Annexation Of The Hawaiian Islands [July 7, 1898] - History

Annexation Of The Hawaiian Islands [July 7, 1898] - History



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Joint Resolution to provide for annexing the Hawaiian Islands to the United States.

WHEREAS the Government of the Republic of Hawaii having, in due form, signified its consent, in the manner provided by its constitution, to cede absolutely and without reserve to the United States of America all rights of sovereignty of whatsoever kind in and over the Hawaiian Islands and their dependencies, and also to cede and transfer to the United States the absolute fee and ownership of all public, government, or Crown lands, public buildings or edifices, ports harbors, military equipment, and all other public
property of every kind and description belonging to the Government of the Hawaiian Islands, together with every right and appurtenance thereunto appertaining: Therefore,

Resolved . ., That said cession is accepted, ratified, and confirmed, and that the said Hawaiian Islands and their dependencies be, and they are hereby, annexed as a part of the territory of the United States and are subject to the sovereign dominion thereof, and that all and singular the property and rights herein before mentioned are vested in the United States of America.

The existing laws of the United States relative to public lands shall not apply to such lands in the Hawaiian Islands; but the Congress of the United States shall enact special laws for their management and disposition: Provided, That all revenue from or proceeds of the same, except as regards such part thereof as may be used or occupied for the civil, military, or naval purposes of the United States, or may be assigned for the use of the local government, shall be used solely for the benefit of the inhabitants of the Hawaiian Islands for educational and other public purposes.

Until Congress shall provide for the government of such islands all the civil, judicial and military powers exercised by the officers of the existing government in said islands shall be vested in such person or persons and shall be exercised in such manner as the President of the United States shall direct; and the President shall have power to remove said officers and fill the vacancies so occasioned. The existing treaties of the Hawaiian Islands with foreign nations shall forthwith cease and determine, being replaced by such treaties as may exist, or as may be hereafter concluded, between the United States and such foreign nations. The municipal legislation of the Hawaiian Islands, not enacted for the torment of the treaties so extinguished, and not inconsistent with this joint resolution nor contrary to the Constitution of the United States nor to any existing treaty of the United States, shall remain in force until the Congress of the United States shall otherwise determine.

Until legislation shall be enacted extending the United State customs laws and regulations to the Hawaiian Islands the existing customs relations of the Hawaiian Islands with the United States; and other countries shall remain unchanged.

The public debt of the Republic of Hawaii, lawfully existing at the date of the passage of this joint resolution, including the amounts due to depositors in the Hawaiian Postal Savings Banks is hereby assumed by the Government of the United States; but the liability of the United States in this regard shall in no case exceed four million dollars. So long, however, as the existing Government and the present commercial relations of the Hawaiian Islands are continued as herein before provided said Government shall continue to pay the interest on said debt.

Ther shall be no further immigration of Chinese into the Hawanan Islands, except upon such conditions as are now or may hereafter be allowed by the laws of the United States; and no Chinese, by reason of anything herein contained, shall be allowed to enter the United States from the Hawaiian Islands.

The President shall appoint five commissioners, at least two of whom shall be residents of the Hawaiian Islands, who shall, as soon as reasonably practicable, recommend to Congress such legislation concerning the Hawaiian Islands as they shall deem necessary or proper.

SEC. 2 That the commissioners herein before provided for shall be appointed by the President, by and with the advice and consent of the Senate.


15 Pros and Cons of the Annexation of Hawaii

The United States decided to proceed with the annexation of Hawaii in 1898. This action extended the territory of the U.S. deep into the Pacific, creating an economic integration with the islands that helped the nation begin its rise as a superpower in the region. During the majority of the 19th century, Washington leadership had concerns that the chain of islands might go to one of Europe’s colonization efforts instead.

In the 1830’s, both France and Britain forced Hawaii to accept treaties that offered economic privileges. By 1842, the Secretary of State was communicating with the leadership of the island nation to ensure that no other country could annex the islands. A treaty of friendship signed by the United States and Hawaii in 1849 became the foundation of a friendship treaty that would begin the eventual process of integration.

American farmers began growing sugarcane on the island to produce a commodity for the mainland. Whaling ships began to station themselves offshore, and American missionary efforts on the island began in earnest. It wasn’t until Queen Liliuokalani wanted to establish a stronger monarchy in the region that the plantation owners on the islands moved to depose her. Samuel Dole, the leader of the effort, would become the first governor after the annexation and integration as a territory.

List of the Pros of the Annexation of Hawaii

1. Hawaii provides a defensive barrier from a military perspective.
One of the primary reasons why the United States sought the annexation of Hawaii was due to its location in the Pacific. The chain of islands sits about 2,000 miles from San Francisco across the ocean, giving the continental 48 some protection against a potential invasion. If a war occurred with Japan, China, or another eastern country, then the islands would act in the same way that Bermuda acts as a key defensive structure if the U.S. were to ever have a war with the United Kingdom.

