The Republic of Hawaiʻi was the formal name of the nation of Hawaiʻi between July 4, 1894, when the Provisional Government of Hawaii ended, and August 12, 1898, when it was annexed by the United States as a territory of the United States. The Territory of Hawaii was formally established as part of the U.S. on June 14, 1900.
The Kingdom of Hawaii was overthrown in 1893 in a mostly bloodless revolt against Queen Liliʻuokalani who rejected the constitution then in effect put there by popular force, commonly called the Bayonet Constitution. American officials immediately recognized the new government and U.S. Marines were sent by the US Ambassador to aid in the overthrow. The Queen's supporters charged the Marines' presence frightened the Queen and thus enabled the revolution. The new Republic of Hawaii was led by men of European ancestry, like Sanford B. Dole and Lorrin A. Thurston, who were native-born subjects of the Hawaiian kingdom and speakers of the Hawaiian language, but had strong financial, political, and family ties to the United States. Dole was a former member of the Kingdom legislature from Koloa, Kauai, and Justice of the Kingdom's Supreme Court, and he appointed Thurston—who had served as Minister of Interior under King Kalākaua—to lead a lobbying effort in Washington, D.C., to secure Hawaii's annexation by the United States.
Republic of Hawaii
Lepupalika ʻo Hawaiʻi
Anthem: "Hawaiʻi Ponoʻī"
Republic of Hawaii
|Common languages||English, Hawaiian|
|July 4 1894|
|6 January 1895|
• Restoration attempt ends
|9 January 1895|
|August 12 1898|
|1896||16,703 km2 (6,449 sq mi)|
|Today part of||State of Hawaii|
In 1887, members of the Reform Party of Hawaii forced the King to accept a new constitution limiting the monarch's constitutional power as defined by the Constitution of 1864. The Constitution of 1887, also called the Bayonet Constitution for the threats used to secure the king's approval, was enacted without legislative approval, leaving the monarch as a figurehead. In 1893 a coup d'état against the monarch was carried out by more than 1,000 armed local men who were led by wealthy sugar planters and businessmen. There was no bloodshed as the royal armed force did not resist. A temporary Provisional Government of Hawaii was formed by the Committee of Safety. The leaders of the coup, who had strong economic ties with the United States, wanted to join the United States, lest Japan take control. Annexation was delayed by two petitions with over 20,000 signatures representing over half of the Native Hawaiian population and because U.S. President Cleveland opposed annexation. The Queen herself took up residence in Washington to lobby for her restoration. President Grover Cleveland, a Democrat opposed to American expansion, sent an investigator who wrote the Blount Report. The report concluded that Minister Stevens had manipulated and orchestrated the revolt. Cleveland decided that the United States should restore the Queen; he asked for Dole's resignation; however, Dole ignored the request. The U.S. Senate held hearings regarding another report called the Morgan Report, which undermined the Blount Report's claims. Public opinion in the United States favored annexation. In May 1894 the U.S. Senate unanimously passed a resolution opposing restoration of the Queen, opposing intrusion into the affairs of the Dole government, and opposing American action that could lead immediately to annexation. President Cleveland thereupon dropped the issue, leaving the Republic of Hawaii to effectively fend for itself.
The Provisional Government convened a constitutional convention, limited to Hawaiians, and taxpayers of American or European origins, not including Asians.
The President of Hawaii was the head of state and head of government of the Republic of Hawaii. The constitution provided that the presidential term of office would be six years and specified that individuals could not be elected to consecutive terms in office. The President had the authority to veto legislation, which could be overridden by two-thirds majority in both houses of the legislature, and he was also commander-in-chief of the military. The President appointed, subject to the confirmation of the Senate, members of his Cabinet. Cabinet members were considered usurers of both houses of the Legislature, they could participate in proceedings, but could not vote as they were not elected members of the Legislature. If the presidency became vacant, the Minister of Foreign Affairs could serve as Acting President until the Legislature voted to elect a successor.
Article 23 of the constitution of 1894 specifically named Sanford B. Dole as the republic's first President. He would also be the nation's only President, as it was annexed by the United States by 1900. Upon annexation, Hawaii became a U.S. territory and Dole became its first Governor.
The republic's Legislature consisted of a senate and a house of representatives. Each had fifteen members with the former having six-year terms and the latter only two with the exception of the first legislature which was constitutionally granted a three-year term. Appropriation bills originated from the Minister of Finance and were delivered to the Senate. The Senate also held the right to confirm presidential appointments and ratify treaties which made it more powerful in every aspect over the lower house. It was possible for legislators to concurrently serve as President, Cabinet Minister, or Supreme Court Justice.
