Customised search for historical information

4 July 2012

On this day in history: Creation of the Republic of Hawaii, 1894

In 1810, King Kamehameha the Great conquered all the Hawaiian islands and formed them into a unified monarchy. His dynasty lasted until 1872, when King Kamehameha V died with no direct heir and no named successor. As required by the constitution, the legislature elected his successor. They chose his cousin who was crowned King William Charles Lunalilo.

This most liberal of kings had a short reign and was succeeded by the more conservative King David Kalākaua I, who the island élite forced to accept a new constitution in 1887 (the so-called Bayonet Constitution), which not only removed most of his executive powers but also disenfranchised the native islanders and the poor. When his successor, Queen Lydia Liliuokalani, tried to institute a new constitution the Hawaiian League, made up of native businessmen and white citizens and residents, formed Citizen's Committee of Public Safety, which succeeded in a bloodless coup d'etat on 17th January 1893 and installed a provisional government.

From the outset, the Hawaiian League's intended for Hawaii to become part of the United States of America. However, following the presidential election defeat of Benjamin Harrison, who supported annexation, by Grover Cleveland, who did not, they decided to establish a republican government to thwart any attempt by President Cleveland to restore the monarchy. The Provisional Government convened a Constitutional Convention in the spring of 1894, which drafted a constitution.

On 4th July 1894, the Republic of Hawaiʻi came into existence with Sanford B. Dole as president. A failed royalist counter-revolution led by Robert William Wilcox six months later implicated the former queen, who faced trial for "misprision of treason," because she knew that weapons to be used in the insurgency had been secreted on the grounds of her residence. The trial resulted in a guilty verdict and she received a sentence of five years imprisonment with hard labour; although, she only served eight months under house arrest and a few months later received a pardon.

In 1897 William McKinley became US President. He was more amenable to annexation of Hawai'i, and negotiations between the two governments resumed. Following the passage of a bill through the Senate and the House of Representatives, on 12th August 1898, Hawaii became United States Territory.

To learn more about US involvement in the overthrow of the Hawaiian monarchy and to read various treaties between the two states and Hawaiian constitutions, see the excellent Morgan Report wiki.

Related posts
First Europeans sighted Tahiti: 18th June 1767
Venezuelan Declaration of Independence: 5th July 1811


thesis writing service said...

Your site really provides information regarding history. It is a wonderful post. I got much new information from this post. Students can use these posts for study purposes. They will get to know about various events that happened in our world. History is always a cool subject to learn. Learning about past events really gives much information. Your writing style is good. You have cultivated a unique style in writing. It is much appreciable for taking such an effort to learn and write down various events that happened in the past.

Susan said...

I like this website very much so much fantastic information. Eminem is an American songwriter, rapper, record producer and an actor. Hе hаѕ also bееn dеѕсrіbеd аѕ оnе оf thе grеаtеѕt hір-hор аrtіѕtѕ оf аll tіmе, оnе оf thе grеаtеѕt rарреrѕ оf аll tіmе аnd was lіѕtеd іn Rоllіng Ѕtоnе lіѕt оf 100 grеаtеѕt аrtіѕtѕ оf аll tіmе аt number 83. Here are a few more interesting facts and Eminem net worth you might not have known.