The Hawaiian Kingdom (a.k.a. Kingdom of Hawaiʻi) originated in 1795 with the unification of the independent islands of Hawaiʻi, Oʻahu, Maui, Molokaʻi, and Lānaʻi under one government. In 1810, the whole Hawaiian Islands became unified when Kauaʻi and Niʻihau joined the Hawaiian Kingdom voluntarily. Two major dynastic families ruled the kingdom: the House of Kamehameha and the House of Kalākaua.
The Kingdom won recognition from major European powers. The United States became its chief trading partner. The U.S. watched over the Kingdom lest some other power (such as Britain or Japan) threaten to seize control. Hawaii was forced to adopt a new constitution in 1887 when King Kalākaua was threatened with violence by the Honolulu Rifles, a white, anti-monarchist militia, to sign it. Queen Liliʻuokalani, who succeeded Kalākaua in 1891, tried to abrogate the 1887 constitution and promulgate a new constitution, but was overthrown in 1893, largely at the hands of the Committee of Safety, a group of residents consisting of Hawaiian subjects and foreign nationals of American, British and German descent, many of whom were educated in the U.S., lived there for a time and identified strongly as American.. Hawaii became a republic until the United States annexed it using The Newlands Resolution which was a joint resolution passed on July 4, 1898, by the United States Congress creating the Territory of Hawaii.
Aupuni Mōʻī o Hawaiʻi
|Common languages||Hawaiian, English|
|Religion||Church of Hawaii|
|Government||Absolute monarchy (until 1840)|
Constitutional monarchy (from 1840)
|Kamehameha I (first)|
|House of Nobles|
|House of Representatives|
|October 8, 1840|
|February 25 – July 31, 1843|
|November 28, 1843|
|January 17, 1893|
• Abdication of Queen Liliʻuokalani
|January 24, 1895|
|400,000 – 800,000|
|Today part of|
In ancient Hawaii, society was divided into multiple classes. At the top of the class system was the aliʻi class with each islands ruled by a separate aliʻi nui. All of these rulers were believed to come from a hereditary line descended from the first Polynesian, Papa, who would become the earth mother goddess of the Hawaiian religion. Captain James Cook was the first European to encounter the Hawaiian Islands, on his fourth voyage. He was killed in a dispute over the taking of a longboat. Three years later the Island of Hawaii was passed to Kalaniʻōpuʻu's son, Kīwalaʻō, while religious authority was passed to the ruler's nephew, Kamehameha.
A series of battles, lasting 15 years, was led by the warrior chief who became Kamehameha the Great. The Hawaiian Kingdom was established with the help of western weapons and advisors, such as John Young and Isaac Davis. Although successful in attacking both Oʻahu and Maui, he failed to secure a victory in Kauaʻi, his effort hampered by a storm and a plague that decimated his army. Eventually, Kauaʻi's chief swore allegiance to Kamehameha. The unification ended the ancient Hawaiian society, transforming it into an independent constitutional monarchy crafted in the traditions and manner of European monarchs.
From 1810 to 1893, the Hawaiian Kingdom was ruled by two major dynastic families: the House of Kamehameha and the Kalākaua Dynasty. Five members of the Kamehameha family led the government styled as Kamehameha. Lunalilo was a member of the House of Kamehameha through his mother. Liholiho (Kamehameha II) and Kauikeaouli (Kamehameha III) were direct sons of Kamehameha the Great. During Liholiho's and Kauikeaouli's reigns, the primary wife of Kamehameha the Great, Queen Kaʻahumanu, ruled as Queen Regent and Kuhina Nui, or Prime Minister.
Economic and demographic factors in the 19th century reshaped the islands. Their consolidation into one unified political entity led to international trade. Under Kamehameha (1810–1819), sandalwood was exported to China. That led to the introduction of money and trade throughout the islands.
Following Kamehameha's death the succession was overseen by his principal wife, Ka'ahumanu, who was designated as regent over the new king, Liholiho, who was a minor.
Queen Ka'ahumanu eliminated various prohibitions (kapu) governing women's behavior. They included men and women eating together and women eating bananas. She also overturned the old religion as the Christian missionaries arrived in the islands. The main contribution of the missionaries was to develop a written Hawaiian language. That led to very high levels of literacy in Hawaii, above 90 percent in the latter half of the 19th century. The development of writing aided in the consolidation of government. Written constitutions enumerating the power and duties of the King were developed.
