Legal status of Hawaii

The legal status of Hawaii—as opposed to its political status—is a settled legal matter as it pertains to United States law, but there has been scholarly and legal debate. While Hawaii is internationally recognized as a state of the United States of America while also being broadly accepted as such in mainstream understanding, there have been essays written denying the legality of this status. The argument is that Hawaii is an independent nation under military occupation. The legality of control of Hawaii by the United States has also been raised in the losing side in cases in the U.S. Supreme Court,[1] and in U.S. District Court.[2]


The islands that we know of today as Hawaii were settled by Polynesian explorers some time around 350 AD. The indigenous inhabitants are referred to as kānaka maoli. After 1778, and the arrival of James Cook, populations levels changed drastically and eventually the islands would be unified in 1795 under the leadership of Kamehameha I. Within one hundred years of the founding of the kingdom, American political and religious influence would erode the powers of the indigenous monarchs and eventually overthrow the kingdom on January 17, 1893.[3]

James Henderson Blount - Brady-Handy
James Blount

1893 U.S. presidential (Blount) investigation

A provisional government was established which favored annexation. U.S. President Grover Cleveland rejected the provisional government for the illegal overthrow of a sovereign nation and demanded the restoration of Queen Liliʻuokalani to her rightful place as ruler of the Kingdom of Hawaii.[4] The new government refused and the Republic of Hawaii was declared instead. Cleveland sent Georgia Congressman James Henderson Blount to investigate the matter. Following his investigation, Blount issued a 1342-page report on July 17, 1893,[5] which called the coup an "act of war" against a friendly and independent nation, and recommended that appropriate measures be taken by the U.S. to restore the Hawaiian Kingdom. The Cleveland Administration, and particularly Secretary of State Gresham, recommended the fair yet forcible removal of the usurpers from power.[6] They were advised, however, that this would require a Declaration of War. It was doubtful that Congress would pass such a measure against its own citizens.

Grover Cleveland

Cleveland's attempts at restoration

Cleveland nonetheless advocated for intervention. Meanwhile, the new Minister to Hawaii, Alfred Willis, asked the Queen if she would pardon the usurpers if restored. The Queen stated that she was legally bound to follow the 1887 Constitution (ironically, forced on her brother Kalākaua by many of the same usurpers in question), which required either banishment or death as a punishment for treason. Willis reported to president Cleveland that she had told him that the conspirators should be "beheaded". The press quickly inflamed the situation, reporting that the Queen intended to decapitate every white person in Hawaii.[7] The reaction among white people in both Honolulu and Washington was riotous, and Cleveland was forced to abandon his course of action, handing the matter over to Congress, who, tiring of the conflict and lacking the means to restore the Queen without risking a fiasco, recognized the Republic.[8]

Cleveland ended his support for the Queen. His own political position was increasingly shaky. His strong stances for the gold standard, for the upholding of treaties with Native Americans (which, in one case, returned four million acres to the Winnebago and Crow Creek peoples, angering tens of thousands of American settlers who had gathered in readiness to occupy them)[9] and against imperialism and involvement in Nicaragua, along with a multitude of personal controversies and finally, his disastrous attempt at intervention in the Pullman Strike left him totally unable to engage in contentious action,[10] particularly once the situation became volatile.

John Tyler Morgan - Brady-Handy
John Morgan

1894 Senate (Morgan) investigation

Dissatisfied with Blount's findings, pro-annexation elements in the U.S. Senate sought another viewpoint. In 1894, the U.S. Senate Foreign Relations Committee sent Senator John Tyler Morgan to make a second investigation. Morgan, a staunch segregationist and former Grand Dragon of the Ku Klux Klan[11] who had speculated on the use of Hawaii (along with the Philippines, Congo, and Cuba) as an alternative site for relocation of Blacks,[12] was sent to challenge Blount's findings. Interviewing primarily Caucasian settlers,[13] befriending coup organizer Lorrin Thurston and emphasizing the strategic value of Hawaii, Morgan's report exonerated the U.S. military of direct responsibility.[14][15] Though the report was never accepted by the Senate,[16] it was used in subsequent years to justify the U.S.' actions. Meanwhile, Minister Stevens had already been reprimanded and forced into retirement by the Cleveland administration for his unauthorized role in the coup. Stevens did not oppose this action, having lost a child to drowning in Maine just three days after the Overthrow, which had plunged him into deep depression. He was exonerated by Morgan's report shortly before his own death in 1895.[17] Stevens also received a silver tea service made of melted Hawaiian Kingdom coins in thanks from the new Provisional Government,[18] which is still in curation by his descendants.

