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[1] 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).

Legislature of the Hawaiian Islands1
Legislative Assembly of the Hawaiian Kingdom2
Coat of arms or logo
Coat of arms of the Hawaiian Kingdom from 1845 to 1893
Bicameral (1840–1864, 1887–1893)
Unicameral (1864–1887)
HousesHouse of Nobles3
House of Representatives3
Preceded byCouncil of Chiefs (ʻAha Aliʻi)
Succeeded byLegislature of the Republic of Hawaii
House of Nobles voting system
Appointed by the monarch with the advice of the Privy Council
House of Representatives voting system
Elected by popular vote
Meeting place
Aliiolani Hale, Honolulu
1Name of Parliament from 1852 to 1864
2Name of Parliament from 1864 to 1893
3Structure in place from 1840 to 1864


The Legislature from 1840 to 1864 was bicameral and originally consisted of a lower House of Representatives and an upper House of Nobles as provided for under the Constitutions of the Kingdom of 1840 and 1852, until abolished by the 1864 Constitution which then provided for a unicameral Legislature.

House of Nobles

The members of the upper House of Nobles (Hale ʻAhaʻōlelo Aliʻi) were appointed by the Monarch with the advice of his Privy Council. It also served as the court of impeachment for any royal official. Members were usually Hawaiian aliʻis, nobles, and royal or wealthy individuals. The position had no salary. It originally consisted of the King or Queen plus five women and ten men. [2] After the overthrow of the Kingdom and the subsequent United States annexation in 1898, this body was reconstituted as a Senate under the territorial constitution of the Territory of Hawaii.

House of Representatives

The members of the lower House of Representatives (Hale ʻAhaʻōlelo Makaʻāinana) were elected by popular vote from several districts in the Kingdom. Revenue-oriented bills were issued through the House of Representatives, and it also served as the "grand inquest" of the Kingdom.


From 1840 to 1864, it existed as a bicameral parliament. However, with the 1864 Constitution, the Legislature was temporarily unified into a single-house (unicameral) legislature. This Constitution also created property and literacy requirements for both Legislature members and voters; these requirements were later repealed by the Legislature in 1874 during the reign of King Lunalilo. The subsequent 1887 Constitution restored the two chambers as a bicameral legislature and made the revived upper House of Nobles elected to six-year terms, with higher property ownership requirements.[3]

After 1893, and the Overthrow of the Hawaiian Kingdom, it became the Legislature of the brief Republic of Hawaii, followed in 1898 by the Territory of Hawaii after the American annexation. This was followed 61 years later by the present Hawaii State Legislature in 1959 after the admission to the Union of the Territory as the 50th State. It now consists of the lower Hawaii House of Representatives and upper house of the Hawaii Senate as the bicameral legislative body of the State of Hawaii under the 1959 Hawaii Act of Admission and Constitution.

Presidents of the House of Nobles

Speaker of the House of Representatives

Presidents of the Legislature

Vice-Presidents of the Legislature

See also

Further reading

  • Hawaii (1918). Robert Colfax Lydecker (ed.). Roster Legislatures of Hawaii, 1841–1918. Honolulu: Hawaiian Gazette Company.


  1. ^ "The 1840 Constitution of the Kingdom of Hawaii". Hawaiian Electronic Library. 1840. Retrieved 2009-11-25.
  2. ^ "Women and the Law". Hawaiian Journal of History. Hawaii Historical Society. 11. 1977. hdl:10524/444.
  3. ^ Anne Feder Lee (June 30, 1993). The Hawaii state constitution: a reference guide. Greenwood Publishing Group. pp. 4–5. ISBN 978-0-313-27950-8.
1892 Legislative Session of the Hawaiian Kingdom

The 1892 Session of the Legislature of the Hawaiian Kingdom, also known as the Longest Legislature, was a period from May 28, 1892, to January 14, 1893, in which the legislative assembly of the Hawaiian Kingdom met for its traditional bi-annual session. This unicameral body was composed of the upper House of Nobles and the lower House of Representatives. This would be the first session during the reign of Queen Liliʻuokalani and the last meeting of the legislative assembly during the Hawaiian monarchy. Three days after the prorogation of the assembly, many of the political tension developed during the legislative debates and the queen's attempt to promulgate a new constitution while her legislators were not in session led to the overthrow of the Hawaiian Kingdom on January 17, 1893.

Members of this legislative session included citizens and subjects of the kingdom of either full or mixed Native Hawaiian, Euro-American and Asian descent, who were divided across different party lines. They included the insurgents who would play an eventual role in the deposition of the queen, and also the political resistance leaders who would lead the opposition to the overthrow and attempts to annex the Hawaiian Islands to the United States.

