residents on the islands. So, in the fall of 1893, a United States navy ship was sent to look after things and to stop any starting of a revolution. Many people on the island at that time were talking about annexation and the overthrow of the queen.
In mid January, the queen introduced a new constitution to her advisor, but unfortunately, they did not support her. A few days later, with the help of the Unites States, she was arrest and jailed. Later she would be charged with treason and sentenced to five years prison. This was never carried out and she was put on house arrest. Shortly after her jailing, the Republic of Hawaii was started. The first president of the Republic was Sanford Dole.
The republic was referred to by Dole as a provisional government. Its only purpose was to establish order before it was to be annexed by the United States. In June of 1897, the first treaty to annex was passed by the Senate of the Republic of Hawaii. But unfortunately, the treaty did not pass in the Presidents Cleveland s desk due to the fact that he was totally against the annexation and the revolution that took place.
While all this was taking place former Queen Liliuokalani and many other supporters of her, had taken a few trips to the United States to plead for help in getting the monarch back in power. With them they brought a petition with 29, 000 signatures apposing annexation and asking for the issue of annexation to be voted on by the people of Hawaii, not the senate of Hawaii. However, this was never carried out. In the late eighteen hundreds the United States were involved in the Spanish American war which was fought because of United States interest in many islands owned by Spanish. Some of these islands include: Cuba, The Philippians, and Samoa. The Navy realized that Hawaii was located in the middle of the Pacific Ocean, which, if owned by the United States, would put them in a very strong spot.
This did not help the anti-annexation group. In 1898, when President Cleveland left office and President McKinley was elected in, the second treaty was formed to annex Hawaii. This treaty was entitled, The Newland s Resolution. This treaty officially declared that all the islands were to be governed by the United States. It said that all public properties, such as: ports, military equipment, government building, and any other things that were owned by the Republic of Hawaii. The treaty, however, did not get the two-thirds vote in the senate to be passed legally.
To solve this problem, the Hawaiian government settled for only a joint resolution of congress. In 1898, the Republic of Hawaii changed its name to the territory of Hawaii. On an emotional August 18, 1898, a formal ceremony took place at Island Palace. The keynote speaker was formal president of the republic of Hawaii and soon to be governor of the territory of Hawaii, Sanford Dole. As the flag of the Hawaiian Islands was lowered the Hawaiian national anthem, Hawaii Pono I was played for the last time. For the past century, Hawaii has been apart of the United States, which has made people very happy and pleased to be apart of the strongest nation in the world.
However, there are those who feel that the United States committed a great in-justice upon the island nation of Hawaii. I am Hawaiian, not American. Americans stole our nation and threw our queen in jail. I refuse to pledge allegiance to the American flag. A first grader, from Waianae Elementary School in Hawaii said this 1979. He is not the only person with such hostile views.
In November of 1993, congress and president Clinton passed a bill that officially apologized to the Hawaiian people for overthrowing the Kingdom of Hawaii. They did this to from a solid ground relationship between the United States government and the natives Hawaiian people. (The overthrow) 314
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