In 1848, the Great Māhele was promulgated by the king. It instituted formal property rights to the land. It followed the customary control of the land prior to this declaration. Ninety-eight percent of the land was assigned to the Ali'i, chiefs or nobles. Two percent went to the commoners. No land could be sold, only transferred to lineal descendant land manager. For the natives, contact with the outer world represented demographic disaster, as a series of unfamiliar diseases such as smallpox decimated the natives. The Hawaiian population of natives fell from approximately 128,000 in 1778 to 71,000 in 1853 and kept declining to 24,000 in 1920. Most lived in remote villages.
American missionaries converted most of the natives to Christianity. The missionaries and their children became a powerful elite into the mid-19th century. They provided the chief advisors and cabinet members of the kings and dominated the professional and merchant class in the cities.
The elites promoted the sugar industry in order to modernize Hawaii's economy. American capital set up a series of plantations after 1850. Few natives were willing to work on the sugar plantations and so recruiters fanned out across Asia and Europe. As a result, between 1850 and 1900 some 200,000 contract laborers from China, Japan, the Philippines, Portugal and elsewhere came to Hawaii under fixed term contracts (typically for five years). Most returned home on schedule, but large numbers stayed permanently. By 1908 about 180,000 Japanese workers had arrived. No more were allowed in, but 54,000 remained permanently.
The Hawaiian army and navy developed from the warriors of Kona under Kamehameha I, who unified Hawaii in 1810. The army and navy used both traditional canoes and uniforms including helmets made of natural materials and loincloths (called the Malo) as well as western technology like artillery cannons, muskets, and European ships. European advisors were captured, treated well and became Hawaiian citizens. When Kamehameha died in 1819 he left his son Liholiho a large arsenal with tens of thousands of soldiers and many warships. This helped put down the revolt at Kuamoʻo later in 1819 and Humehume's rebellion on Kauai in 1824.
During the Kamehameha dynasty the population in Hawaii was ravaged by epidemics following the arrival of outsiders. The military shrank with the population, so by the end of the Dynasty there was no Hawaiian navy and only an army, consisting of several hundred troops. After a French invasion that sacked Honolulu in 1849, Kamehameha III sought defense treaties with the United States and Britain. During the outbreak of the Crimean War in Europe, Kamehameha III declared Hawaii a neutral state. The United States government put strong pressure on Kamehameha IV to make trade exclusively to the United States even annexing the islands. To counterbalance this situation Kamehameha IV and Kamehameha V pushed for alliances with other foreign powers, especially Great Britain. Hawaii claimed uninhabited islands in the Pacific, including the Northwestern Hawaiian Islands, many of which came into conflict with American claims.
Following the Kamehameha dynasty the royal guards were disbanded under Lunalilo after a barracks revolt in September 1873. A small army was restored under King Kalakaua but failed to stop the 1887 Rebellion by the Missionary Party. In 1891, Queen Liliʻuokalani came to power. The elections of 1892 were followed with petitions and requests from her administration to change the constitution of 1887. The US maintained a policy of keeping at least one cruiser in Hawaii at all times. On January 17, 1893, Liliʻuokalani, believing the US military would intervene if she changed the constitution, waited for the USS Boston to leave port. Once it was known that Liliʻuokalani was revising the constitution, the Boston was recalled and assisted the Missionary Party in her overthrow. (In 1993, the U.S. Congress passed the Apology Resolution, admitting wrongdoing and issuing an apology.) Following the overthrow and the establishment of the Provisional Government of Hawaii the Kingdom's military was disarmed and disbanded.
Under the rule of Queen Kaʻahumanu, the powerful newly converted Protestant widow of Kamehameha the Great, Catholicism was illegal in Hawaii, and in 1831 French Catholic priests were forcibly deported by chiefs loyal to her. Native Hawaiian converts to Catholicism claimed to have been imprisoned, beaten and tortured after the expulsion of the priests. Resistance toward the French Catholic missionaries remained the same under the reign of her successor, the Kuhina Nui Kaʻahumanu II.
In 1839 Captain Laplace of the French frigate Artémise sailed to Hawaii under orders to:
Under the threat of war, King Kamehameha III signed the Edict of Toleration on July 17, 1839 and paid the $20,000 in compensation for the deportation of the priests and the incarceration and torture of converts, agreeing to Laplace's demands. The kingdom proclaimed:
The Roman Catholic Diocese of Honolulu returned unpersecuted and as reparation Kamehameha III donated land for them to build a church upon.