1895 trial and abdication

In 1895, a small group of royalists led by Robert William Kalanihiapo Wilcox clashed with Republic forces on the slopes of Diamond Head, and in Mōʻiliʻili. Casualties were minimal. The Republic, by this time, was extremely well-armed: not only had Sanford B. Dole spent the Kingdom's money on armaments, he had borrowed additional money to arm and pay a formidable militia.[19] Wilcox and the others, including two haole of prominent families, were arrested. Liliʻuokalani was accused of "conspiring" with and "aiding" them, and although evidence was scanty, she was found guilty and imprisoned in a room in ʻIolani Palace for several months. Wilcox and five others were tried for treason, and sentenced to be hanged. The imprisoned Queen was given an ultimatum: if she formally abdicated, Wilcox and the others would be pardoned. Whether or not she supported their actions, the Queen did not want these men to die. After sending a message explaining her duress, she therefore signed an abdication statement, pre-written by members of the Republic, praising that government and relinquishing her personal right to the throne. She was directed to sign as "Liliʻuokalani Dominis", which was not her legal name. In addition to clear duress, her abdication did not transfer any governmental power, which would not have been hers alone to transfer. However, this fact was greatly re-interpreted in history texts and curriculum, giving rise to the widespread idea that the Queen had relinquished the Kingdom, and not merely her own personal position in it, by abdicating.

Annexation and anti-annexation campaigns

From 1893 to 1896, the Republic of Hawaii actively sought annexation to the United States. However, despite intensive debate on the matter in the legislature, annexation was strongly opposed by the U.S. Presidency, the people of Hawaii, and much of Congress; the Turpie Resolution in 1894 took annexation off the table entirely.

Hawaii petition against annexation
Anti-Annexation petitions, signed by the majority of adults in Hawaii, 1897

In 1896, expansionist president William McKinley was elected. In 1897, McKinley negotiated a treaty with the Republic of Hawaii, which he attempted unsuccessfully to pass through Congress; however, only 46 of the 60 requisite votes were procured, and so the treaty failed.

Senator Pettigrew and Senator Turpie insisted that the Kanaka Maoli of Hawaii be given a chance to vote on annexation. But Senator Morgan and the other pro-annexation Senators knew that if a vote were taken, it would be overwhelmingly in favor of Hawaii's independence. In a report, these Senators wrote, "If a requirement should be made by the United States of a plebiscite [vote] to determine the question of annexation, it would work a revolution in Hawaii which would abolish its constitution." They knew, in other words, that if the people were allowed to vote, not only would they reject annexation, they would also reject the Republic that had been forced upon them against their will.[20]

The majority of the population in Hawaii was indeed vociferously opposed to U.S. annexation. In a single weeklong petition drive, 21,000 signatures—representing well over half of the adult population of Hawaii at the time—were procured by horseback, boat and foot travel. These petitions were hand-carried to Washington and delivered to the United States Senate.

Spanish–American War and Newlands Resolution

Annexation of Hawaii (PP-35-8-012)
U.S. and Republic troops at U.S. flag-raising in 1898

In 1898, Cuba and the Philippines declared independence from Spain. The U.S. declared war on Spain as well, as it openly wanted control of these countries. With the Spanish–American War as its rationale, the US Congress passed a joint resolution, referred to as the Newlands Resolution, by a simple majority of both houses. The United States asserted that it had legally annexed Hawaii. Critics argued this was not a legally permissible way to acquire territory under the U.S. Constitution. As well as this, there were continued protests in Hawaii and Washington by supporters of the Kingdom. The flag of the United States was raised over Hawaii on August 12, 1898, protected by the United States Navy.

