Mo'oaupuni: Hawaiian Political History

This timeline covers roughly the time period of Pāʻao and the events prior to Kamehameha I and will eventually include significant events our political history through today.

1400-01-01 11:41:00

Migration of Pāʻao

Pāʻao came to Hawaiʻi from Kahiki. He left Kahiki because he got into a fight with his brother, Lonopele. Lonopele and Pāʻao were farmers. One day Lonopele saw that some of his fruits were stolen from his garden. He assumed Pāʻao’s son had stolen his fruit. Pāʻao agreed that if he were to cut open the stomach of his son and there were no fruits, then Lonopele was wrong. When Pāʻao cut open the stomach of his child, there were no fruits. Pāʻao then began to make preperations to leave Kahiki. One day, the son of Lonopele was caught slapping the side of one of Pāʻao’s canoes that was still under kapu. Pāʻao killed Lonopele’s son whose dead body caused a swarm of flies to gather near the hālau waʻa which caught the attention of Lonopele. As Pāʻao was departing, a crowd of people gathered on the cliff of Kaʻakōheo where the kāula, Makuakaʻumana jumped and landed on Pāʻao’s canoe. Mad at Pāʻao for killing his son, Lonopele sent bad weather to swamp Pāʻao’s canoe, but schools of aku and ʻōpelu lifted the canoe up and saved them. Pāʻao first reached these islands at Puna, Hawaiʻi where he built Wahaʻula heiau. He also built Moʻokini heiau in Kohala (Kamakau, Ke Kumu Aupuni, 31-33).

1400-02-01 18:08:14

Manokalanipō reigns over Kauaʻi

Manokalanipō “was noted for the energy and wisdom with which he encouraged agriculture and industry, executed long and difficult works of irrigation, and thus brought fields of wilderness under cultivation” (Fornander 1996:93). Such efforts at infrastructure development created new areas that could be settled, made food production on the island more efficient, likely created food surpluses and in the long-run afforded portions of the population more free time. These additional human and material resources that such improved infrastructure provided could then be directed at whatever efforts were necessary to further strengthen the island nation. Word of such improvements certainly came to the attention of other aliʻi nui at the time. Hence it is no wonder then that “no foreign wars disturbed [Manokalanipō’s] reign,” and that it was thereafter remembered in mo‘olelo as “the golden age of that island” (Fornander 1996:93). Manokalanipō’s exemplary management of his nation has ever since been acknowledged in a famous ‘ōlelo kaena (honorific epithet) still heard in songs and chants through today which honors him and recalls his integral connection to his island: Kaua‘i a Manokalanipō (Kaua‘i of Manokalanipō) (Pukui 1983:108).

1400-02-02 11:41:00

Māʻilikūkahi reigns over O'ahu

Mā‘ilikūkahi was “chosen by the chiefs” to serve as O‘ahu’s aliʻi nui (Kamakau 1991:53; see also Fornander 1996:88). Mā‘ilikūkahi’s unquestioned high rank allowed for his birth at Kūkaniloko, a privilege of the most kapu of aliʻi and a further reason that made him an ideal candidate for Oʻahu’s new aliʻi nui (Kamakau 1991:53).Mā‘ilikūkahi began his career at Kapukapuākea heiau in Paʻalaʻakai, Waialua where he was consecrated and inducted into the sacred office of aliʻi nui (Kamakau 1991:54). His “exceedingly great concern for the prosperity of the kingdom” led to numerous progressive, benevolent, and effective policies throughout his reign (Kamakau 1991:55). He created an environment where “the people all over O‘ahu lived religiously and in peace” (Kamakau 1991:56). And while he was a “religious chief” who followed the kapu, “he did not sacrifice men in the heiau and luakini” (Kamakau 1991:56, 1992:223). Mā‘ilikūkahi “caused the island to be thoroughly surveyed, and the boundaries between the different divisions and lands to be definitely and permanently marked out, thus obviating future disputes between neighboring chiefs and landholders” (Fornander 1996:89). Mā‘ilikūkahi was known to have lived at two locations on the opposite ends of O‘ahu. One of his residences was at Waialua and the other was at WaikĪkĪ (Kamakau 1991:54, 55). This move to WaikĪkĪ inaugurated the area as a home of the highest royalty of the island (Kamakau 1991:54). Mā‘ilikūkahi was also famed for adopting all first born ali‘i and maka‘āinana males of the island (Kamakau 1991:55, 1992:223; Kalākaua 1990:219; Fornander 1996:89). The success of Mā‘ilikūkahi’s numerous initiatives can be seen in the mo‘olelo that say “the chiefs and people never rebelled during his reign. No voice was heard in complaint or grumbling against [Mā‘ilikūkahi] from the chiefs to the commoners, rom the most prominent po‘e ki‘eki‘e to the most humble po‘e ha‘aha‘a” (Kamakau 1991:51).