As royalists had boycotted the republic and refused to take the oath of allegiance to run for office; the American Union Party won every seat in the 1894 and 1897 elections. There was also a property requirement of $1500 net worth to vote for Senators, kept from the 1887 constitution, which ran counter to the prevailing trends of that period. The 1897 election had the lowest turnout in Hawaii's history with less than one percent of the population going to the polls. The new Republic Constitution allowed only men that were natural born citizens of the Hawaiian Kingdom, or naturalized Citizens of the Kingdom to vote in the new Republic. This eliminated most all Japanese, Chinese, Portuguese, and European immigrants from voting. As a result, Polynesians had a two-thirds majority voting block and were the highest represented group in the Republic Legislature. The Speaker of the House of the Republic was also a Polynesian, J.L. Kaulukou.
Robert William Wilcox was a Hawaiian native revolutionary. In 1889, he led an army of 150 Hawaiians, Europeans and Chinese in rebellion against the Hawaiian Kingdom. Wilcox was brought to trial but released as juries refused to find him guilty of wrongdoing. In 1895, Wilcox participated in another attempt, this time to overthrow the Republic of Hawaii and to restore Queen Liliuokalani to power. Royalist supporters landed a cargo of arms and ammunition from San Francisco, California in a secret Honolulu location. At the location on January 6, 1895, a company of royalists met to draft plans to capture the government buildings by surprise. A premature encounter with a squad of police alarmed Honolulu and the plans were abandoned as the royalists were quickly routed. Wilcox spent several days in hiding in the mountains before being captured. The son of one annexationist was killed. Several other skirmishes occurred during the following week resulting in the capture of the leading conspirators and their followers. The government found arms and ammunition and some potentially evidential documents on the premises of Washington Place, Liliuokalani's private residence, outlining in her own handwriting who she would select for her cabinet after the counter revolution, further implicating her in the plot.
The Republic of Hawaii put the former queen on trial. The prosecution asserted that Liliuokalani had committed misprision of treason, because she allegedly knew that guns and bombs for the Wilcox attempted counter-revolution had been hidden in the flower bed of her personal residence at Washington Place. Liliuokalani denied these accusations.
She was sentenced to 5 years' imprisonment at hard labor and a fine of $10,000. However, the imprisonment was served in a large bedroom with a piano, bathroom with hot and cold running water bathtub and sink at Iolani Palace where she was allowed two maids in waiting while under guard by military personnel at all times. After eight months she was allowed to go to her Washington Place home and kept under house arrest by President Sanford B. Dole. A year later she was granted a full pardon, including the right to travel, and President Dole gave her a passport to travel to Washington D.C. to visit her friends and in-laws. However, she used that opportunity to lobby the U.S. Senate in 1897 against annexation.
Upon the inauguration of William McKinley as the 25th President of the United States on March 4, 1897, the Republic of Hawaii resumed negotiations for annexation, which continued into the summer of 1898. In April 1898, the United States went to war with Spain, and Republic of Hawaii declared its neutrality. In practice, it gave enormous support to the United States, demonstrating its value as a naval base in wartime, and winning widespread American approval for its non-neutral behavior.
With the opposition weakened, Hawaii was annexed by means of the Newlands Resolution, which required only a majority vote in both houses. Most of the support came from Republicans. It passed the house by a vote of 209 to 91. It was approved on July 4, 1898 and signed on July 7 by McKinley. The transfer of sovereignty over the Hawaiian islands took place on August 12, 1898 with the lowering of the Flag of Hawaii and hoisting of the "Stars and Stripes" flag of the United States over the former royal Iolani Palace in its place. It was renamed from the Republic of Hawaii to the Territory of Hawaii, which was formally organized as an organized incorporated territory of the United States two years later.
The issue of annexation became a major political issue heatedly debated across the United States, which carried over into the 1900 presidential election. By then the national consensus was in favor of the annexation of both Hawaii and the Philippines.
Historian Henry Graff says that in the mid-1890s, "Public opinion at home seemed to indicate acquiescence.... Unmistakably, the sentiment at home was maturing with immense force for the United States to join the great powers of the world in a quest for overseas colonies."
President Cleveland's biographer Alyn Brodsky argues his position was a deeply personal conviction that would not tolerate an immoral action against the little kingdom :
Cleveland had to mobilize support from Southern Democrats to fight the treaty. He sent former Georgia Congressman James H. Blount as a special representative to Hawaii to investigate and provide a solution. Blount was well known for his opposition to imperialism. Blount was also a leader in the white supremacy movement that in the 1890s was ending the right to vote by southern Blacks. Some observers speculated he would support annexation on grounds of the inability of the Asiatics to govern themselves. Instead, Blount opposed imperialism, and called for the US military to restore Queen Liliuokalani. He argued that the Hawaii natives should be allowed to continue their "Asiatic ways."