2. It was the expected behavior of governments at the time.
The reason why the U.S. government was so interested in the annexation of Hawaii was that colonization efforts were happening all over the world. There was legitimate concern that either France or Britain would take over the eight-island chain after their forced treaties of economic opportunity were signed. That was why the process started in the 1830s to bring the local monarchy toward a friendly relationship with the Americans. If the United States had not made the effort to protect their interests on the islands and in the region, then another country would have moved to annex the islands.

3. There is a significant amount of merchandise exports that come from the island.
Pineapples and sugarcane are the two most valuable products that Hawaii exports to the rest of the world. There are large quantities of flowers, coffee, bananas, tomatoes, and Macadamia nuts provided as well. The total value of the commodities that the state currently offers is almost $650 million. With 1.4 million people living on the island, about $460 in export value was produced in 2018 with an unemployment rate of just 2.8%.

When the United States moved to annex Hawaii in 1898, the total value of the market was over $13 million. It was an extremely valuable resource for the American government back then, and it continues to remain that way today.

4. Plantation owners on the island quickly grew in wealth.
With the colonial interests of the United States in mind, the foothold that Hawaii provided Americans to the sugar trade created a lot of immediate wealth for farmers willing to relocate to the island. There were preferential terms given to growers in the treaties, helping the market to rise from .04 per pound in 1861 to a full quarter by 1864. Then the McKinley Tariff in 1890 removed import tariffs on imported sugar, saturating the market in an economic effort that allowed for the eventual annexation to take place.

5. It worked to move the U.S. and the world toward a modern economy.
By the end of the 19th century, the United States was a global economic leader. Although Americans were lagging behind in some areas, the move to push outward helped the various island countries and small nation-states to begin a path toward modernization. At the same time, the goods and services provided by countries like Hawaii after becoming annexed would help numerous economies continue their development process. Many of the technologies and ideas that would become the forefront of new industries were created because of the desire to be imperialistic.

6. American defensive forces provided protection for more than U.S. interests.
By establishing a base of operations in Hawaii, the United States wanted to make sure that they had a say in the politics of the Pacific. It was a way to encourage Asian workers to provide a resource to American growers, but this process also created a defensive base that would help to reinforce a line that would be challenging to cross.

We would see the advantages of this benefit in the first days of World War II. The Japanese had to target Hawaii first before they could make a push toward the mainland United States. In February 1942, one of the few shelling efforts happened at the Ellwood Oil Field outside of Santa Barbara. Then in June of that year, a Japanese submarine made its way to the Columbia River to attack Fort Stevens. Americans never fired back to prevent giving away their position, so the Japanese sunk a baseball field instead.

7. The United States benefited from the cultural exchange.
Even though there was an attitude of Manifest Destiny present during the annexation of Hawaii, the exchange of cultures that occurred is part of the melting pot of ethnicities that made the U.S. such a strong nation in the late 19th and early 20th centuries. When nations work together to broaden their horizons, then there are more choices, better economic opportunities, and added strengths that benefit society.

8. It followed the historical precedent set by Texas.
Although the United States was late to the idea of global imperialism, it was due to their involvement in numerous wars as the people pushed westward. It wasn’t always a country that stretched from the Atlantic to the Pacific. When Texas joined the country in 1845, it was through the use of a joint resolution between the Texans and the Americans. When William McKinley decided that the Spanish-American war and the proximity to the Philippines made it necessary to have a base of operations in the Pacific.

Despite Grover Cleveland’s strong objections and investigation into how the Hawaiian monarchy was deposed, the act was completed as Americans entered the 1898 war. It would eventually become the 50th state in 1959.

List of the Cons of the Annexation of Hawaii

1. It caused an Americanization of the Hawaiian culture.
Arthur Curtiss James made an excursion to Hawaii in 1897 during the middle of the annexation argument. He wrote that his first impression was to be completely against the process. Then he landed in Honolulu and said that the chain of eight islands seemed to be in a class of their own. “The first impression received on landing in Honolulu is that one is in a New England city, far more ‘American,’ in fact, than many of our Western cities,” he said.

“The men who are now the governing class are the descendants of the missionaries and early settlers, reinforced by a strong body of English and Scotch, who have formed a government as clean as any in the world.”