1400-02-03 11:41:00

Kākuhihewa unites the lineages on Oʻahu

The population at this time enjoyed what could be considered the height of its glory under the rule of Kākuhihewa. “Because of the benevolence of this ruler and because of his many works, O‘ahu was called ‘the sands of Kākuhihewa,’ ke one a Kākuhihewa” (Kamakau 1991:69). Kākuhihewa’s concern for his people is also evidenced in the recollection in mo‘olelo of his having “treated the old people, the children of the maka‘āinana, and the destitute like favorites” (Kamakau 1991:70). Kākuhihewa was said to have “maintained residences in ‘Ewa, at Waikïkï, and at Kailua in Ko‘olaupoko” (Kamakau 1991:69). During his governance “peace prevailed all over the island, agriculture and fishing furnished abundant food for the inhabitants; industry throve and was remunerated, population and wealth increased amazingly” (Fornander 1996:273). For these reasons, “Kākuhihewa became a famous chief from Hawai‘i to Kaua‘i,” for during his reign “O‘ahu became known for its productiveness,” so much so that “its smell” was said to have “reached Kaua‘i [because] there was so much cultivation” (Kamakau 1991:69).

1400-02-04 11:41:00

Keaweikekahialiʻiokamoku rules over Hawaiʻi Island

The mo‘olelo say he “ruled the island peaceably and orderly, without rebellion, tumult, or bloodshed” (Fornander 1996:130). Part of the wisdom of his management was his choice to delegate his authority for the administration of his island to the district chiefs. This form of light-handed management and Keawe’s sense of trusting in those he placed in positions of authority were repaid to him in the loyalty of his aliʻi and their improved ability to attend efficiently and effectively to the needs of the island. Keaweikekahialiʻiokamoku’s management style created the peaceful condition that allowed him to visit other courts throughout the archipelago. Keawe “was fond of traveling” and “traveled about Maui, Molokai, Oahu, and Kauai” (Kamakau 1992:64). Such diplomatic visits, along with his well picked marriage partners, helped ensure no invasions disturbed Hawaiʻi from abroad during his reign.

1400-02-05 11:41:00

Hawai'i island chief ʻUmi a Līloa usurps Hākau

‘Umi was said to be religious, kind-hearted, humble, just, skillful in the arts of war, adept in physical games such as surfing, ready to seek and follow the advice of his advisors, and willing and able to labor with his own hands (Kamakau 1992:1, 5, 9, 19; Fornander 1999:IV:182,184, 230). Perhaps his most innovative mandate was the institution of labor specialization within his population. ‘Umi “selected workers and set them in various positions in the kingdom” with attention to “the work they were best suited for” (Kamakau 1992:19). ‘Umi was known to actively participate in both farming and fishing (Fornander 1999:IV:228, 230). However, it was in farming that ‘Umi seemed to have provided special leadership. “He built large taro patches in Waipio.” When in Kona, “his great occupation” was in farming as well, “and he tilled the soil in all places where he resided” (Fornander 1999:IV:228, 230). In fact, it is probable that ‘Umi either initiated or expanded the dryland field systems of the leeward side of Hawai‘i Island (Kelly 1989:98).‘Umi’s attention to improving the foo d production capacity of his island was consistent with his known concern for his maka‘āinana. It is said, “there was no kingdom like his. He took care of the old men, the old women, the fatherless, and the common people,” and to protect them he outlawed “murder and thievery” (Kamakau 1992:19).

1758-11-01 18:08:14

Kamehameha I

Kamehameha I was born at Kokoiki, Kohala to Kekuʻiapoiwa, his mother, and Keōua, his father. He was raised by his kahu, Naeʻole until he was five years old at Hālawa, Kohala Loko at which time he was brought back to the aliʻi Alapaʻi (Kamakau, Ke kumu Aupuni, 2-3).