An even more serious threat occurred on February 13, 1843. Lord George Paulet of the Royal Navy warship HMS Carysfort, entered Honolulu Harbor and demanded that King Kamehameha III cede the islands to the British Crown. Under the guns of the frigate, Kamehameha III surrendered to Paulet on February 25, writing to his people:
"Where are you, chiefs, people, and commons from my ancestors, and people from foreign lands?
Hear ye! I make known to you that I am in perplexity by reason of difficulties into which I have been brought without cause, therefore I have given away the life of our land. Hear ye! but my rule over you, my people, and your privileges will continue, for I have hope that the life of the land will be restored when my conduct is justified.
Done at Honolulu, Oahu, this 25th day of February, 1843.
Dr. Gerrit P. Judd, a missionary who had become the Minister of Finance for the Kingdom, secretly arranged for J.F.B. Marshall to be sent to the United States, France and Britain, to protest Paulet's actions. Marshall, a commercial agent of Ladd & Co., conveyed the Kingdom's complaint to the Vice Consul of Britain in Tepec. Rear Admiral Richard Darton Thomas, Paulet's commanding officer, arrived at Honolulu harbor on July 26, 1843 on HMS Dublin from Valparaíso, Chile. Admiral Thomas apologized to Kamehameha III for Paulet's actions, and restored Hawaiian sovereignty on July 31, 1843. In his restoration speech, Kamehameha III declared that "Ua Mau ke Ea o ka ʻĀina i ka Pono" (The life of the land is perpetuated in righteousness), the motto of the future State of Hawaii. The day was celebrated as Lā Hoʻihoʻi Ea (Sovereignty Restoration Day).
In August 1849, French admiral Louis Tromelin arrived in Honolulu Harbor with the La Poursuivante and Gassendi. De Tromelin made ten demands to King Kamehameha III on August 22, mainly demanding that full religious rights be given to Catholics, (a decade earlier, during the French Incident the ban on Catholicism had been lifted, but Catholics still enjoyed only partial religious rights). On August 25 the demands had not been met. After a second warning was made to the civilians, French troops overwhelmed the skeleton force and captured Honolulu Fort, spiked the coastal guns and destroyed all other weapons they found (mainly muskets and ammunition). They raided government buildings and general property in Honolulu, causing damage that amounted to $100,000. After the raids the invasion force withdrew to the fort. De Tromelin eventually recalled his men and left Hawaii on September 5.
Anticipating foreign encroachment on Hawaiian territory, King Kamehameha III dispatched a delegation to the United States and Europe to secure the recognition of Hawaiian independence. Timoteo Haʻalilio, William Richards and Sir George Simpson were commissioned as joint Ministers Plenipotentiary on April 8, 1842. Sir George Simpson left for Great Britain while Haʻalilio and Richards to the United States on July 8, 1842. The Hawaiian delegation secured the assurance of US President John Tyler on December 19, 1842 of Hawaiian independence and then met Simpson in Europe to secure formal recognition by the United Kingdom and France. On March 17, 1843, King Louis-Philippe of France recognized Hawaiian independence at the urging of King Leopold I of Belgium. On April 1, 1843, Lord Aberdeen, on behalf of Queen Victoria, assured the Hawaiian delegation, "Her Majesty's Government was willing and had determined to recognize the independence of the Sandwich Islands under their present sovereign."
On November 28, 1843, at the Court of London, the British and French Governments formally recognized Hawaiian independence. The "Anglo-Franco Proclamation", a joint declaration by France and Britain, signed by King Louis-Philippe and Queen Victoria, assured the Hawaiian delegation:
Her Majesty the Queen of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland, and His Majesty the King of the French, taking into consideration the existence in the Sandwich Islands (Hawaiian Islands) of a government capable of providing for the regularity of its relations with foreign nations, have thought it right to engage, reciprocally, to consider the Sandwich Islands as an Independent State, and never to take possession, neither directly or under the title of Protectorate, or under any other form, of any part of the territory of which they are composed.
The undersigned, Her Majesty's Principal Secretary of State of Foreign Affairs, and the Ambassador Extraordinary of His Majesty the King of the French, at the Court of London, being furnished with the necessary powers, hereby declare, in consequence, that their said Majesties take reciprocally that engagement.
In witness whereof the undersigned have signed the present declaration, and have affixed thereto the seal of their arms.
Done in duplicate at London, the 28th day of November, in the year of our Lord, 1843.
" 'ABERDEEN. [L.S.]