As a result of the unilateral assertion by the United States that it annexed Hawaii, coupled with the continued presence of United States military forces in the territory of what had been known as a neutral Hawaiian Kingdom up until the landing of armed US Marines on January 17, 1893, The War Report: Armed Conflict in 2014 (2015), reported (p. 24), "Other belligerent occupations that have been alleged include the occupation by the United Kingdom of the Falkland Islands/Malvinas (Argentina claims this as sovereign territory), of Tibet by China, and of the State of Hawaii by the United States. The War Report makes no determination as to whether belligerent occupation is occurring in these cases."[21] The definition of a belligerent occupation is explained in the Hague Convention of 1907, "Laws and Customs of War on Land" (Hague IV); October 18, 1907: "Section III Military Authority over the territory of the hostile State":[22]

Art. 42. Territory is considered occupied when it is actually placed under the authority of the hostile army. The occupation extends only to the territory where such authority has been established and can be exercised.

Art. 43. The authority of the legitimate power having in fact passed into the hands of the occupant, the latter shall take all the measures in his power to restore, and ensure, as far as possible, public order and safety, while respecting, unless absolutely prevented, the laws in force in the country.

In 1949, the laws relative to belligerent occupation were amended further in the Fourth Geneva Convention, Section III: Occupied Territories, Article 6:

"The present Convention shall apply from the outset of any conflict or occupation mentioned in Article 2.

In the territory of Parties to the conflict, the application of the present Convention shall cease on the general close of military operations.

In the case of occupied territory, the application of the present Convention shall cease one year after the general close of military operations; however, the Occupying Power shall be bound, for the duration of the occupation, to the extent that such Power exercises the functions of government in such territory, by the provisions of the following Articles of the present Convention: 1 to 12, 27, 29 to 34, 47, 49, 51, 52, 53, 59, 61 to 77, 143."

Territory of Hawaii

The Territory of Hawaii officially lasted from April 30, 1900, when President McKinley signed the Hawaii Organic Act, until 1959. U.S. military expansion was enormous during this period, and commerce grew intensively. At the same time, use of the Hawaiian language was punished in schools,[23] and native cultural practitioners were repressed.[24][25]

Statehood plebiscite and Admissions Act

Ballot (inset) and referendum results for the Admission Act of 1959, showing choice between State and Territory status.

From the time of the United Nations' formation in 1946 until 1959, Hawaii was on the United Nations list of Non-Self-Governing Territories eligible for decolonization. The United States proposed a vote between two options: 1) become a State by passing the Admissions Act, or 2) remain a United States Territory. 93% of voters supported statehood in the statehood vote.[26]

Permanent Court of Arbitration, the Hague, Netherlands

The Permanent Court of Arbitration decided in 2002 to drop a case brought by a private citizen against an entity calling itself the Kingdom of Hawaii.

The Tribunal concluded that it could not determine whether the Respondent has failed to discharge its obligations towards the Claimant without ruling on the legality of the acts of the United States of America – something the Tribunal was precluded from doing as the United States was not party to the case.[27]

Contemporary legal actions

Hawaii v. Office of Hawaiian Affairs, (2009)

According to the decision of the U.S. Supreme Court of March 31, 2009, the "whereas" clauses of the 1993 Congressional Apology Resolution have no binding effect,[28] and the resolution does not change or modify the "absolute" title to the public lands of the State of Hawaii. The decision also affirmed that federal legislation cannot retroactively cloud title given as a part of statehood in general and that the State of Hawaii has not established title to all land transferred to it from the federal government in 1959.,[28] The case was remanded to the State Supreme court to allow an injunction from the alienation of the Crown or Ceded lands, allowing for a finding consistent with federal law. Justice Alito in his opinion held that the court did not have jurisdiction over Hawaiian Law and suggested the question of who held "Perfect title" would have to be settled by further litigation.[28]

Historical legal actions

International recognition of the Republic of Hawaii

Documents dating to 1898 from the Hawaii State Archives have revealed official letters of international recognition of the Republic of Hawaii as the legitimate successor to the Kingdom of Hawaii from every nation which ever had diplomatic relations with the Kingdom. Images of these documents are now available online.[29]

De Lima v. Bidwell

Annexation via a joint resolution of Congress is legal according to American law. The United States Supreme Court wrote, "A treaty made by that power is said to be the supreme law of the land, – as efficacious as an act of Congress; and, if subsequent and inconsistent with an act of Congress, repeals it. This must be granted, and also that one of the ordinary incidents of a treaty is the cession of territory, and that the territory thus acquired is acquired as absolutely as if the annexation were made, as in the case of Texas and Hawaii, by an act of Congress."