1778-11-17 13:32:29

Captain Cook Arrives in Hawai'i

When Captain Cook arrived, Kāʻeo was the chief of Kauaʻi, Kahahana was the chief of Oʻahu and Molokaʻi, Kahekili was the chief of Maui, Lānaʻi and Kahoʻolawe, and Kalaniʻōpuʻu was the chief of Hawaiʻi. Cook first arrived at Waimea, Kauaʻi where his ship was compared to a heiau and he was compared to the god Lono, a god from Kahiki. While Cook’s ship was anchored on Kauaʻi, a man named Kapupuʻu was killed because he attempted to steal iron. Cook continued on to Haʻaluea at Wailua, Maui before arriving at Kealakekua at Kona, Hawaiʻi. As captain of his ship, Cook was treated like an aliʻi. However, the Hawaiians knew that these people were not gods, because they opened the ipu ʻaumakua (had sexual relations with the Hawaiian women who came aboard the ship). When Cook’s ships needed to be repaired he once again returned to Hawaiʻi island. Because Cook had been given food, clothing, and other offerings, kānaka thought they could take iron from their ships, which caused a fight and the ʻaikāne of Kalaniʻōpuʻu, Pālea was struck by one of Cook’s men. Pālea later retaliated by stealing one of Cook’s rowboats. Cook thought he could hold Kalaniʻōpuʻu hostage until his boat was returned, but when he attempted to grab the mōʻī, Kalanimanookahoʻowaha, a chief of Kalaniʻōpuʻu, blocked him. Cook then drew a sword and cut Kalanimanookahoʻowaha from his temple to his cheeck. Kalanimanookahoʻowaha then struck Cook with a pōlolu and killed him (Kamakau, Ke Kumu Aupuni, 45-56).

1794-09-30 22:16:30

Kalanikūpule Defeats Kāʻeokūlani

Kalanikūpule defeats Kāʻeokūlani in the battle of Kūkiʻiahu at Kalauao, ʻEwa, which incorporates Maui, Moloka’i, and Lānaʻi under his rule of Oʻahu (Kamakau, Ke Kumu Aupuni, 144).

1795-06-07 22:43:16

Kamehameha Defeats Kalanikūpule

Kamehameha defeats Kalanikūpule in the battle of Nuʻuanu and brings the islands, except for Kauaʻi and Niʻihau, under one kingdom (Kamakau, Ke Kumu Aupuni, 149).

1795-09-30 22:16:30

Kamehameha Secures Kauaʻi

Kamehameha secured Kauaʻi through an agreement with the son of Kāʻeokūlani, Kauaʻi chief, Kaumualiʻi. Thus, a kingdom was established under Kamehameha I over the paeʻāina (Kamakau, Ke Kumu Aupuni, 174).

1797-05-27 04:08:02

Liholiho is Born

Kalanikualiholiho, the first-born child of Kalanikauikaʻalaneokeōpūolani and Kamehameha, is born. Liholiho was not given away to be raised by another aliʻi as was a customary practice among aliʻi children. He was raised in the presence of Kamehameha himself. From a young age, Liholiho was raised to be a religious chief. He was a child who listened to his kahu. John Papa ʻĪʻī was one of Liholiho's Kahu (Ke Kumu Aupuni, 200-201).

1810-04-30 14:29:51

Hawaiian Kingdom is Formed

One of Kamehameha's first acts was a kālaiʻāina that was carried out by Kalanimoku. Kamehameha made sure to give land to all those who had helped him. In setting up his government, he established laws that forbade stealing, murder, and robbery. He also proclaimed that the elderly and children may lie protected along the roadside (Kānāwai Māmalahoe). Kamehameha arranged his government for success. He appointed the head fishermen, carvers, farmers, warriors, paddlers, healers, and land managers. He established kapu for the fishing seasons. He also built the heiau, Pu’u Koholā and Mailekini at Kawaihae, Keikipuʻipuʻi and ʻAhuʻena at Kailua, Hikiau at Kealakekua, Kamaikeʻekū and ʻŌhiʻamukumuku at Kahaluʻu, and Haleokeawe and the refuge at Hōnaunau (Kamakau, Ke Kumu Aupuni, 152-157).

1814-03-17 14:29:51

Kauikeaouli is Born

Kauikeaouli is born to Kamehameha and Keōpūolani at Keauhou in North Kona. According to the custom of giving the child away to another to raise, Kuakini was supposed to have been the kahu hānai of Kauikeaouli, but when it was thought that the aliʻi had died at birth, Kuakini left. Kaikiʻoewa, however, was in the area when the aliʻi was born and brought his kāula who revived the child. It was because of this that Kaikiʻoewa became the kahu hānai of Kauikeaouli and raised him at Oʻoma, Kekaha (Kamakau, Ke Aupuni Moi, 12-13).