" 'ST. AULAIRE. [L.S.],
Hawaiʻi was the first non-European indigenous state whose independence was recognised by the major powers. The United States declined to join with France and the United Kingdom in this statement. Even though President John Tyler had verbally recognized Hawaiian independence, it was not until 1849 that the United States did formally.
November 28, Lā Kūʻokoʻa (Independence Day), became a national holiday to celebrate the recognition of Hawaii's independence. The Hawaiian Kingdom entered into treaties with most major countries and established over 90 legations and consulates.
In 1839, King Kamehameha III created the Chief’s Children’s School (Royal School) and selected of the 16 highest ranking ali`i to be eligible to rule and befitted them with the highest education and proper etiquette. They were required to board under the direction of Mr. Amos Starr Cooke and his wife. The Princes & Chiefs eligible to be rulers were: Moses Kekuiwa, Alexander Liholiho, Lot Kamehameha, Victoria Kamamalu, Emma Rooke, William Lunalilo, David Kalakaua, Lydia Kamaka’eha, Bernice Pauahi, Elizabeth Keka`aniau, Jane Loeau, Abigail Maheha, Peter Young Kaeo, James Kaliokalani, John Pitt Kina’u and Mary Paʻaʻāina, officially declared by King Kamehameha III in 1844.
Dynastic rule by the Kamehameha family ended in 1872 with the death of Kamehameha V. Upon his deathbed, he summoned High Chiefess Bernice Pauahi Bishop to declare his intentions of making her heir to the throne. Bernice refused the crown, and Kamehameha V died without naming an heir.
The refusal of Bishop to take the crown forced the legislature of the kingdom to elect a new monarch. From 1872 to 1873, several relatives of the Kamehameha line were nominated. In a ceremonial popular vote and a unanimous legislative vote, William C. Lunalilo, grandnephew of Kamehameha I, became Hawaiʻi's first of two elected monarchs but reigned from 1873 to only 1874 because of his early death.
Like his predecessor, Lunalilo failed to name an heir to the throne. Once again, the legislature of the Hawaiian Kingdom needed an election to fill the royal vacancy. Queen Emma, widow of Kamehameha IV, was nominated along with David Kalākaua. The 1874 election was a nasty political campaign in which both candidates resorted to mudslinging and innuendo. David Kalākaua became the second elected King of Hawaii but without the ceremonial popular vote of Lunalilo. The choice of the legislature was controversial, and U.S. and British troops were called upon to suppress rioting by Queen Emma's supporters, the Emmaites.
Kalākaua officially proclaimed his sister, Liliʻuokalani would succeed to the throne upon his death. Hoping to avoid uncertainty in the monarchy's future, Kalakaua had named a line of succession in his will, so that after Lili’uokalani the throne should succeed to Princess Victoria Kaʻiulani, then to Queen Consort Kapi’olani, followed by her sister, Princess Po’omaikalani, then Prince David Lamea Kawananakoa and last was Prince Jonah Kūhiō Kalanianaʻole. Although, the will was not an official line of succession or a proper proclamation according to kingdom law. There were also protests about nominating lower ranking ali`i after Ka’iulani who were not eligible to the throne while there were still high ranking ali`i who were eligible, such as High Chiefess Elizabeth Keka`aniau. However, it was now the royal prerogative of Queen Lili’uokalani and she officially proclaimed her niece Princess Ka`iulani as heir to the throne she then later proposed a new constitution adding Prince David Kawananakoa and Prince Jonah Kūhiō Kalanianaʻole, according to the wishes of Kalakaua, but it was never approved or ratified by the legislature.
In 1887, a constitution was drafted by Lorrin A. Thurston, Minister of Interior under King Kalākaua. The constitution was proclaimed by the king after a meeting of 3,000 residents including an armed militia demanded he sign it or be deposed. The document created a constitutional monarchy like the United Kingdom's, stripping the King of most of his personal authority, empowering the legislature and establishing cabinet government. It has since become widely known as the "Bayonet Constitution" because of the threat of force used to gain Kalākaua's cooperation.
The 1887 constitution empowered the citizenry to elect members of the House of Nobles (who had previously been appointed by the King). It increased the value of property a citizen must own to be eligible to vote above the previous Constitution of 1864 and denied voting rights to Asians who comprised a large proportion of the population. (A few Japanese and some Chinese had previously become naturalized and now lost voting rights they had previously enjoyed.) This guaranteed a voting monopoly to wealthy native Hawaiians and Europeans. The Bayonet Constitution continued allowing the monarch to appoint cabinet ministers, but stripped him of the power to dismiss them without approval from the Legislature.