A vigorous nationwide anti-expansionist movement, organized as the American Anti-Imperialist League, emerged that listened to Cleveland and Carl Schurz, as well as Democratic leader William Jennings Bryan and industrialist Andrew Carnegie, As well as author Mark Twain and sociologist William Graham Sumner. The anti-imperialists opposed expansion, believing that imperialism violated the fundamental principle that just republican government must derive from "consent of the governed." The League argued that such activity would necessitate the abandonment of American ideals of self-government and non-intervention—ideals expressed in the Declaration of Independence, George Washington's Farewell Address and Lincoln's Gettysburg Address.
However, the Antis could not stop the even more energetic forces of imperialism. They were led by Secretary of State John Hay, naval strategist Alfred T. Mahan, Republican congressman Henry Cabot Lodge, Secretary of War Elihu Root, and young politician Theodore Roosevelt. These expansionists had vigorous support from newspaper publishers William Randolph Hearst and Joseph Pulitzer, whipping up popular excitement. Mahan and Roosevelt took the forging a global strategy calling for a competitive modern navy, Pacific bases, an isthmian canal through Nicaragua or Panama, and, above all, an assertive role for America as the largest industrial power. President McKinley's position was that Hawaii could never survive on its own. It would quickly be gobbled up by Japan—already a fourth of the islands' population was Japanese. Japan would then dominate the Pacific and undermine American hopes for large-scale trade with Asia.
The 1895 Wilcox rebellion was a brief war from January 6 to January 9, 1895, that consisted of three battles on the island of Oʻahu, Republic of Hawaii. It was the last major military operation by royalists who opposed the overthrow of the Kingdom of Hawaii.
Because of its brevity and lack of casualties, this conflict is largely forgotten; in some cases those who rediscover it coin a new name for the conflict, but it is frequently referred to as the “Counter-revolution”.
The war has also been called the second Wilcox rebellion of 1895, the revolution of 1895, the Hawaiian counter-revolution of 1895, the 1895 uprising in Hawaii, the Hawaiian civil war, the 1895 uprising against the provisional government, or the uprising of 1895.Attorney General of Hawaii
The Attorney General of Hawaii (Hawaiian: Loio Kuhina) is the chief legal officer and chief law enforcement officer of Hawaii. In present-day statehood within the United States, the Attorney General is appointed by the elected governor with the approval of the state senate and is responsible for a state department charged with advising the various other departments and agencies of state government. The Attorney General is responsible for the prosecution of offenses under state law. The Attorney General can only be removed by an act of the state senate. In rare occasions, the Attorney General serves as acting governor in the absence of both the governor and lieutenant governor from the state for an extended period of time.
The office has existed in several forms throughout the history of the Hawaiian Islands. It was created by Kamehameha III and was part of the administration of each successive monarch of the Kingdom of Hawaii. The office was kept in the provisional government, after Liliuokalani and the monarchy was overthrown, and became a part of the succeeding administration of the Republic of Hawaii. A regular part of the American model of the executive branch of government, the office of attorney general was part of the Territory of Hawaii under Section 80 of the Hawaiian Organic Act and made an appointed office after statehood was achieved in 1959.
Though a non-partisan office, in territorial days the office of Attorney General has traditionally been appointed from the political party of the sitting President of the United States who appoints the territorial governor. Similarly in statehood, the office of Attorney General has traditionally been appointed from the incumbent governor's political party, usually Republican or Democrat.