2. The annexation process followed the same procedures as the takeover of tribes.
A.C. James justifies the annexation of Hawaii by comparing the process to what the U.S. government did when moving westward. He justifies the actions of the plantation owners by noting that the tribes in the continental 48 and Alaska were not consulted before Americans took over the territory. “The natives have proved themselves to be incapable of governing and unfitted for the condition of civilization,” James rights, “as is shown by their rapid decline in numbers and their inability to adapt to changed conditions.”

The very fact that the Manifest Destiny argument was one of the foundational reasons to take over the islands continued the colonial trend that Americans criticized Europe for doing at the same time.

3. It eliminates the dala, which was the Hawaiian dollar.
The Hawaiian dollar, called the “dala,” was the official currency of the eight-island chain for 50 years, finally ending after the annexation took place. It was equal to the U.S. dollar and divided into cents that were called “keneta.” After the United States took over control of the island, the currency was eventually demonetized by a Congressional act in 1903. That caused most of the coins to be either melted down or turned into jewelry. This action allowed the islands to move toward more integration with the American economy, but it also took away one of the unique aspects that were in place when the monarchy was still in control.

4. American officials arrested the queen for trying to take her throne back.
The whole reason why Queen Liliuokalani wanted to give the Hawaiian monarchy more strength was due to the Bayonet Constitution of 1887. King David Kalakaua signed the governing document in 1887 under the threat of force, which is how the name stuck. This process established a constitutional monarchy that was similar to what Britain offered at the time. It also transferred power through a redefinition of the electoral franchise to Americans, Europeans, and landowners in the islands.

After an attempt to restore the monarchy in 1895 failed, American officials placed the queen under house arrest. She would abdicate the thrown in return for the commutation of the sentence of her fellow “conspirators.”

5. It led to an entirely new set of discriminatory actions.
Exchanging cultural information can lead to more resiliency within the population, but it can also cause dissent, segregation, and even violence at times. Once the annexation of Hawaii was complete, the native islanders were often treated as second-class citizens unless they were already land lowers. The availability of low-cost Japanese and Asian labor on the island created new economic systems where those who had grown up there struggled to find opportunities at survival.

6. The whole process started without permission from the U>S. government.
John Stevens was appointed as the Minister to Hawaii from the United States in the late 19th century. He and a contingent of Marines from the U.S.S. Boston supported the coup that overthrew the queen on January 17, 1893. This act set up a revolutionary regime that Stevens would officially support without permission from his government. He would even proclaim the islands to be a U.S. protectorate. President Benjamin Harrison actually signed an annexation treaty with this government, but the Senate never got to the two-thirds majority to ratify it before there was a transfer of power in Washington.

7. The Hawaiian people were against the annexation efforts.
A majority of Americans supported the idea of annexation, which was the reason why it would eventually succeed in the late 19th century. Most Hawaiians were against the action. A petition was signed by over 21,000 people native to the islands, or about two-thirds of the original population. Military needs would become the priority, especially after the Maine blew up in Havana Harbor. Since it would become a joint resolution instead of a treaty, the super-majority rule in the Senate didn’t need to be followed. That’s why it would eventually succeed, changing the political course of history for the islands.

The annexation of Hawaii provided some unique economic benefits at the time, but these advantages became possible because of the political maneuvering that was happening at the time. Justifying the act by creating a domestic source of sugar from a self-imposed tariff follows the same taxation principles you can see in modern governing. Although there has been modernization on the island and its unique position helped the United States in World War II, the methods used to promote imperialism were questionable at best.


Annexing Hawaii: The Real Story

1998 marks the 100th anniversary of the annexation of the Hawai'ian Islands by the United States. The centennial celebrations should not overlook the true nature of the acquisition or the annexation's effect on the peoples indigenous to the Hawaiian islands. The true story behind the annexation of the islands reflects the imperialist nature of the U.S. government at the turn of the previous century and exemplifies the effect of imperialism on indigenous peoples all over the world.

One of the major proponents for the acquisition of the Hawaiian islands, and the imperialist philosophy in general, was Theodore Roosevelt, who was Assistant Secretary of the U.S. Navy. The Hawaiian islands, located in the center of the Pacific, provided a strategic location for a U.S. military base and would help to establish the U.S. as a world superpower.

Annexation was primarily pursued though reciprocity The establishment of the sugar trade with the Hawaiian islands created a situation of economic dependence and the indigenous Hawaiian people were intuitively fearful of the sugar trade leading to annexation. In order to counter any sort of native resistance, the `Bayonet Constitution' was established, stripping the Hawaiian King of his powers and effectively diminishing democracy in the Hawaiian Islands and the indigenous community.

Native resistance, led by Robert Wilcox, attempted to set up a native republic in the stead of the imposed Bayonet Constitution. These efforts resulting in the creation of a U.S. bill to cancel the islands privileged status in the sugar trade, plunging the islands into a depression. Following negotiations, the U.S. agreed to resume sugar trade in return for acquinng the islands as a protectorate.