1819-05-21 11:17:45

Kamehameha Passes and Liholiho Becomes Mōʻī

Kamehameha dies and leaves the aupuni to his son, Liholiho and the war akua (god) to Kekuaokalani. At the age of 21, Liholiho became mōʻī, and took the name, Kamehameha II (Kamakau, Ke Kumu Aupuni, 198). Kaʻahumanu would rule alongside Liholiho as Kuhina nui. Liholiho would enact some of the first laws of the Hawaiian Kingdom which mainly had to do with regulating the behavior of foreigners in Hawaiʻi (Beamer, No Mākou Ka Mana, 106-108).

1819-06-01 00:00:00

Breaking of the ʻAi Kapu

In the old days, there was an ʻai kapu, or a restriction on eating in which men and women ate separately. Upon the death and mourning of a great chief, however, the ali’i would ‘ai noa, meaning the men and women would eat together. However, when the ʻai kapu was lifted during the mourning for Kamehameha’s death it would not be reestablished. Keōpūolani and the other aliʻi continued the ʻai noa at Kailua, Hawaiʻi and sent messengers to retrieve Liholiho and Kekuaokalani who were at Kawaihae. Kekuaokalani repeatedly insisted to Liholiho that they should not return to Kailua becuase of the ʻai noa. Finally Liholiho agreed to return, but he refused to eat with his mother, Keōpūolani. A battle ensued at Kuamoʻo between those who supported the ʻai kapu and those who suppored the ʻai noa. Kekuaokalani was killed in this battle and the ʻai noa was established throughout the islands (Kamakau, Ke Kumu Aupuni, 206-216).

1820-03-31 00:00:00

First American Calvanist Missionaries Arrive

Not long after the establishment of the ʻai noa, Calvinist missionaries arrived at Kailua, Hawaiʻi from America. Some of the chiefs were unsure about allowing the missionaries to reside in Hawaiʻi. After much discussion and meetings, Liholiho and the aliʻi agreed to allow the missionaries to reside in the islands and teach their faith for one year, at which time they would be allowed to stay if it was determined that their work was pono. Some of the missionaries that arrived included Hiram Bingham and Asa Thurston (Kamakau, Ke Kumu Aupuni, 244-247).

1824-07-05 22:40:27

Liholiho Passes Away and Kauikeaouli Becomes Mōʻī

After the death of Keōpūolani, Liholiho decided that he would travel to Britain. Before his departure he named Kauikeaouli as the heir to the Kingdom. Unfortunatly, when they arrived in Britain, Liholiho and Kamehamalu become very sick and despite the efforts of the doctors sent by King George, both Kamehamalu and Liholiho pass away. Liholiho had reigned as mōʻī for four years and was only 26 when he passed away (Kamakau, Ke Kumu Aupuni, 261-262). According to his nephew, Alexander Liholiho, Liholiho’s was the “era of the introduction of Christianity,” and that Liholiho was “born to commence the great moral revolution which began with his reign (Kamehameha IV, 1855).” Becuase Kauikeaouli was only 9 years old when he became mōʻī, Kaʻahumanu and Kalanimoku would help to administer the government until he was old enough to reign independently.

1839-06-07 22:43:16

Kauikeaouli Proclaims first Kumu Kanawai

The first Kumu Kanawai (constitution) was proclaimed. This was one of the first attempts by ali’i to define the relationship between Hawaiian classes. This document was authored in the Hawaiian language and later translated into English. The first part is known as the “Kumu Kanawai” or constitution, and has also been translated as the Declaration of Rights. The second part is the “Kanawai Hooponopono Waiwai” or the laws concerning the management of wealth. This section laid the foundation for land and people tax and the access and management of natural resources.

1840-08-14 16:06:19

Kauikeaouli Promulgates 1840 Constitution

The 1839 constitution was later incorporated in to the 1840 Kumu Kanawai. The 1840 constitution re-organized the government into the executive (mōʻī), judicial, and representative departments. It also affirmed the three classes who had undivided interest in ʻāina: the hoaʻāina, the konohiki, and the mōʻī, a principle that was embedded in kalaiʻāina or the redistribution of land that was executed by a mōʻī at the begining of their reign. Kauikeaouli promulgated the first constitution in an effort to maintain Native Hawaiian control of the ʻĀina (land) and Aupuni (government) (Beamer, No Mākou Ka Mana, 127-130).

1842-07-31 00:24:12

Lā Hoʻihoʻi Ea

On this day Hawaiian sovereignty was returned by British Rear Admiral Thomas after it was seized by the British captain, Lord George Paulet. It was on this day that Kauikeaouli proclaimed, "Ua mau ke ea o ka ʻāina i ka pono," which can be translated as, "the sovereignty of the land continues through righteousness or morality.” This day is still celebrated today at Thomas Square, which was named after Admiral Thomas.