Hawaii v. Mankichi

In a 1903 criminal case, Territory of Hawaii v. Mankichi, 190 U.S. 197 (1903) the U.S. Supreme Court noted that "the status of the islands and the powers of their provisional government were measured by the Newlands resolution[.]" That point was made even more forcefully in a separate opinion in the case filed by Justice Harlan. Justice Harlan disagreed with the court on a different issue which concerned Hawaiian law as to jury trials, but on the issue of the validity of the Newlands resolution, he agreed fully with the majority, stating, "By the resolution, the annexation of the Hawaiian Islands became complete, and the object of the proposed treaty, that 'those islands should be incorporated into the United States as an integral part thereof, and under its sovereignty' was accomplished."

Liliuokalani v. The United States

Liliuokalani's claims of personal ownership of the crown lands was denied by the U.S. Court of Claims, based primarily on Hawaiian Kingdom law.[30]

U.S. investigations

The Blount Report

On July 17, 1893, James H. Blount was sent by Grover Cleveland under secret orders shortly after his inauguration, Blount's investigation led him to believe that the U.S. was directly responsible for the overthrow of Queen Liliuokalani. He reported back to President Cleveland, who took steps to reinstate the queen based on Blount's information. As the president of the Provisional Government of Hawaii flatly refused to reinstate the Queen, Cleveland referred the matter to Congress on December 18, 1893, with a blistering letter condemning what he believed at the time to be the U.S. role in the overthrow.[31]

The Morgan Report

On February 26, 1894, after Cleveland's referral of the matter to Congress, a second investigation committee was formed under the leadership of Senator John Tyler Morgan, an expansionist and segregationist. Over the course of several months, with extensive testimony under cross examination, they came to the exact opposite conclusion that Blount reached. In their conclusions, the U.S. military was completely exonerated, and blame for the Hawaiian Revolution was placed squarely on the shoulders of Queen Liliuokalani.[32]

United States Commission on Civil Rights report

Considering the Akaka Bill on May 4, 2006, the USCCR found that the Hawaiian Kingdom "included Native Hawaiians, but also included residents of other races and ethnicities." They recommended strongly against the Akaka Bill as "legislation that would discriminate on the basis of race or national origin and further subdivide the American people".[33]