Ultimately, annexation was achieved due to the perceived threat of the Japanese invasion. Waves of Japanese came to the islands in increasing numbers to work in the sugar trade. U.S. military leaders feared potential Japanese occupation of the islands and created a strategic naval base in the center of the Pacific. This provided enough fuel in Congress to pass annexation legislation, in order to save themselves from the perceived "threat of the Asiatics." Hawaii was annexed in 1898.

Hawaiian protests immediately followed the annexation of the islands and U.S. actions were denounced as an "act of war." Ultimately, by establishing a government without the consent of the governed and by denying the indigenous peoples a political voice or vote, the cry went out that the annexation of the Hawaiian islands was the ultimate subversion of democracy.

Article copyright Cultural Survival, Inc.


Diplomatic Relations

Establishment of Diplomatic Relations and the American Legation at Honolulu, 1853 .

David L. Gregg presented his credentials as U.S. Commissioner to the Kingdom of Hawaii on December 20, 1853. Gregg referred to the Mission at Honolulu as a Legation in his first dispatch from Hawaii on December 27, 1853.

Elevation of the U.S. Representative to the Kingdom of Hawaii to Minister, 1863 .

The first U.S. Minister Resident to the Kingdom of Hawaii was James McBride, who presented his credentials on June 19, 1863. The first U.S. Envoy Extraordinary and Minister Plenipotentiary to the Kingdom of Hawaii was John L. Stevens, who presented his credentials on September 8, 1890.

Cessation of Relations and Closure of the American Legation, 1898 .

Hawaiian independence ended with the formal U.S. annexation of Hawaii on August 12, 1898, following the Senate passage of a joint Congressional resolution on July 6, which was signed by U.S. President William McKinley the next day. Owing to U.S. annexation of Hawaii, the legation ceased to exist on August 12, 1898. Harold Sewall, the last Envoy Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary, became Special Agent.


Annexation of the Hawaiian Islands

JOINT Resolution To provide for annexing the Hawaiian Islands to the United States.

Whereas, the Government of the Republic of Hawaii having, in due form, signified its consent, in the manner provided by its constitution, to cede absolutely and without reserve to the United States of America, all rights of sovereignty of whatsoever kind in and over the Hawaiian Islands and their dependencies, and also to cede and transfer to the United States, the absolute fee and ownership of all public, Government, or Crown lands, public buildings or edifices, ports, harbors, military equipment, and all other public property of every kind and description belonging to the Government of the Hawaiian Islands, together with every right and appurtenance thereunto appertaining: Therefore,

Resolved by the Senate and House of Representatives of the United States of America in Congress assembled, That said cession is accepted, ratified, and confirmed, and that the said Hawaiian Islands and their dependencies be, and they are hereby, annexed as a part of the territory of the United States and are subject to the sovereign dominion thereof, and that all and singular the property and rights hereinbefore mentioned are vested in the United States of America.

The existing laws of the United States relative to public lands shall not apply to such lands in the Hawaiian Islands but the Congress of the United States shall enact special laws for their management and disposition: Provided, That all revenue from or proceeds of the same, except as regards such part thereof as may be used or occupied for the civil, military, or naval purposes of the United States, or may be assigned for the use of the local government, shall be used solely for the benefit of the inhabitants of the Hawaiian Islands for educational and other public purposes.

Until Congress shall provide for the government of such islands all the civil, judicial, and military powers exercised by the officers of the existing government in said islands shall be vested in such person or persons and shall be exercised in such manner as the President of the United states shall direct and the President shall have power to remove said officers and fill the vacancies so occasioned.

The existing treaties of the Hawaiian Islands with foreign nations shall forthwith cease and determine, being replaced by such treaties as may exist, or as may be hereafter concluded, between the United States and such foreign nations. The municipal legislation of the Hawaiian Islands, not enacted for the fulfillment of the treaties so extinguished, and not inconsistent with this joint resolution nor contrary to the Constitution of the United States nor to any existing treaty of the United States, shall remain in force until the Congress of the United States shall otherwise determine.

Until legislation shall be enacted extending the United States customs laws and regulations to the Hawaiian Islands the existing customs relations of the Hawaiian Islands with the United States and other countries shall remain unchanged.

The public debt of the Republic of Hawaii, lawfully existing at the date of the passage of this joint resolution, including the amounts due to depositors in the Hawaiian Postal Savings Bank, is hereby assumed by the Government of the United States but the liability of the United States in this regard shall in no case exceed four million dollars. So long, however, as the existing Government and the present commercial relations of the Hawaiian Islands are continued as hereinbefore, provided said Government shall continue to pay the interest on said debt.