1843-11-28 09:43:28

Lā Kūʻokoʻa

Messengers Timoteo Haʻalilio and William Richards were sent to secure the recognition of Hawaiian sovereignty. They departed from Lāhaina and traveled the rugged terrain of Mexico, where they took a train to Washington. On November 28, 1843 the British and French governments entered into a joint declaration in London, known as the Anglo-Franco Proclamation, which recognized Hawaiʻi as an independent state by France, Great Britain, and the United States of America.

1845-10-29 05:52:57

Kauikeaouli Reorganizes the Government

Kauikeaouli approved the first of several acts to organize the Executive Ministry under five ministers: the Minister of Interior Affairs, the minister of Foreign Relations, the minister of Finance, the minister of Public Instruction, and the Attorney General. These five ministers along with the KiaʻĀina (Governors) of the four main Mokupuni (islands) and other individuals appointed by the mōʻī, also became members of the Privy Council.

1848-03-07 13:07:43

The Māhele

Kauikeaouli established a five member Land Commission, whose purpose was to investigate and either confirm or reject all claims to land made prior to December 10, 1845, the day the commission was created (Alexander, 1882). A division of interests between Kauikeaouli and 252 aliʻi, who represented the konohiki class proceeded. These interests were recorded in the Buke Māhele (Māhele Book) as seen below in Figure 1. Throughout the Buke Māhele, Kauikeaouli’s lands appear on the left and the lands of the aliʻi on the right. Kauikeaouli participated in this division as a “konohiki” so as to distinguish his own personal lands from those of the government. What would be later known as government lands would come from Kauikeaouli’s personal lands, which were identified through this first division. The aliʻi based their land claims on the Buke Māhele and presented them before the Land Commission. If the aliʻi paid commutation, which was 1/3 value of their lands or 1/3 of their actual lands, to the government they received their land in fee-simple. The payment of commutation eliminated the government’s interest in their land. If they did not pay the commutation they received a life-estate, which meant they could use the land for the rest of their lives, but upon their death the land would revert back to the government.

1848-06-07 05:52:57

Confirmation of the Crown and Government Lands

On June 7, 1848, Kauikeaouli passed "An Act Relating to the Lands of his Majesty the King and of the Government." This act confirmed the division of the Māhele between Kauikeaouli and the aliʻi and formally created the Hawaiian crown and government lands.

1850-08-06 11:41:00

Kuleana Act Awards Fee-Simple Title to Native Tenants

Once the konohiki and aupuni divided out their interests in the Māhele, the only interests that remained were those of the hoaʻāina. Therefore, Kauikeaouli passed the Kuleana Act of 1850, which allowed native tenants the right to a fee-simple title to lands they cultivated. Individuals sent their claims, along with supporting witness testimony, to the Land Commission. Section 1 of this act states “That fee-simple titles, free of commutation, be and are hereby granted to all native tenants, who occupy and improve any portion of any government land, for the lands they so occupy and improve, and whose claims to said lands shall be recognized as genuine by the land commission” (Kauikeaouli, 1850). To receive fee-simple title, hoaʻāina first had to register their land, which included cultivated lands and house lots. Second, hoaʻāina needed two witnesses to verify their register. The Land Commission, based on the evidence presented, either denied or awarded a land commission award in the form of a Kuleana award. During this foreigners were also allowed to purchase land with the passing of the Alien Land Ownership Act in 1850. Native tenants were allowed to purchase government lands at cheap rates.

1854-12-15 00:00:00

Kauikeaouli is Succeeded by Alexander Liholiho

Kauikeaouli dies and is succeeded by his nephew, Alexander Liholiho (Kamehameha IV). Liholiho was the son of Kīnaʻu, a daughter of Kamehameha I and Kaheiheimalie, and Kekūanaoʻa, the child of Nāhiʻōleʻa. His siblings were Lota Kapūaiwa, Mosese Kekūāiwa, and Victoria Kamāmalu. Liholiho did not receive any land in the Māhele becuase it was understood that he would inherit from his uncle, Kauikeaouli, the government and crown lands (Kameʻeleihiwa, 1992). During his reign, Kamehameha IV sought to address the decrease in the Hawaiian population by foreign diseases by establishing public hospitals. He and his wife, Queen Emma would establish the Queen’s Hospital in 1859. Liholiho also created the Komisina o Na Ala Liilii ame Na Pono Wai in the Kingdom, a commission that was established to settle disputes about right of ways and water rights.