U.S. legislation

See also


  1. ^ "Supreme Court hears "ceded" lands case - Statehood Hawaii".
  2. ^ "Hawaiian Kingdom - David Keanu Sai v. Barack Obama, et al".
  3. ^ Ponterotto, Joseph G.; Casas, J. Manuel; Suzuki, Lisa A.; Alexander, Charlene M., eds. (24 August 2009). Handbook of Multicultural Counseling. SAGE Publications. pp. 269–271. ISBN 978-1-4833-1713-7.
  4. ^ Michelle Ann Abate (28 June 2008). Tomboys: A Literary and Cultural History. Temple University Press. pp. 134–135. ISBN 978-1-59213-724-4.
  5. ^ Ward Churchill (1 January 2003). Perversions of Justice: Indigenous Peoples and Anglo-american Law. City Lights Books. p. 112. ISBN 978-0-87286-411-5.
  6. ^ JH Blount – US Congress, House. Hawaiian Islands, Exec. Doc, 1893
  7. ^ Proto, Neil Thomas. The rights of my people: Liliuokalani's enduring battle with the United States, 1893–1917. Algora Publishing, 2009
  8. ^ Nick Cleaver (2014). Grover Cleveland's New Foreign Policy: Arbitration, Neutrality, and the Dawn of American Empire. Palgrave Macmillan. pp. 46–47.
  9. ^ Brodsky, Alan. Grover Cleveland: A Study in Character, (2000). ISBN 0-312-26883-1
  10. ^ Nevins, Allan. Grover Cleveland: A Study in Courage (1932) Pulitzer Prize-winning biography. ASIN B000PUX6KQ.
  11. ^ "Ku Klux Klan in Alabama during the Reconstruction Era - Encyclopedia of Alabama". Encyclopedia of Alabama.
  12. ^ Proto, p.84
  13. ^ Transcribed Morgan Report – TheMorganReport
  14. ^ The Morgan Report: Summary and Conclusions of the Senate investigation into the Hawaii Matter
  15. ^ Native Hawaiians Study Commission Conclusions and Recommendations June 23, 1983
  16. ^ Proto, Neil Thomas. The rights of my people: Liliuokalani's enduring battle with the United States, 1893–1917. Algora Publishing, 2009, p. 89
  17. ^ "JOHN L. STEVENS IS DEAD; He Was Minister to Hawaii During the Late Crisis. ONCE THE PARTNER OF MR. BLAINE He Aided the Organization of the Republican Party in Maine -- Long Career in Diplomatic Service" (PDF).
  18. ^ " Home Page".
  19. ^ Proto, p.90
  20. ^ Anti-annexation petitions Archived 2012-03-17 at the Wayback Machine
  21. ^ Bellal, A. (editor). (2015) The war report: Armed conflict in 2014. United Kingdom: Oxford University Press.
  22. ^ Laws and Customs of War on Land" (Hague IV); October 18, 1907: "Section III Military Authority over the territory of the hostile State source The Avalon Project at the Yale Law School
  23. ^ Noenoe Silva, "Aloha Betrayed: Native Hawaiian Resistance to American Colonialism." Durham (North Carolina) and London: Duke University Press, 2004. ISBN 0-8223-3349-X
  24. ^ Trask, Haunani-Kay. "The Struggle For Hawaiian Sovereignty — Introduction".
  25. ^ Kekuni, Blaisdell. "Historical and Philosophical Aspects of Lapa'au Traditional Kanaka Maoli Healing Practices". In Motion Magazine. Retrieved December 21, 2012.
  26. ^ Smith, Keri E. Lyall. "The States and Indigenous Movements". Routledge. November 30, 2006. p. 56.
  27. ^ See "Larsen v. Hawaiian Kingdom" Permanent Court of Arbitration, 2002
  28. ^ a b c "Hawaii et al v Office of Hawaiian Affairs" (PDF). United States Supreme Court. March 31, 2009. Retrieved July 24, 2014.
  29. ^ "Recognition of the Republic of Hawaii «  The Mystery of Hawaiian History". Retrieved 2018-01-16.
  30. ^ Wikisource:Liliuokalani v. The United States
  31. ^ "Blount Report". p. 1. Retrieved 2014-07-26.
  32. ^ "TheMorganReport". Retrieved 2014-07-26.
  33. ^
  34. ^ Library, University of Hawaii at Manoa Hamilton. "Annexation of Hawaii - University of Hawaii at Manoa Library".
  35. ^ "CHAPTER I".

External links

  • Online images and transcriptions of the entire 1894 Morgan Report
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.

African-American self-determination

African-American self-determination refers to efforts to secure self-determination for African-Americans and related peoples in North America. It often intersects with the historic Back-to-Africa movement and general Black separatism, but also manifests in present and historic demands for self-determination on North American soil, ranging from autonomy to independence. Reparations for slavery and other oppressions are often a key demand for advocates of African-American self-determination.

Much of the self-determination dialogue has focused on the Black Belt region in the Southern United States from Virginia to Texas, and has ranged from self-governing admittance as a state to outright secession from U.S. governance.

Blount Report

The Blount Report is the popular name given to the part of the 1893 United States House of Representatives Foreign Relations Committee Report regarding the overthrow of the Kingdom of Hawaii. The report was conducted by U.S. Commissioner James H. Blount, appointed by U.S. President Grover Cleveland to investigate the events surrounding the January 1893 overthrow of the Kingdom of Hawaii.

The Blount Report "first provided evidence that officially identified the United States' complicity in the lawless overthrow of the lawful, peaceful government of Hawaii." Blount concluded that U.S. Minister to Hawaii John L. Stevens had carried out unauthorized partisan activities, including the landing of U.S. Marines under a false or exaggerated pretext, to support the anti-royalist conspirators; that these actions were instrumental to the success of the revolution; and that the revolution was carried out against the wishes of a majority of the population of Hawaii.The Blount Report was followed in 1894 by the Morgan Report, which contradicted Blount's report by concluding that all participants except for Queen Liliʻuokalani were "not guilty".

Bumpy Kanahele

Dennis "Bumpy" Pu‘uhonua Kanahele is a Hawaiian nationalist leader and titular head of state of the group Nation of Hawai'i. He spearheaded the founding of Pu‘uhonua o Waimānalo, a Hawaiian cultural village and traditional lo‘i kalo (taro paddy) agricultural restoration project in Waimānalo, Hawai‘i. Pu‘uhonua is a Hawaiian word meaning "sanctuary" or "place of refuge".