There shall be no further immigration of Chinese into the Hawaiian Islands, except upon such conditions as are now or may hereafter be allowed by the laws of the United States and no Chinese, by reason of anything herein contained, shall be allowed to enter the United States from the Hawaiian Islands.

The President shall appoint five commissioners, at least two of whom shall be residents of the Hawaiian Islands, who shall, as soon as reasonably practicable, recommend to Congress such legislation concerning the Hawaiian Islands as they shall deem necessary or proper.

Sec. 2. That the commissioners hereinbefore provided for shall be appointed by the President, by and with the advice and consent of the Senate.

Sec. 3. That the sum of one hundred thousand dollars, or so much thereof as may be necessary, is hereby appropriated, out of any money in the Treasury not otherwise appropriated, and to be immediately available, to be expended at the discretion of the President of the United States of America, for the purpose of carrying this joint resolution into effect.


Annexation Of The Hawaiian Islands [July 7, 1898] - History

After a century of American rule, many native Hawaiians remain bitter about how the United States acquired the islands, located 2,500 miles from the West Coast.

In 1893, a small group of sugar and pineapple-growing businessmen, aided by the American minister to Hawaii and backed by heavily armed U.S. soldiers and marines, deposed Hawaii's queen. Subsequently, they imprisoned the queen and seized 1.75 million acres of crown land and conspired to annex the islands to the United States.

On January 17, 1893, the conspirators announced the overthrow of the queen's government. To avoid bloodshed, Queen Lydia Kamakaeha Liliuokalani yielded her sovereignty and called upon the U.S. government "to undo the actions of its representatives." The U.S. government refused to help her regain her throne. When she died in 1917, Hawaii was an American territory. In 1959, Hawaii became the 50th state after a plebiscite in which 90 percent of the islanders supported statehood.

The businessmen who conspired to overthrow the queen claimed that they were overthrowing a corrupt, dissolute regime in order of advance democratic principles. They also argued that a Western power was likely to acquire the islands. Hawaii had the finest harbor in the mid-Pacific and was viewed as a strategically valuable coaling station and naval base. In 1851, King Kamehameha III had secretly asked the United States to annex Hawaii, but Secretary of State Daniel Webster declined, saying "No power ought to take possession of the islands as a conquest. or colonization." But later monarchs wanted to maintain Hawaii's independence. The native population proved to be vulnerable to western diseases, including cholera, smallpox, and leprosy. By 1891, native Hawaii's were an ethnic minority on the islands.

After the bloodless 1893 revolution, the American businessmen lobbied President Benjamin Harrison and Congress to annex the Hawaiian Islands. In his last month in office, Harrison sent an annexation treaty to the Senate for confirmation, but the new president, Grover Cleveland, withdrew the treaty "for the purpose of re-examination." He also received Queen Liliuokalani and replaced the American stars and stripes in Honolulu with the Hawaiian flag.

Cleveland also ordered a study of the Hawaiian revolution. The inquiry concluded that the American minister to Hawaii had conspired with the businessmen to overthrow the queen, and that the coup would have failed "but for the landing of the United States forces upon false pretexts respecting the dangers to life and property." Looking back on the Hawaii takeover, President Cleveland later wrote that "the provisional government owes its existence to an armed invasion by the United States. By an act of war. a substantial wrong has been done."

President Cleveland's recommendation that the monarchy be restored was rejected by Congress. The House of Representatives voted to censure the U.S. minister to Hawaii and adopted a resolution opposing annexation. But Congress did not act to restore the monarchy. In 1894, Sanford Dole, who was beginning his pineapple business, declared himself president of the Republic of Hawaii without a popular vote. The new government found the queen guilty of treason and sentenced her to five years of hard labor and a $5,000 fine. While the sentence of hard labor was not carried out, the queen was placed under house arrest.

The Republican Party platform in the presidential election of 1896 called for the annexation of Hawaii. Petitions for a popular vote in Hawaii were ignored. Fearing that he lacked two-thirds support for annexation in the Senate, the new Republican president, William McKinley, called for a joint resolution of Congress (the same way that the United States had acquired Texas). With the country aroused by the Spanish American War and political leaders fearful that the islands might be annexed by Japan, the joint resolution easily passed Congress. Hawaii officially became a U.S. territory in 1900.

When Capt. James Cooke, the British explorer, arrived in Hawaii in 1778, there were about 300,000 Hawaiians on the islands however, infectious diseases reduced the native population. Today, about 20 percent of Hawaii's people are of native Hawaiian ancestry, and only about 10,000 are of pure Hawaiian descent. Native Hawaiians were poorer, less healthy, and less educated than members of other major ethnic groups on the islands.