1863-11-30 05:52:57

Alexander Liholiho is Succeeded by Lot Kapuāiwa

When Liholiho passes away, his brother, Lot Kapuaiwa, becomes mōʻī as Kamehameha V. Lot was an active member of the Church of England and created the Boundary Commission that sought to record and preserve the ancient place boundaries of the Kingdom. He also initiated the construction of Aliʻiolani Hale and the Royal Mausoleum.

1864-08-20 05:52:57

New Constitution Decreed by Lot

When Kamehameha V ascended the throne in 1863, he refused to take an oath to the 1852 constitution. Instead, he held Hawaiʻi’s first constitutional convention and later proclaimed the 1864 constitution that restored some power back to the mōʻī.

1865-01-03 05:52:57

Crown Lands Rendered Inalienable

On January 3, 1865 "An Act to Relieve the Royal Domain from Encumbrances, and to Render the Same Inalienable" was passed that prevented the crown lands from being sold. This act proclaimed that the crown lands were “for the purposes of maintaining the Royal State and Dignity; and it is therefore disadvantageous to the public interest that the said lands should be alienated.” Section 3 of this Act further mandates that the control of the crown lands shall descend along with the title of mōʻī. The duties of leasing the crown lands were then transferred from the mōʻī to the Commission of Crown Lands who could lease the crown lands for terms no more than 30 years.

1873-01-12 05:52:57

William Charles Lunalilo is Elected as Mōʻī

Lunalilo was the first elected mōʻī who ran and won against David Kalakaua and Queen Emma. Lunalilo’s mother, Kekāuluohi, was the daughter of Kalanimamahū who was the half-brother of Kamehameha through their father Keōua. Before the māhele, at the age of 14, Lunalilo held the most land, second only to Kauikeaouli. This was largely due to the lands that were awarded to his mother and grandmother (Kameʻeleihiwa, Native Land and Foreign Desires, 125). These lands were managed by his father, Charles Kanaʻina. Lunalilo died on February 3, 1874 from tuberculosis about a year after he was elected. In his last will and testament, Lunalilo ordered that his estate be used to build a home to care for poor, destitute and infirm people of Hawaiian ancestry. Located in Maunalua, Oʻahu, Lunalilo Homes continues to care for our kūpuna, both of Hawaiian and non-Hawaiian ancestry.

1874-02-12 00:00:00

Kalākaua is Elected as Mōʻī

Following Lunalilo’s passing, Kalākaua was elected as King over Queen Emma, the wife of Alexander Liholiho (Kamehameha IV). Kalākaua was the son of Kapaʻakea and a decendant of the Keaweaheulu line and the ʻĪ chiefs of Hilo through his mother, Keohokālole. Kalākaua would re-establish the Hale Nauā, a secret society devoted to the revival of Hawaiian Sciences, as well as a Genealogy Board, whose purpose was to record the genealogies of the aliʻi. He would also revive the once banned practice of hula, and initiate the building of ʻIolani Palace, which would be fit with electricity before the White House. He also sought to protect the sovereignty of other Polynesian nations by attempting the creation of a Pan-Pacific Federation. He succeeded in ratifying a treaty with Sāmoan King, Malietoa, however he was unable to prevent the colonization of the Pacific (Beamer, No Mākou Ka Mana, 186-190).

1875-01-30 10:28:42

Treaty of Reciprocity

Discussion of a reciprocity treaty between Hawaiʻi and the United States in exchange for the cession of Pearl Harbor began during the reign of William Lunalilo. Kalākaua, who was serving in the House of Nobles at the time in 1873, publicly rejected Lunalilo’s plan for a reciprocity treaty (Osorio, 2002, p. 167). Kalākaua, once in opposition to reciprocity, changed his stance on to that of a more neutral nature. Many Hawaiians, makaʻāinana and aliʻi alike, largely opposed the ceding of Pearl Harbor (Kajihiro, 2014). On August 1, 1874 Kalākaua and the legislative assembly approved an Act entitled, “An Act to Facilitate the Negotiation of a Treaty or Treaties of Reciprocity” (Kalākaua, 1874). This act would immediately put into effect a treaty of reciprocity ratified by the King without having to wait until the next legislative session for approval (Ibid). A treaty of reciprocity would eliminate any tariff or duty on certain imported and exported goods between Hawaiʻi and the United States, namely sugar. A treaty of reciprocity was ratified by the Hawaiian Kingdom on April 17, 1875 and the United States followed with amendments a month later. The amendment restricted the Hawaiian government from transferring land to another country. On one hand the reciprocity treaty was aimed at creating an open market between Hawaiʻi and the United States. However, it also costed the Hawaiian government about $60,000 annually in revenues that they would have received from duties on imported goods (Kajihiro, 2014). The treaty was for a term of 7 years.

