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A Brief History Of The Kingdom Of Hawaii : Kingdom of Hawaii (1795-1893) Here is my rough overview of the Kingdom of Hawaii through the scope of each reigning monarch. ​ King Kamehameha I (1735-1819) This guy is the OG Hawaiian Monarch. He came to power from one subdistrict on Hawaii island (Big Island) and in about 15 years took control of 8 islands through a crazy ass war. He was around when foreigners first made contact to the islands and imagined a unified Kingdom of Hawaii was more able to fend off foreign powers. That being said, he was big on trade as this definitely helped him win the war. He helped spark the Sandalwood trade in the islands and established Hawaii as a serious trading partner but he also did a lot for land divisions and social stability. ​ King Kamehameha II (1797-1824) So the first born son of the founding father of Hawaii, was 22 when he took the throne but when he was about to be crowned his mom’s like, “umm no we’re gonna rule together”. So he and his mother Queen Ka’ahumanu co-ruled and broke many old religious laws, effectively weakening Hawaiian religion and kinda left them open to missionaries. Ok so missionaries are kinda like a double edged sword for us because on one hand they brought religion which also meant they had to establish a written Hawaiian language as well as teach Written english on top of that so literacy rates in the island improved. On the other hand the missionaries did what missionaries do best and brought their finest diseases to an isolated population. ​ King Kamehameha III (1814-1854) Kamehameha II’s younger brother took the throne and took all that language from before and wrote the First Constitution of the Kingdom of Hawaii. He was most known for “The Great Mahele” which is basically just a bunch of division of land designed to protect Hawaiian land. Land was divided between The Crown Lands (Monarch), The Ali’i (Chiefs), and The Maka’ainana (The People). It didn’t really work though because he also required people buying land on the island to Pay a Fee Have someone survey the land Be literate Most natives weren’t literate. ​ King Kamehameha IV (1834-163) During his reign the native hawaiian population was like 90% gone and so a lot of his reign was focused on Healthcare and limiting foreign influence. His wife Queen Emma was also a big political player as she will come up again later. He is one of the better travelled monarchs of Hawaii and apparently during his travels he saw a lot of racism in America which did affect his foreign policy back home. Here’s his journal entry regarding a Train Conductor trying to kick him off due to his race. “I found he was the conductor, and took me for somebody's servant just because I had a darker skin than he had. Confounded fool;. the first time that I have ever received such treatment, not in England or France or anywhere else........In England an African can pay his fare and sit alongside Queen Victoria. The Americans talk and think a great deal about their liberty, and strangers often find that too many liberties are taken of their comfort just because his hosts are a free people.” ​ King Kamehameha V (1830-1872) So the population didn’t exactly get better with time and to this day the Native Hawaiian population remains small. During a Constitutional Convention the King proposed a New Constitution which passed and took effect shortly after. The constitution did a lot to revive old Hawaiian traditions and established voting requirements for citizens which were: Own Property Meet Income Requirements Be literate The new constitution was eventually a bad move though because it also gave the power to elect the new King, as long as no heir is named. ​ Lunalilo (1835-1874) The first elected King of Hawaii saw a short lived career. He reigned for a little over a year and during his reign he tried to restore the Bicameral Legislature that had been unified by King Kam 5. He was known as “The People’s King” because of his popularity but had died of Tuberculosis. He was not Married and had no Children. ​ Kalakaua (1836-1891) This guy was the most controversial monarch elected to the islands. Kalakaua was favored by members of the legislature but his opponent Queen Emma was seen as the favorite of the people. The problem is, the Legislature elects the new Monarch in this case and they didn’t need to listen to the people. While his election was controversial he wasn’t all that bad a ruler. He did a lot of things during his reign such as Hawaiians Abroad Program - Pro Trip Around the World - Neutral Influential Expensive Reciprocity Treaty - Pro Constructed Iconic Structures - Pro Polynesian Confederation - Neutral Bayonet Constitution - Con The Bayonet Constitution was a forced constitution limiting the authority held by the Monarchy. Liliuokalani (1838-1917) The Last Queen of Hawaii had previous experience by acting as Regent while Kalakaua was on his trip around the world. She was pretty popular with the people but she inherited a weakened throne so she didn’t have much power. The Queen tried to draft a new constitution but the same people who conspired in the Bayonet Constitution thought a coup would be better. Post Monarchy A provisional government was established and Run by President Sanford Dole. Hawaii was officially annexed as a territory of the US in 1898, mostly because we were a big source of sugar during the Spanish-American War. - Full Article

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