Sugar growers, who dominated the islands' economy, imported thousands of immigrant laborers first from China, then Japan, then Portuguese from Madeira and the Azores, followed by Puerto Ricans, Koreans, and most recently Filipinos. As a result, Hawaii has one of the world's most multicultural populations.


Americans overthrow Hawaiian monarchy

On the Hawaiian Islands, a group of American sugar planters under Sanford Ballard Dole overthrow Queen Liliuokalani, the Hawaiian monarch, and establish a new provincial government with Dole as president. The coup occurred with the foreknowledge of John L. Stevens, the U.S. minister to Hawaii, and 300 U.S. Marines from the U.S. cruiser Boston were called to Hawaii, allegedly to protect American lives.

The first known settlers of the Hawaiian Islands were Polynesian voyagers who arrived sometime in the eighth century, and in the early 18th century the first American traders came to Hawaii to exploit the islands’ sandalwood, which was much valued in China at the time. In the 1830s, the sugar industry was introduced to Hawaii and by the mid-19th century had become well established. American missionaries and planters brought about great changes in Hawaiian political, cultural, economic, and religious life, and in 1840 a constitutional monarchy was established, stripping the Hawaiian monarch of much of his authority. Four years later, Sanford B. Dole was born in Honolulu, Hawaii, to American parents.


Annexation

The Committee of Safety, formally the Citizen’s Committee of Public Safety, was a 13-member group also known as the Annexation Club they started in 1887 as the Hawaiian League.

The Committee of Safety was made up of 6-Hawaiian citizens (naturalized or by birth) 5-Americans, 1-Englishman and 1-German (of the 13, none were missionaries and only 3 had missionary family ties.)

“Queen Lili‘uokalani attempted on Saturday, Jan. 14 (1893,) to promulgate a new Constitution, depriving foreigners of the right of franchise and abrogating the existing House of Nobles, at the same time giving her the power of appointing a new House.”

“That meeting unanimously adopted resolutions condemning the action of the Queen and authorizing the committee to take into consideration whatever was necessary for the public safety.” (New York Times, January 28, 1893)

On January 16, 1893, the Committee of Safety wrote a letter to John L Stevens, American Minister, that stated: “We, the undersigned citizens and residents of Honolulu, respectfully represent that, in view of recent public events in this Kingdom …”

“… culminating in the revolutionary acts of Queen Liliʻuokalani on Saturday last, the public safety is menaced and lives and property are in peril, and we appeal to you and the United States forces at your command for assistance.”

Then, “[a] so-called Committee of Safety, a group of professionals and businessmen, with the active assistance of John Stevens, the United States Minister to Hawaii, acting with the United States Armed Forces, replaced the [Hawaiian] monarchy with a provisional government.” (US Supreme Court Hawaii v OHA, 2008)

On January 18, 1893, letters acknowledging (de facto) the Provisional Government were prepared by the Imperial German Consulate, Austro-Hungarian Consulate, Consul for Italy, Russian acting consul, Vice-Consul for Spain, Consulate of The Netherlands, Royal Danish Consulate, Consulate of Belgium, Consul for Mexico, Consulate of Chile, Office of the Peruvian Consulate, Consul-General and Charge d’Affaires of Portugal, Consulate and Commissariat of France and Chinese Commercial Agency.

On January 19, 1893, the British Legation and His Imperial Japanese Majesty’s Consulate-General acknowledged the Hawaiian monarchy has been abrogated and a Provisional Government established.

The Provisional Government convened a constitutional convention, approved a new constitution and the Republic of Hawaiʻi was established on July 4, 1894. Shortly after (from August 1894 through January 1895,) a number of letters of formal diplomatic recognition (de jure) of the Republic of Hawai‘i were conveyed to the Republic of Hawai‘i President Sanford Dole.

These included formal letters from Austria/Hungary, Belgium, Brazil, Britain, Chile, China, France, Germany/Prussia, Guatemala, Italy, Japan, Mexico, Netherlands, Norway and Sweden, Peru, Portugal, Russia, Spain , Switzerland and the United States. (These were countries that had prior agreements and treaties with the Hawaiian Monarchy.)

An August 7, 1894 ‘office copy’ letter notes US President Grover Cleveland wrote to Republic of Hawai‘i President Sanford B Dole, saying “… I cordially reciprocate the sentiments you express for the continuance of the friendly relations which have existed between the United States and the Hawaiian islands”.

In his annual ‘Message to Congress’ (1895,) President Cleveland noted, “Since communicating the voluminous correspondence in regard to Hawai‘i and the action taken by the Senate and House of Representatives on certain questions submitted to the judgment and wider discretion of Congress …”

“… the organization of a government in place of the provisional arrangement which followed the deposition of the Queen has been announced, with evidence of its effective operation. The recognition usual in such cases has been accorded the new Government.”