1887-07-06 10:28:42

The Bayonet Constitution

In 1887, calling themselves the Hawaiian League, a group of foreigners and missionary-descendant businessmen forced Kalākaua by threat of assassination to appoint a new cabinet and proclaim a new constitution of their drafting (Osorio, 2002, Liliʻuokalani, 1990). Members of this league included men such as Lorrin Thurston and Sanford B. Dole. By their use of bayonets to force these changes upon the mōʻī, the 1887 constitution is known as the Bayonet Constitution. This constitution was in fact unconstitutional according to article 80 of the 1864 constitution that required any constitutional amendments to be approved by a majority vote of the legislature. The major effect of the Bayonet Constitution was its transformation of the voting laws in Hawaiʻi. There were now income and property requirements in order to vote, which greatly limited the native vote and completely eliminated the voting rights of the Asian population. It also reduced the executive power of the mōʻī by demanding that any act of the mōʻī be countersigned by a member of the cabinet. A final effect was that this constitution allowed foreigners to vote without having to give up their nationality, which gave them greater political power.

1888-07-06 10:28:42

Hui Kālaiʻāina is Formed

Protests, mass meetings, and petitioning by kānaka followed the Bayonet Constitution, which led to the forming of a Hawaiian political association called the Hui Kalaiʻāina. By 1888, Hui Kalaiʻāina had prepared a constitution and strategies for the upcoming elections on issues such as the preservation of the monarchy, amending the constitution, and reducing the property requirements for voters of the House of Nobles (Silva, 2004).

1891-07-06 10:28:42

Kalākaua Passes Away and Liliʻu Becomes Queen

Although his health was in decline, Kalākaua proceeded to travel to Washington to inform the Hawaiian Minister, Mr. H. A. P. Carter about the implications of the recently passed McKinley Bill on Hawaiian sugar plantations. However, the king passed away on this journey while in San Francisco. Kalākaua’s sister, who was appointed as regent during his journey to Washington ascended the throne as Queen.

1893-01-14 10:28:42

Liliʻu Proposes Amendments to Bayonet Constitution

Liliʻuokalani set out to fulfill the wishes of her people and her prerogative as mōʻī, through the promulgation of a new constitution. The Queen was unable to do this due to the disapproval of her cabinet. She then publicly announced her intent not to bring forth a new constitution and that any changes to the existing constitution would be done through means provided for in the law. Amendments to the constitution that she were proposing included reducing the voting requirements and limiting voting to Hawaiian Kingdom citizens only, naming the Princes Kawānanakoa and Kalanianaʻole as heirs to the throne, and that the Queen shall sign and approve all bills and resolutions.

1893-01-17 05:52:57

Commitee of Safety Illegally Overthrow Queen Liliʻuokalani

In 1891, Liliʻuokalani had succeeded the throne as mōʻī after her brother Kalākaua had passed away. In 1893, Liliʻuokalani considered making changes to the Bayonet constitution after “petitions poured in from every part of the Islands for a new constitution,” Liliʻuokalani decided that she would have been “deaf to the voice of her people” had she not taken their concerns into consideration (Liliʻuokalani, 1990, p. 230-231). The Hawaiian League, now going by the name of the Committee of Safety used the Queen’s desire to change the constitution as a reason to declare for the protection of American life and property. They would enlist the participation of the U.S. via its minister in Hawaiʻi, John L. Stevens and the military support of the U.S.S. Boston to overthrow the Queen. The sole purpose of the Provisional Government was “to exist until terms of union with the United States of America have been negotiated and agreed upon” (Provisional Government, 1893).

1893-01-18 05:52:57

Hui Hawaiʻi Aloha ʻĀina is Formed

Following the overthrow, the people once again organized, this time into the Hui Hawaiʻi Aloha ʻĀina, which was composed of a men’s and women’s branch and was also known as the Hawaiian Patriotic League. The main objective of this association was to “preserve and maintain, by all legal and peaceful means and measures, the independent autonomy of the islands of Hawaii nei,” and if this goal could not be met, the hui would try to maintain the civil rights for the Hawaiian people and citizens of the Kingdom.

1893-02-14 05:52:57

Proposed Treaty of Annexation Withdrawn by President Cleveland

On February 14, 1893, the Provisional Government and U.S. Secretary of State James Blaine signed a treaty of annexation. This attempt at a treaty of annexation to the United States failed when newly elected President Grover Cleveland withdrew the treaty on the basis of the Queen’s protest. Cleveland then sent Special Commissioner James H. Blount to investigate the facts surrounding the overthrow and the people’s attitude towards the Provisional Government.