The Nation of Hawai‘i group, which administers the village, regards itself as a sovereign government under international law, acting as a successor state to the independent Kingdom of Hawai‘i and therefore not subject to United States rule. Kanahele, like many Hawaiians, claims to be a descendant of King Kamehameha I. In the late 1980s and early 1990s, Kanahele became known for militant activism on behalf of Hawaiian sovereignty, publicly resisting U.S. federal and state laws.

Elk v. Wilkins

Elk v. Wilkins, 112 U.S. 94 (1884), was a United States Supreme Court case respecting the citizenship status of Indians.John Elk, a Winnebago Indian, was born on an Indian reservation and later resided with whites on the non-reservation US territory in Omaha, Nebraska, where he renounced his former tribal allegiance and claimed citizenship by virtue of the Citizenship Clause. The case came about after Elk tried to register to vote on April 5, 1880 and was denied by Charles Wilkins, the named defendant, who was registrar of voters of the Fifth ward of the City of Omaha.

The court decided that even though Elk was born in the United States, he was not a citizen because he owed allegiance to his tribe when he was born rather than to the U.S. and therefore was not subject to the jurisdiction of the United States when he was born.

The United States Congress later enacted the Indian Citizenship Act of 1924, which established citizenship for Indians previously excluded by the US Constitution; however, no subsequent Supreme Court case has reversed the majority opinion offered on Elk v. Wilkins, including the detailed definitions of the terms of the 14th Amendment as written by Justice Gray. The Elk v. Wilkins opinion remains valid for interpretation of future citizenship issues regarding the 14th Amendment, but has been rendered undebatable for its application to native Indians due to the 1924 Act.

Hawaii's Story by Hawaii's Queen

Hawaii's Story by Hawaii's Queen is a book written by Queen Liliʻuokalani, the last monarch of the Kingdom of Hawaiʻi. It was first published in 1898, five years after the overthrow of the Kingdom. In it, Liliʻuokalani gives her account of her upbringing, her accession to the throne, the overthrow of her government by pro-American forces, her appeals to the United States to restore the Hawaiian monarchy, and her arrest and trial following an unsuccessful 1895 rebellion against the Republic of Hawaiʻi.

Her appeals immediately after the Hawaiian Revolution were acted upon by her friend, President Grover Cleveland, who demanded her reinstatement from the President of Hawaiʻi, Sanford B. Dole, following a confidential investigation and report by James Henderson Blount submitted July 17, 1893. Dole refused Cleveland's demands. Cleveland then referred the matter to the United States Congress. The Congress investigated further and produced the Morgan Report on February 26, 1894 which concluded that the U.S. had no role in the Hawaiian Revolution. Following the Morgan Report, the Turpie Resolution of May 31, 1894 ended any hope for further assistance in regaining her throne, and her further appeals for help were rebuffed by the Cleveland administration.

In 1898, the same year the book was originally published, Hawaiʻi was formally annexed by the United States of America.

This book is seen by many in the Hawaiian sovereignty movement as a key source documenting the overthrow of the Hawaiian monarchy. Many of her assertions regarding the overthrow are contradicted by other primary sources, including the Morgan Report and the Native Hawaiians Study Commission Report of 1983.

In either case, many people believe that the work is successful in conveying the frustration and sadness by the Queen and her supporters both for her loss of the throne, as well as the end of the independent nation of Hawaiʻi upon annexation to the United States.

Hawaiian Kingdom

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.

Hawaiian Organic Act

The Hawaiian Organic Act, Pub.L. 56–339, 31 Stat. 141, enacted April 30, 1900, was an organic act enacted by the United States Congress to establish the Territory of Hawaii and to provide a Constitution and government for the territory. The Act was in force until August 21, 1959, when the territory was admitted to the Union as a State.

Hawaiian Renaissance

The First, Second, and Third Hawaiian Renaissance (also often called the Hawaiian Cultural Renaissance) was the Hawaiian resurgence of a distinct cultural identity that draws upon traditional kānaka maoli culture, with a significant divergence from the tourism-based culture which Hawaiʻi was previously known for worldwide (along with the rest of Polynesia).