Republic of Hawai‘i President Sanford Dole sent a delegation to Washington in 1894, seeking annexation to the US. John Sherman, US Secretary of State, prepared a report reviewing the negotiation between representatives of the Republic of Hawai‘i and the US, and provisions of the Treaty of Annexation. That report (June 15, 1897) noted, in part:

“The undersigned, Secretary of State, has the honor to lay before the President, for submission to the Senate, should it be deemed for the public interest so to do, a treaty, signed in the city of Washington on the 16th instant by the undersigned and by the fully empowered representative of the Republic of Hawaii …”

“… whereby the islands constituting the said Republic, and all their dependencies, are fully and absolutely ceded to the United States of America forever.”

“As time passed and the plan of union with the United States became an uncertain contingency, the organization of the Hawaiian Commonwealth underwent necessary changes the temporary character of its first Government gave place to a permanent scheme under a constitution framed by the representatives of the electors of the islands …”

“… administration by an executive council not chosen by suffrage, but self-appointed, was succeeded by an elective and parliamentary regime, and the ability of the new Government to hold – as the Republic of Hawaii – an independent place in the family of sovereign States, preserving order at home and fulfilling international obligations abroad, has been put to the proof.”

“Recognized by the powers of the earth, sending and receiving envoys, enforcing respect for the law, and maintaining peace within its island borders, Hawaii sends to the United States, not a commission representing a successful revolution, but the accredited plenipotentiary of a constituted and firmly established sovereign State.”

“… the Republic of Hawaii approaches the United States as an equal, and points for its authority to that provision of article 32 of the constitution promulgated July 24, 1894, whereby …”

“The President (of the Republic of Hawai‘i,) with the approval of the cabinet, is hereby expressly authorized and empowered to make a treaty of political or commercial union between the Republic of Hawaii and the United States of America, subject to the ratification of the Senate.” (The Hawaiian resolution for ratification of the annexation treaty was unanimously adopted by the Senate of the Republic of Hawai‘i on September 9, 1897.)

“Turning, then, to the various practical forms of political union, the several phases of a protectorate, an offensive and defensive alliance, and a national guarantee, were passed in review. In all of these the independence of the subordinate state is the distinguishing feature, and with it the assumption by the paramount state of responsibility without domain.”

“There remained, therefore, the annexation of the islands and their complete absorption into the political system of the United States as the only solution satisfying all the given conditions and promising permanency and mutual benefit. The present treaty has been framed on that basis”.

“As to most of these, the negotiators have been constrained and limited by the constitutional powers of the Government of the United States. As in previous instances when the United States has acquired territory by treaty, it has been necessary to reserve all the organic provisions for the action of Congress.”

“If this was requisite in the case of the transfer to the United States of a part of the domain of a titular sovereign, as in the cession of Louisiana by France, of Florida by Spain, or of Alaska by Russia, it is the more requisite when the act is not cession, but union, involving the complete incorporation of an alien sovereignty into the body politic of the United States.”

“For this the only precedent of our political history is found in the uncompleted treaty concluded during President Grant’s Administration, November 29, 1869, for the annexation of the Dominican Republic to the United States.”

“Following that example, the treaty now signed by the plenipotentiaries of the United States and the Republic of Hawaii reserves to the Congress of the United States the determination of all questions affecting the form of government of the annexed territory, the citizenship and elective franchise of its inhabitants, and the manner in which the laws of the United States are to be extended to the islands.”

“In order that this independence of the Congress shall be complete and unquestionable, and pursuant to the recognized doctrine of public law that treaties expire with the independent life of the contracting State, there has been introduced, out of abundant caution, an express proviso for the determination of all treaties heretofore concluded by Hawaii with foreign nations and the extension to the islands of the treaties of the United States.”

“This leaves Congress free to deal with such especial regulation of the contract labor system of the islands as circumstances may require. There being no general provision of existing statutes to prescribe the form of government for newly incorporated territory, it was necessary to stipulate, as in the Dominican precedent …”

“… for continuing the existing machinery of government and laws in the Hawaiian Islands until provision shall be made by law for the government, as a Territory of the United States, of the domain thus incorporated into the Union …”

“… but, having in view the peculiar status created in Hawaii by laws enacted in execution of treaties heretofore concluded between Hawaii and other countries, only such Hawaiian laws are thus provisionally continued as shall not be incompatible with the Constitution or the laws of the United States or with the provisions of this treaty.” (US Secretary of State Sherman, June 15, 1897)

Meanwhile, the breaking of diplomatic relations with Spain as a result of her treatment of Cuba so completely absorbed public attention that the matter of Hawaiian annexation seemed to have been forgotten.