In 1891, Kalākaua died and his sister Liliʻuokalani assumed the throne. She came to power during an economic crisis precipitated in part by the McKinley Tariff. By rescinding the Reciprocity Treaty of 1875, the new tariff eliminated the previous advantage Hawaiian exporters enjoyed in trade to U.S. markets. Many Hawaiian businesses and citizens were feeling the pressures of the loss of revenue, so Liliʻuokalani proposed a lottery and opium licensing to bring in additional revenue for the government. Her ministers and closest friends tried to dissuade her from pursuing the bills, and these controversial proposals were used against her in the looming constitutional crisis.
Liliʻuokalani wanted to restore power to the monarch by abrogating the 1887 Constitution. The queen launched a campaign resulting in a petition to proclaim a new Constitution. Many citizens and residents who in 1887 had forced Kalākaua to sign the "Bayonet Constitution" became alarmed when three of her recently appointed cabinet members informed them that the queen was planning to unilaterally proclaim her new Constitution. Some cabinet ministers were reported to have feared for their safety after upsetting the queen by not supporting her plans.
In 1893, local businessmen and politicians, composed of six non-native Hawaiian Kingdom subjects, five American nationals, one British national, and one German national, all of whom were living and doing business in Hawaii, overthrew the queen, her cabinet and her marshal, and took over the government of the Hawaiian Kingdom.
Historians suggest that businessmen were in favor of overthrow and annexation to the U.S. in order to benefit from more favorable trade conditions with its main export market. The McKinley Tariff of 1890 eliminated the previously highly favorable trade terms for Hawaii's sugar exports, a main component of the economy.
United States Government Minister John L. Stevens summoned a company of uniformed U.S. Marines from the USS Boston and two companies of U.S. sailors to land on the Kingdom and take up positions at the U.S. Legation, Consulate, and Arion Hall on the afternoon of January 16, 1893. This deployment was at the request of the Committee of Safety, which claimed an "imminent threat to American lives and property". Stevens was accused of ordering the landing on his own authority, and inappropriately using his discretion. Historian William Russ concluded that "the injunction to prevent fighting of any kind made it impossible for the monarchy to protect itself".:350
On July 17, 1893, Sanford B. Dole and his committee took control of the government and declared itself the Provisional Government of Hawaii "to rule until annexation by the United States" and lobbied the United States for it.:90 Dole was president of both the Provisional Government and the later Republic of Hawaiʻi. During this time, members of the former government lobbied in Washington D.C. for the United States to restore the Hawaiian Kingdom. President Grover Cleveland considered the overthrow to have been an illegal act of war; he refused to consider annexation of the islands and initially worked to restore the queen to her throne. Between December 14, 1893 and January 11, 1894 a standoff occurred between the United States, Japan, and the United Kingdom against the Provisional Government to pressure them into returning the Queen known as the Black Week. This incident drove home the message that president Cleveland wanted Queen Liliʻuokalani's return to power, so on July 4, 1894 the Republic of Hawaii was proclaimed to wait for President Cleveland's second term to finish. Also in 1894, as lobbying continued in Washington, the royalist faction was secretly amassing an army of 600 strong led by former Captain of the Guard Samuel Nowlein. In 1895 they attempted a counter-rebellion, and Liliʻuokalani was arrested when a weapons cache was found on the palace grounds. She was tried by a military tribunal of the Republic, convicted of treason, and placed under permanent house arrest in her own home.
On January 24, 1895 while under house arrest Liliʻuokalani was forced to sign a five-page declaration as "Liliuokalani Dominis", in which she formally abdicated the throne in return for the release (and commutation of the death sentences) of her jailed supporters, including Minister Joseph Nawahi, Prince Kawananakoa, Robert Wilcox, and Prince Jonah Kuhio.