Indigenous self-government in Canada

Indigenous or Aboriginal self-government refers to proposals to give governments representing the Indigenous peoples in Canada greater powers of government. These proposals range from giving Aboriginal governments powers similar to that of local governments in Canada to demands that Indigenous governments be recognized as sovereign, and capable of "nation-to-nation" negotiations as legal equals to the Crown (i.e. the Canadian state), as well as many other variations.

Legal status of Alaska

The legal status of Alaska is the standing of Alaska as a political entity. Generally, the debate has primarily surrounded the legal status of Alaska relative to the United States of America. Alaska is considered to be a state of the United States of America. Nonetheless, Alaska's legal status within the Union has been disputed at times, most recently by a movement launched by Joe Vogler and the Alaskan Independence Party (AIP). In disputes over the legal status of Alaska, a key issue has been the tension between its de facto and de jure international standing.

Legal status of Texas

The legal status of Texas is the standing of Texas as a political entity. While Texas has been part of various political entities throughout its history, including 10 years during 1836–1846 as the independent Republic of Texas, the current legal status is as a state of the United States of America.

Due to Texas's unique history, United States sovereignty over Texas has been disputed at times. Adherents of secessionist movements claim that American sovereignty is illegal, although this viewpoint is not widely held. Disputes over the legal status of Texas have revolved around key issues that include, but are not limited to, the legitimacy of its re-admittance to the Union following the Civil War, differing viewpoints over its de facto and de jure international standing, and perceived discrepancies between its original and current boundaries.

Regardless, a minority viewpoint, as expressed by some factions such as Republic of Texas (group), has persisted, asserting that Texas remains an independent nation and that American actions in the American Civil War have resulted in an illegal military occupation of Texas. The debate is considered by some to resemble academic discourse being argued by several other activist groups in the United States, most notably arguments over the legal status of Hawaii and the legal status of Alaska. The situation most closely resembles that of Hawaii, as Hawaii was also annexed via a Joint Resolution of Congress.

List of U.S. states by date of admission to the Union

A state of the United States is one of the 50 constituent entities that shares its sovereignty with the federal government. Americans are citizens of both the federal republic and of the state in which they reside, due to the shared sovereignty between each state and the federal government. Kentucky, Massachusetts, Pennsylvania, and Virginia use the term commonwealth rather than state in their full official names.

States are the primary subdivisions of the United States. They possess all powers not granted to the federal government, nor prohibited to them by the United States Constitution. In general, state governments have the power to regulate issues of local concern, such as: regulating intrastate commerce, running elections, creating local governments, public school policy, and non-federal road construction and maintenance. Each state has its own constitution grounded in republican principles, and government consisting of executive, legislative, and judicial branches.All states and their residents are represented in the federal Congress, a bicameral legislature consisting of the Senate and the House of Representatives. Each state is represented by two Senators, and at least one Representative, while the size of a state's House delegation depends on its total population, as determined by the most recent constitutionally-mandated decennial census. Additionally, each state is entitled to select a number of electors to vote in the Electoral College, the body that elects the President of the United States, equal to the total of Representatives and Senators in Congress from that state.Article IV, Section 3, Clause 1 of the Constitution grants to Congress the authority to admit new states into the Union. Since the establishment of the United States in 1776, the number of states has expanded from the original 13 to 50. Each new state has been admitted on an equal footing with the existing states.The following table is a list of all 50 states and their respective dates of statehood. The first 13 became states in July 1776 upon agreeing to the United States Declaration of Independence, and each joined the first Union of states between 1777 and 1781, upon ratifying the Articles of Confederation, its first constitution. (A separate table is included below showing AoC ratification dates.) These states are presented in the order in which each ratified the 1787 Constitution, thus joining the present federal Union of states. The date of admission listed for each subsequent state is the official date set by Act of Congress.

Northwest Ordinance

The Northwest Ordinance (formally An Ordinance for the Government of the Territory of the United States, North-West of the River Ohio, and also known as The Ordinance of 1787) enacted July 13, 1787, was an organic act of the Congress of the Confederation of the United States. It created the Northwest Territory, the first organized territory of the United States, from lands beyond the Appalachian Mountains, between British North America and the Great Lakes to the north and the Ohio River to the south. The upper Mississippi River formed the territory's western boundary.