1893-03-12 05:52:57

Clevand Launches Investigation into the Overthrow

Due to the Queen’s protest, Cleveland launched an investigation to report on the condition of the Hawaiian Islands, what caused the overthrow, and the feeling of the people towards the Provisional Government. James H. Blount was chosen to lead this investigation and his report would be known as the Blount Report. In March 1893 Special commissioner James Blount arrives in the Hawaiian Islands. Blount concluded, “The undoubted sentiment of the people is for the Queen, against the Provisional Government and against annexation. A majority of the whites, especially Americans, are for annexation.” Blount's report was submitted to the U.S. Department of State in Washington in July of that year.

1894-01-11 05:52:57

Provisional Government Proclaims themselves the Republic of Hawaiʻi

In 1894, the Provisional Government proclaimed itself the Republic of Hawaiʻi and enacted a constitution. U.S. Minister Willis immediately recognized them as the legitimate government of the Hawaiian Islands.

1894-02-26 05:52:57

U.S. Launches a Second Investigation

A second investigation lead by Alabama senator, John T. Morgan is submitted to Congress in what is commonly referred to as the Morgan report. This report questioned the conclusions of the Blount Report and the constitutionality of his appointment as special commissioner. It claimed that the Queen had abdicated her throne at the moment of her proclamation of a new constitution and that the Provisional Government simply filled a void in the executive branch of government, that Minister Stevens was within his rights to request the landing of U.S. troops. Dissenting members involved in the Morgan investigation disagreed with the report’s major conclusions in that they claim there were “no valid reasons ... that justifies interference by the United States with the political internal affairs of Hawaii any more than with those of any other independent state or nation in this hemisphere.”

1896-07-07 05:52:57

English is made the primary language of all schools in Hawaiʻi

In 1896, the Republic of Hawaiʻi reorganizes the government and, as a result, the Department of Public Instruction is created, and English is made the primary language of instruction.

1897-06-16 05:52:57

Kūʻē Petitions Defeat Second Treaty of Annexation

The Republic of Hawaiʻi and the U.S. attempt a second treaty of annexation that is signed by President McKinley. Native opposition to this treaty manifested in the 1897 Anti-Annexation petitions, also known as the Kūʻē petitions that were lead by the Hui Kālaiʻāina and the Hui Hawaiʻi Aloha ʻĀina. The two groups were able to secure over 38,000 signatures. Along with these petitions and a formal protest by Liliʻuokalani, the treaty failed to get enough votes by the U.S. Senate and did not pass.

1898-07-07 05:52:57

Joint Resolution Incorporates Hawai'i as a U.S. Territory

Also known as the Newlands Resolution, U.S. Joint Resolution No. 55 is passed by Congress, which unilaterally incorporates the Hawaiian Islands to the United States. It was by this act that the United States took control of Hawaiian government and crown lands. Two years later the U.S. passed the 1900 Organic Act, which provided a government for the Territory of Hawaiʻi.

1900-04-30 09:43:28

Organic Act Provides a Government for the Territory of Hawai'i

The United States passes the 1900 Organic Act that provides a government for the Territory of Hawai'i. This act declares that all citizens of the Republic of Hawai'i are now citizens of the United States and the Territory of Hawai'i.

1917-11-11 05:52:57

Liliʻu Passes Away

Liliʻuokalani was born on September 2, 1838 near the area now occupied by the Queen’s Hospital. Her father was Kapaʻakea and her mother was Keohokālole. As was the custom, Liliʻuokalani was given away to be raised by her hānai parents, Kōnia, a grandaughter of Kamehameha I and Paki. She attended the Royal School with other children who would also become mōʻī, such as Lot Kapuāiwa, Alexander Liholiho, and her brother, David Kalākaua. Upon Kalākaua’s passing in San Francisco Liliʻuokalani ascended the throne in 1891 and named Kaʻiulani as heir to the Kingdom. She married John Dominis, but they had no children. She attempted to fulfill the wishes of her people in 1893 by contemplating changes to the constitution that would give her back some power that was strippeed by the 1887 constitution and by restricting voting to citizens of the Kingdom.

1959-03-18 05:52:57

U.S. Incorporates Hawaiʻi as a State

U.S. congress passes U.S. public law 86-3 which admits Hawaiʻi into the union as a state. This act also transfers lands that the U.S. took control of under the 1898 Newlands Resolution to the State of Hawaiʻi, except for lands that were still under the use and control of the U.S. Federal Government. These lands become known as “ceded lands,” and are comprised of both the Hawaiian Kingdom government and crown lands.

Mo'oaupuni: Hawaiian Political History

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