Before ascending the throne, for fourteen years, or since the date of my proclamation as heir apparent, my official title had been simply Liliuokalani. Thus I was proclaimed both Princess Royal and Queen. Thus it is recorded in the archives of the government to this day. The Provisional Government nor any other had enacted any change in my name. All my official acts, as well as my private letters, were issued over the signature of Liliuokalani. But when my jailers required me to sign ("Liliuokalani Dominis,") I did as they commanded. Their motive in this as in other actions was plainly to humiliate me before my people and before the world. I saw in a moment, what they did not, that, even were I not complying under the most severe and exacting duress, by this demand they had overreached themselves. There is not, and never was, within the range of my knowledge, any such a person as Liliuokalani Dominis.— Queen Liliuokalani, "Hawaii's Story By Hawaii's Queen"
The Kingdom came about in 1795 in the aftermath of the Battle of Nuuanu, with the conquest of Maui, Molokai and Oahu. Kamehameha I had conquered Maui and Molokai five years prior in the Battle of Kepaniwai, but they were abandoned when Kamehameha's Big Island possession was under threat and later reconquered by the aged King Kahekili II of Maui. His domain comprised six of the major islands of the Hawaiian chain, and with Kaumualii's peaceful surrender, Kauai and Niihau were added to his territories. Kamehameha II assumed de facto control of Kauai and Niihau when he kidnapped Kaumualii, ending his vassal rule over the islands.
In 1822, Queen Kaʻahumanu and her husband King Kaumualiʻi traveled with Captain William Sumner to find Nihoa, as her generation had only known the island through songs and myths. Later, King Kamehameha IV sailed there to officially annex the island. Kamehameha IV and Kalākaua would later claim other islands in the Hawaiian Archipelago, including Pearl and Hermes Atoll, Necker Island, Laysan, Lisianski Island, Ocean (Kure) Atoll, Midway Atoll, French Frigate Shoals, Maro Reef and Gardner Pinnacles, as well as Palmyra Atoll, Johnston Atoll and Jarvis Island. Several of these islands had previously been claimed by the United States under the Guano Islands Act of 1856. The Stewart Islands, or Sikaiana Atoll, near the Solomon Islands, were ceded to Hawaii in 1856 by its residents, but the cession was never formalized by the Hawaiian government.
Early in its history, the Hawaiian Kingdom was governed from several locations including coastal towns on the islands of Hawaiʻi and Maui (Lāhainā). It wasn't until the reign of Kamehameha III that a capital was established in Honolulu on the Island of Oʻahu.
By the time Kamehameha V was king, he saw the need to build a royal palace fitting of the Hawaiian Kingdom's new found prosperity and standing with the royals of other nations. He commissioned the building of the palace at Aliʻiōlani Hale. He died before it was completed. Today, the palace houses the Supreme Court of the State of Hawaiʻi.
David Kalākaua shared the dream of Kamehameha V to build a palace, and eagerly desired the trappings of European royalty. He commissioned the construction of ʻIolani Palace. In later years, the palace would become his sister's makeshift prison under guard by the forces of the Republic of Hawaii, the site of the official raising of the U.S. flag during annexation, and then territorial governor's and legislature's offices. It is now a museum.
The 1840 Constitution of the Hawaiian Kingdom titled Ke Kumukānāwai a me nā Kānāwai o ko Hawaiʻi Pae ʻĀina, Honolulu, 1840 was the first fully written constitution for the Hawaiian Kingdom. The need for a constitution was originally intended as a manner of laws set forth to control the Native Hawaiian population with a Western style and legal framework, giving less severe punishments, such as being exiled, than was the traditional custom until the 1840s. Christianity had failed to change many behaviors of the Hawaiian population, even with the support of the aliʻi families. Adultery and many other sexual relations became forbidden. Hawaiians were arrested and sentenced to severe punishments that were not well organised. The exiled had little food and could easily swim away from the islands and the prison at Honolulu Fort. The issue became worse as fewer pardons from the aliʻi were available, and the overall sentencing then became much more severe for the native population.1852 Constitution of the Hawaiian Kingdom
The 1852 Constitution of the Hawaiian Kingdom, written in both English and Hawaiian, was constructed by King Kamehameha III. The purpose of its construction was to not only revise, but add to the 1840 Constitution in great length. The new constitution created a more democratic government much like those of the United States and Europe.1864 Constitution of the Hawaiian Kingdom
The 1864 Constitution of the Hawaiian Kingdom abrogated the 1852 constitution issued by King Kamehameha III. It dramatically changed the way Hawaii's government worked by increasing the power of the king and changing the way the kingdom's legislature worked. It was Hawaii's constitution from 1864 through 1887, during the reigns of kings Kamehameha V, Lunalilo, and Kalākaua.1887 Constitution of the Hawaiian Kingdom