In the Treaty of Paris (1783), which formally ended the American Revolutionary War, Great Britain yielded this region to the United States. However, the Confederation Congress faced numerous problems gaining control of the land; these included: the unsanctioned movement of American settlers into the Ohio Valley, violent confrontations with the region's indigenous peoples, the ongoing presence of the British Army which continued to occupy forts in the region, and an empty U.S. treasury. The ordinance superseded the Land Ordinance of 1784 (which declared that states would one day be formed within the region) and the Land Ordinance of 1785 (which described how the Confederation Congress would sell the land to private citizens). Designed to serve as a blueprint for the development and settlement of the region, what the 1787 ordinance lacked was a strong central government to implement it. This need was addressed shortly thereafter, when the new federal government came into existence in 1789. The 1st United States Congress reaffirmed the 1787 ordinance, and, with slight modifications, renewed it through the Northwest Ordinance of 1789.Considered one of the most important legislative acts of the Confederation Congress, it established the precedent by which the Federal government would be sovereign and expand westward with the admission of new states, rather than with the expansion of existing states and their established sovereignty under the Articles of Confederation. It also set legislative precedent with regard to American public domain lands. The U.S. Supreme Court recognized the authority of the Northwest Ordinance of 1789 within the applicable Northwest Territory as constitutional in Strader v. Graham, but did not extend the Ordinance to cover the respective states once they were admitted to the Union.

The prohibition of slavery in the territory had the practical effect of establishing the Ohio River as the geographic divide between slave states and free states from the Appalachian Mountains to the Mississippi River (an extension of the Mason–Dixon line). It also helped set the stage for later political conflicts over slavery at the federal level in the 19th century until the Civil War.

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.

Political status

In international law three categories of Political status are usually recognized:

Independent countries e.g.: France, Canada

Internal independent countries which are under the protection of another country in matters of defense and foreign affairs, e.g.: Netherlands Antilles, the Faroe Islands, British Virgin Islands etc.

Colonies and other dependent political units e.g. Puerto Rico.There are, furthermore, several unrecognized countries and independence, secessionist, autonomy and nationalist movements throughout the world. See list of unrecognized countries.

Provisional Government of Hawaii

The Provisional Government of Hawaii, abbreviated "P.G.", was proclaimed after the coup d'état on January 17, 1893, by the 13-member Committee of Safety under the leadership of its chairman Henry E. Cooper and former judge Sanford B. Dole as the designated President of Hawaii. It replaced the Kingdom of Hawaii after the overthrow of Queen Liliʻuokalani as a provisional government until the Republic of Hawaii was established on July 4, 1894.


Revanchism (French: Revanchisme, from revanche, "revenge") is the political manifestation of the will to reverse territorial losses incurred by a country, often following a war or social movement. As a term, revanchism originated in 1870s France in the aftermath of the Franco-Prussian War among nationalists who wanted to avenge the French defeat and reclaim the lost territories of Alsace-Lorraine.Revanchism draws its strength from patriotic and retributionist thought and is often motivated by economic or geopolitical factors. Extreme revanchist ideologues often represent a hawkish stance, suggesting that their desired objectives can be achieved through the positive outcome of another war. It is linked with irredentism, the conception that a part of the cultural and ethnic nation remains "unredeemed" outside the borders of its appropriate nation-state.Revanchist politics often rely on the identification of a nation with a nation state, often mobilizing deep-rooted sentiments of ethnic nationalism, claiming territories outside the state where members of the ethnic group live, while using heavy-handed nationalism to mobilize support for these aims. Revanchist justifications are often presented as based on ancient or even autochthonous occupation of a territory since "time immemorial", an assertion that is usually inextricably involved in revanchism and irredentism and justifies them in the eyes of their proponents.

United States federal recognition of Native Hawaiians

Federal recognition of Native Hawaiians refers to proposals for the federal government of the United States to give legal recognition to Native Hawaiians (Hawaiian: kānaka maoli), providing them with some form of indigenous sovereignty within a framework similar to that afforded to Native Americans and Alaska Natives.Native Hawaiians are the aboriginal people of the Hawaiian Islands. Since American involvement in the overthrow of the Kingdom of Hawaii, federal statutes have been enacted to address conditions of Native Hawaiians, with some feeling these should be formalized in the same manner as other indigenous populations in the United States. However, some controversy surrounds the proposal for formal recognition – many Native Hawaiian political organizations believe recognition might interfere with Hawaii's claims to independence as a constitutional monarchy through international law.

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