The war drama moved swiftly. The destruction of the battleship Maine in Havana harbor precipitated matters, and on April 25, 1898, President McKinley signed the resolutions declaring that a state of war existed between the United States and Spain.

On May 5, Representative Francis Newlands, of Nevada, offered a joint resolution addressing the annexation of Hawai‘i. Though considerable opposition to annexation was still manifested in the House, the Newlands resolutions were finally passed.

The resolutions were immediately reported to the Senate, which had been discussing the treaty for nearly a year. That body referred them to its Committee on Foreign Relations, which in turn at once favorably reported them.

On June 15, 1898, the Newlands resolution passed the House by a vote of 209 to 91 the vote on the Newlands Resolution in the Senate was 42 to 21 (2/3 of the votes by Senators were in favor of the resolution, a significantly greater margin was cast by Representatives in the House.) (Cyclopedic Review of Current History, 4th Quarter 1898)

The US Constitution, Article II, Section 2 states: “(The President) shall have Power, by and with the Advice and Consent of the Senate, to make Treaties, provided two thirds of the Senators present concur …” The following day, July 7, 1898, President McKinley signed the Newlands Resolution it into law.

“There was no ‘conquest’ by force in the annexation of the Hawaiian Islands nor ‘holding as conquered territory’ they (Republic of Hawai‘i) came to the United States in the same way that Florida did, to wit, by voluntary cession”.

On August 12, 1898, there were ceremonial functions held in Honolulu at which the Hawaiian government was formally notified by the United States minister plenipotentiary and envoy extraordinary of the adoption and approval of the joint resolution aforesaid, and at which the Hawaiian government made, an unequivocal transfer and cession of its sovereignty and property. (Territorial Supreme Court Albany Law Journal)

On June 27, 1959, when the matter of Statehood was put to a popular vote, Hawaiʻi registered voters voted on the question of Statehood (there was a 93.6% voter turnout for the General election – as compared to less than 50% today.)

Shall the following proposition, as set forth in Public Law 86-3 entitled ‘An Act to provide for the admission of the State of Hawaii into the Union’ be adopted? 1. Shall Hawaii immediately be admitted into the Union as a State? – 94.3% voted in support.

While Hawaiʻi was the 50th State to be admitted into the union on August 21, 1959, Statehood is celebrated annually on the third Friday in August to commemorate the anniversary of the 1959 admission of Hawaiʻi into the Union.


The treaty — setting the price at $7.2 million, or about $125 million today — was negotiated and signed by Eduard de Stoeckl, Russia’s minister to the United States, and William H. Seward, the American secretary of state.

The dispute had existed between the Russian Empire and Britain since 1821, and was inherited by the United States as a consequence of the Alaska Purchase in 1867. The final resolution favored the American position, as Canada did not get an all-Canadian outlet from the Yukon gold fields to the sea.


Religion

Makiki Christian Church in Honolulu, 1958.

The largest denominations by number of adherents were the Catholic Church with 249,619 in 2010 [107] and The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints with 68,128 in 2009. [108]

According to data provided by religious establishments, religion in Hawaii in 2000 was distributed as follows: [109] [110]

  • Christianity: 351,000 (28.9%)
  • Buddhism: 110,000 (9%)
  • Judaism: 10,000 (0.8%)
  • Other: 100,000 (10%)*
  • Unaffiliated: 650,000 (51.1%)**

“Other” are religions other than Christianity, Buddhism, or Judaism this group includes Bahá’í Faith, Confucianism, Daoism , the Hawaiian religion, Hinduism, Islam, Sikhism, Shintoism , Zoroastrianism, and other religions.

“Unaffiliated” refers to people who do not belong to a congregation this group includes agnostics, atheists, humanists, deists and the irreligious.

A Pew poll found that the religious composition was as follows: [111]

  • 44.0% – Protestantism
  • 22.0% – Catholicism
  • 6.0% – Buddhism
  • 5.0% – Mormonism
  • 1.0% – Hinduism
  • 0.5% – Judaism
  • 0.5% – Islam
  • 17.0% – Irreligion (including agnostics, atheists and deists )

A 2010 Glenmary Research Center study also places the Roman Catholic population as greater than 22%. [112]

A special case is Ho ʻ oponopono , an ancient Hawaiian practice of reconciliation and forgiveness, combined with prayer. It is both philosophy and way of life. Traditionally ho ʻ oponopono is practiced by healing priests or kahuna lapa ʻ au among family members of a person who is physically ill.


Watch the video: United States Unilateral Seizure of the Hawaiian Islands in