The 1887 Constitution of the Hawaiian Kingdom was a document prepared by anti-monarchists to strip the Hawaiian monarchy of much of its authority, initiating a transfer of power to American, European and native Hawaiian elites. It became known as the Bayonet Constitution for the use of intimidation by the armed militia which forced King Kalākaua to sign it or be deposed.Hawaiian Kingdom–United States relations
Hawaiian Kingdom–United States relations refers to the historical relationship between the independent Hawaiian Kingdom and the United States. Relations included several treaties and exchanges of trade and diplomatic representatives from 1820 to 1893.Hawaiian sovereignty movement
The Hawaiian sovereignty movement (Hawaiian: ke ea Hawaiʻi) is a grassroots political and cultural campaign to gain sovereignty, self-determination and self-governance for Hawaiians of whole or part Native Hawaiian ancestry with an autonomous or independent nation or kingdom. Some groups also advocate some form of redress from the United States for the 1893 overthrow of Queen Liliʻuokalani, and for what is described as a prolonged military occupation beginning with the 1898 annexation. The movement generally views both the overthrow and annexation as illegal. Palmyra Island and the Stewart Islands were annexed by the Kingdom in the 1860s and are regarded by the movement as being under illegal occupation along with the Hawaiian Islands. The Apology Resolution passed by the United States Congress in 1993 acknowledged that the overthrow of the Kingdom of Hawaii in 1893 was an illegal act.Sovereignty advocates have attributed problems plaguing native communities including homelessness, poverty, economic marginalization, and the erosion of native traditions to the lack of native governance and political self-determination. They have pursued their agenda through educational initiatives and legislative actions. Along with protests throughout the islands, at the capitol itself as well as the places and locations held as sacred to Hawaiian culture, sovereignty activists have challenged United States forces and law.Legislature of the Hawaiian Kingdom
The Legislature of the Hawaiian Kingdom (Hawaiian: ʻAhaʻōlelo o ke Aupuni o Hawaiʻi) was the bicameral (later unicameral) legislature of the Hawaiian Kingdom. A royal legislature was first provided by the 1840 Constitution and the 1852 Constitution was the first to use the term Legislature of the Hawaiian Islands, and the first to subject the monarch to certain democratic principles. Prior to this the monarchs ruled under a Council of Chiefs (ʻAha Aliʻi).Ministry of Foreign Affairs (Hawaii)
The Minister of Foreign Affairs (Hawaiian: Kuhina o ko na Aina E) was a powerful office in the Kingdom of Hawaii, the Provisional Government of Hawaii and the Republic of Hawaii from 1843 to 1900. It made up one of the four offices of the monarchical or presidential cabinet which advised the Head of State of Hawaii on executive affairs. During the monarchy, ministers were also ex-officio members of the Privy Council and the House of Nobles in the legislature. During the republic, ministers were ex-officio members of both houses of the legislature. The head of state had the power to appoint the ministers but later Hawaiian constitutions limited the power the head of state had in removing the cabinet ministers by requiring a vote of no confidence from a majority of the elective members of the legislature. All acts of the head of state had to be countersigned by a minister.Ministry of the Interior (Hawaii)
The Minister of the Interior (Hawaiian: Kuhina Kalaianaina) was a powerful office in the Kingdom of Hawaii, the Provisional Government of Hawaii and the Republic of Hawaii from 1845 to 1900. It made up one of the four offices of the monarchical or presidential cabinet which advised the Head of State of Hawaii on executive affairs. During the monarchy, ministers were also ex-officio members of the Privy Council and the House of Nobles in the legislature. During the republic, ministers were ex-officio members of both houses of the legislature. The head of state had the power to appoint the ministers but later Hawaiian constitutions limited the power the head of state had in removing the cabinet ministers by requiring a vote of no confidence from a majority of the elective members of the legislature. All acts of the head of state had to be countersigned by a minister.National Liberal Party (Hawaii)
In 1892, the Hawaiian National Liberal Party (ʻAoʻao Lāhui Hawaiʻi Liberala in the Hawaiian), also known as the National Liberal Party of the Hawaiian Kingdom (generally known as just the "Liberal Party"), was a political party of the Kingdom of Hawaii near its end.National Reform Party (Hawaii)
In January, 1890, the National Reform Party was established in opposition to the Reform Party, drawing from the group Hui Kālaiʻāina and the Mechanics' and Workingmens' Political Protective Union. It was regarded as moderate political party and supported Queen Liliʻuokalani and native Hawaiians, making themselves favored when she formed her cabinet which were all members of the National Reform Party. The other two main parties were both critical of the queen. The conservative Reform Party said she was too liberal and the Liberal Party accused her of being too conservative.