The current Attorney General is Clare E. Connors, who was appointed by Governor David Ige on January 3, 2019.Henry E. Cooper
Henry Ernest Cooper (August 28, 1857 – May 15, 1929) was an American lawyer who moved to the Kingdom of Hawaii and became prominent in Hawaiian politics in the 1890s. He formally deposed Queen Lili'uokalani of Hawaii in 1893, held various offices in the ensuing Provisional Government of Hawaii and Republic of Hawaii governments, and was the first United States Territory of Hawaii Attorney General, 1899–1900. He later became a circuit judge in Honolulu.James A. King
James Anderson King (December 4, 1832 – October 16, 1899) was a ship's master who became a politician of the Republic of Hawaii.Kūʻē Petitions
The Kūʻē (Hawaiian: "opposition") Petitions of 1897 were a protest against the annexation of Hawaii by the United States. Also referred to as the "monster petition".Lorrin A. Thurston
Lorrin Andrews Thurston (July 31, 1858 – May 11, 1931) was an American lawyer, politician, and businessman born and raised in the Kingdom of Hawaiʻi. The grandson of two of the first Christian missionaries to Hawaii, Thurston played a prominent role in the overthrow of the Hawaiian Kingdom that replaced Queen Liliʻuokalani with the Republic of Hawaii, dominated by American interests. He published the Pacific Commercial Advertiser (a forerunner of the present-day Honolulu Star-Advertiser), and owned other enterprises. From 1906 to 1916 he and friends lobbied with national politicians to create a National Park to preserve the Hawaiian Volcanoes.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.Newlands Resolution
The Newlands Resolution was a joint resolution passed on July 4, 1898 by the United States Congress to annex the independent Republic of Hawaii. In 1900, Congress created the Territory of Hawaii. It was drafted by Congressman Francis G. Newlands of Nevada, a Democrat. Annexation was a highly controversial political issue along with the similar issue of the acquisition of the Philippines in 1898.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.Robert William Wilcox
Robert William Kalanihiapo Wilcox (February 15, 1855 – October 23, 1903), nicknamed the Iron Duke of Hawaiʻi, was a Native Hawaiian revolutionary soldier and politician. He led uprisings against both the government of the Hawaiian Kingdom under King Kalākaua and the Republic of Hawaii under Sanford Dole, what are now known as the Wilcox rebellions. He was later elected the first delegate to the United States Congress for the Territory of Hawaii.Samuel Mills Damon
Samuel Mills Damon (March 13, 1845 – July 1, 1924) was a businessman and politician in the Kingdom of Hawaii, through the Republic of Hawaii and into the Territory of Hawaii.Sanford B. Dole
Sanford Ballard Dole (April 23, 1844 – June 9, 1926) was a lawyer and jurist in the Hawaiian Islands as a kingdom, protectorate, republic and territory. A descendant of the American missionary community to Hawaii, Dole advocated the westernization of Hawaiian government and culture. After the overthrow of the monarchy, he served as the President of the Republic of Hawaii until his government secured Hawaii's annexation by the United States.Seal of Hawaii
The Great Seal of the State of Hawaii was designated officially by Act 272 of the 1959 Territorial Legislature and is based on the territorial seal. Modifications to the territorial seal included the use of the words "State of Hawaii" at the top and "1959" within the circle. Provisions for a seal for the state of Hawaii were enacted by the Territorial Legislature and approved by Governor William F. Quinn on June 8, 1959. The passage of the Admission Act in 1959, admitted Hawaii as the 50th State of the United States of America on August 21, 1959.
The seal of the Territory of Hawaii was the same as the seal of the republic, except that it had "Territory of Hawaii" placed at the top and "1900" (signifying the year that the territorial government officially was organized) within the circle. The 1901 Territorial Legislature authorized the modified republic seal as the Seal of the Territory of Hawaii.The seal of the Republic of Hawaii had the words "Republic of Hawaii" at the top and "MDCCCXCIV" within the circle. The year 1894 signified the date that the republic was established. The republic seal was designed by Viggo Jacobsen, a Honolulu resident, and itself was derived from the Kingdom of Hawaii coat of arms used during the reign of King Kamehameha III, King Kalākaua and Queen Liliʻuokalani, which had been designed by the College of Arms in London in 1842 and officially adopted in 1845.Territory of Hawaii
The Territory of Hawaii or Hawaii Territory was an organized incorporated territory of the United States that existed from August 12, 1898, until August 21, 1959, when most of its territory, excluding Palmyra Island and the Stewart Islands, was admitted to the Union as the fiftieth U.S. state, the State of Hawaii. The Hawaii Admission Act specified that the State of Hawaii would not include the distant Palmyra Island, the Midway Islands, Kingman Reef, and Johnston Atoll, which includes Johnston (or Kalama) Island and Sand Island, and the Act was silent regarding the Stewart Islands.The U.S. Congress passed the Newlands Resolution which annexed the Republic of Hawaii to the United States. Hawaii's territorial history includes a period from 1941 to 1944—during World War II—when the islands were placed under martial law. Civilian government was dissolved and a military governor was appointed.Wilcox rebellions
The Wilcox Rebellions were a plot in 1888, a revolt in 1889, and a counter-revolution in 1895, led by Robert William Wilcox against the governments of Hawaii. He was considered a populist revolutionary and menace to both the government of the Kingdom of Hawaii under King David Kalākaua and the Republic of Hawaiʻi under Sanford Dole. Wilcox's revolts were part of the Hawaiian Revolutions.William DeWitt Alexander
William DeWitt Alexander (April 2, 1833 – February 21, 1913) was an educator, author and linguist in the Kingdom of Hawaii and Republic of Hawaii.
He then constructed maps for the Territory of Hawaii.William Owen Smith
William Owen Smith (August 4, 1848 – April 13, 1929) was a lawyer from a family of American missionaries who participated in the overthrow of the Kingdom of Hawaii. He served as attorney general for the entire duration of the Provisional Government of Hawaii and the Republic of Hawaii.