Albert Francis Judd

Albert Francis Judd (January 7, 1838 – May 20, 1900) was a judge of the Kingdom of Hawaii who served as Chief Justice of the Supreme Court through its transition into part of the United States.

Daniel Dole

Daniel Dole (September 9, 1808 – August 26, 1878) was a Protestant missionary educator from the United States to the Hawaiian Islands.

Edward Preston

Edward Preston (1831–1890) was a lawyer and judge originally from England who served in the Kingdom of Hawaii.

George Norton Wilcox

George Norton Wilcox (August 15, 1839 – January 21, 1933) was a businessman and politician in the Kingdom of Hawaii and Territory of Hawaii.

Harvey Rexford Hitchcock

Harvey Rexford Hitchcock (March 13, 1800 – August 25, 1855) was an early Protestant missionary to the Kingdom of Hawaii from the United States. With his three sons, he and his wife started a family that would influence Hawaii's history. He had at least three namesakes in the subsequent generations.

Hawaii State Legislature

The Hawaii State Legislature is the state legislature of the U.S. state of Hawaii. The state legislature is a bicameral body consisting of a lower house, the Hawaii State House of Representatives, with 51 representatives, and an upper house, the 25-member Hawaii State Senate. There are a total of 76 representatives in the legislature, each representing single member districts across the islands. The powers of the legislature are granted under Article III of the Constitution of Hawaii.

The legislature convenes at the Hawaii State Capitol building in the state capital of Honolulu, on the island of Oahu.

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.

Hermann A. Widemann

Hermann Adam Widemann (December 24, 1822 – February 7, 1899) was a businessman from Germany who was a judge and member of the cabinet of the Kingdom of Hawaii.

House of Nobles

House of Nobles can refer to:

House of Nobles (Hawaii), a political institution in the Kingdom of Hawaii, part of the Legislature of the Hawaiian Kingdom

House of Nobles, an alternate name for the House of Knights, a corporation of the Swedish nobility

John Ricord

John Ricord (September 5, 1813 – March 26, 1861) was a lawyer and world traveler. He was involved in cases in Texas, Oregon, Hawaii, and California.

Jonathan Smith Green

Jonathan Smith Green (September 29, 1796 – January 5, 1878) was a missionary from New England to the Kingdom of Hawaii.

Lorenzo Lyons

Lorenzo Lyons or "Makua Laiana" (April 18, 1807 – October 6, 1886) was an early missionary to the Kingdom of Hawaii. He was a songwriter who composed "Hawaiʻi Aloha", which was inducted into the Hawaiian Music Hall of Fame in 1998. Lyons spent the last 28 years of his life as postmaster in the district surrounding Waimea, Hawaii County, Hawaii.

Makawao Union Church

Makawao Union Church is a church near Makawao on the Hawaiian island of Maui. It was founded by New England missionary Jonathan Smith Green during the Kingdom of Hawaii. The third historic structure used by the congregation was designed by noted local architect C.W. Dickey and dedicated in 1917 as the Henry Perrine Baldwin Memorial Church. In 1985, Makawao Union Church was placed on the Hawaii and National Register of Historic Places.

Organic Acts of 1845–46

On June 24, 1845, a Joint Resolution was enacted by the legislature of the Hawaiian Kingdom and signed into law. John Ricord, who was the Attorney General of Hawaii was called upon to draw up a complete set of the existing laws embracing the organic forms of the different departments, namely, the Executive and Judicial branches. These laws were to outline their duties and modes of procedure. This brought forth the First Act of Kamehameha III to Organize the Executive Ministries, the Second Act of Kamehameha III to Organize the Executive Departments, and the Third Act of Kamehameha III to Organize the Judiciary Department. These Acts came to be known as the Organic Acts of 1845–46.

Paul P. Kanoa

Paul (Paulo) Puhiula Kanoa (June 10, 1832 – March 18, 1895) was a noble and politician in the Kingdom of Hawaii from the island of Kauaʻi.

Privy Council of the Hawaiian Kingdom

The Privy Council of the Hawaiian Kingdom, also known as the King's Privy Council of State or Queen's Privy Council of State (Hawaiian: Ka Mōʻī ʻAha Kūkākūkā Malu o ke Aupuni), was a constitutionally-created body of advisers to the sovereign of the Hawaiian Kingdom from 1845 to 1893. Its members were known as privy councillors and often involved in the other branches of the government.

Richard H. Stanley

Richard Henry Stanley (1825–1875) was an American lawyer who served as politician and cabinet member of the Kingdom of Hawaii.

William Luther Moehonua

William Luther Kealiʻi Moehonua (1824–1878) was a native Hawaiian noble and politician in the Kingdom of Hawaii.


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