Successful candidates included John Adams Cummins and Paul Neumann.Opposition to the overthrow of the Hawaiian Kingdom
Opposition to the overthrow of the Hawaiian Kingdom took several forms. Following the overthrow of the monarchy on January 17, 1893, Hawaii's provisional government—under the leadership of Sanford B. Dole—attempted to annex the land to the United States under Republican Benjamin Harrison's administration. But the treaty of annexation came up for approval under the administration of Grover Cleveland, a Democrat, anti-expansionist, and friend of the deposed Queen Liliuokalani of Hawaii. Cleveland retracted the treaty on March 4, 1893, and launched an investigation headed by James Henderson Blount; its report is known as the Blount Report.Overthrow of the Hawaiian Kingdom
The overthrow of the Hawaiian Kingdom began on January 17, 1893, with a coup d'état against Queen Liliʻuokalani on the island of Oahu by subjects of the Hawaiian Kingdom, United States citizens, and foreign residents residing in Honolulu. A majority of the insurgents were foreigners. They prevailed upon American minister John L. Stevens to call in the U.S. Marines to protect United States interests, an action that effectively buttressed the rebellion. The revolutionaries established the Republic of Hawaii, but their ultimate goal was the annexation of the islands to the United States, which occurred in 1898.Pearl Harbor
Pearl Harbor is a lagoon harbor on the island of Oahu, Hawaii, west of Honolulu. It has been long visited by the Naval fleet of the United States, before it was acquired from the Hawaiian Kingdom by the U.S. with the signing of the Reciprocity Treaty of 1875. Much of the harbor and surrounding lands is now a United States Navy deep-water naval base. It is also the headquarters of the United States Pacific Fleet. The U.S. government first obtained exclusive use of the inlet and the right to maintain a repair and coaling station for ships here in 1887. The attack on Pearl Harbor by the Empire of Japan on December 7, 1941, was the immediate cause of the United States' entry into World War II.Proposed 1893 Constitution of the Hawaiian Kingdom
The proposed 1893 Constitution of the Hawaiian Kingdom would have been a replacement of the Constitution of 1887, primarily based on the Constitution of 1864 put forth by Queen Lili'uokalani. While it never became anything more than a draft, the constitution had a profound impact on Hawaiʻi's history: it set off a chain of events that eventually resulted in the overthrow of the Hawaiian Kingdom.Ralph Simpson Kuykendall
Ralph Simpson Kuykendall (April 12, 1885 – May 9, 1963) was an American historian who served as the trustee and secretary of the Hawaiian Historical Society from 1922 to 1932. Kuykendall also served as professor of history at the University of Hawaii at Manoa. He is most noted as a historian of the Hawaiian Islands, South Pacific, and Pacific Northwest.Reciprocity Treaty of 1875
The Treaty of reciprocity between the United States of America and the Hawaiian Kingdom (Hawaiian: Kuʻikahi Pānaʻi Like) was a free trade agreement signed and ratified in 1875 that is generally known as the Reciprocity Treaty of 1875.
The treaty gave free access to the United States market for sugar and other products grown in the Kingdom of Hawaii starting in September 1876. In return, the US gained lands in the area known as Puʻu Loa for what became known as the Pearl Harbor naval base. The treaty led to large investment by Americans in sugarcane plantations in Hawaii.Reform Party (Hawaii)
The Reform Party, also referred to as "the Missionary Party", or the "Down-Town Party", was a political party in the Kingdom of Hawaii. It was founded by descendants of Protestant missionaries that came to Hawaii from New England. The Reform/Missionary Party merged with native Hawaiian members of the Home Rule Party led by Prince Kuhio in 1902 to form the Hawaii Republican Party. The fused Republican Party would lead the so-called Haole-Hawaiian Alliance with uninterrupted Legislative majorities until Democrats took control of the Legislature in 1954.Supreme Court of Hawaii
The Supreme Court of Hawaii is the highest court of the State of Hawaii in the United States. Its decisions are binding on all other courts of the Hawaii State Judiciary. The principal purpose of the Supreme Court is to review the decisions of the trial courts in which appeals have been granted. Appeals are decided by the members of the Supreme Court based on written records and in some cases may grant oral arguments in the main Supreme Court chamber. Like its mainland United States counterparts, the Supreme Court does not take evidence and uses only evidence provided in previous trials.
The court meets in Aliʻiōlani Hale in Honolulu.