Kingdom of Hawaii

From Academic Kids

Princess Victoria Ka‘iulani, a member of the Kalākaua Dynasty, was in line to become Queen of Hawai‘i when her kingdom was overthrown by local American businessmen with the aid of the United States Marine Corps
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Princess Victoria Ka‘iulani, a member of the Kalākaua Dynasty, was in line to become Queen of Hawai‘i when her kingdom was overthrown by local American businessmen with the aid of the United States Marine Corps

The Kingdom of Hawai‘i was established in 1810 upon the unification of the smaller independent chiefdoms of O‘ahu, Maui, Moloka‘i, Lāna‘i and the Big Island of Hawai‘i through swift and bloody battles, led by a warrior chief who later would be immortalized as Kamehameha the Great. Kamehameha failed to secure a victory in Kaua‘i, his effort hampered by a storm. Eventually, Kaua‘i's chief swore allegiance to Kamehameha's rule. The unification ended the feudal society of the Hawaiian islands transforming it into a "modern", independent constitutional monarchy crafted in the tradition of European empires.

Contents

Government

‘Iolani Palace, one of many royal palaces in Hawai‘i, was built by Kalākaua who shared Kamehameha V's vision of constructing a palace to rival the residences of European monarchs
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‘Iolani Palace, one of many royal palaces in Hawai‘i, was built by Kalākaua who shared Kamehameha V's vision of constructing a palace to rival the residences of European monarchs

Government in the Kingdom of Hawai‘i was transformed in phases, each phase created by the promulgation of the constitutions of 1840, 1852, 1864 and 1887. Each successive constitution can be seen as a decline in the power of the monarch in favor of popularly elected representative government. The head of state and head of government in the Kingdom of Hawai‘i was the monarch. He or she oversaw the Privy Council which was charged with administration. A royal cabinet, the Privy Council consisted of ministers in charge of departments much like that of the American system. These ministers also acted as the monarch's primary advisors.

The 1840 Constitution created a bicameral parliament in charge of legislation. The two houses of the legislature were the House of Representatives (directly elected by popular vote) and the House of Nobles (appointed by the monarch with the advice of the Cabinet). The same constitution created a judiciary, charged with overseeing the courts and interpretation of laws. The Supreme Court was led by the Chief Justice, appointed by the monarch with the advice of the Cabinet.

The islands of Hawai‘i were divided into smaller administrative divisions: Kaua‘i, O‘ahu, Maui, and Hawai‘i. Kaua‘i region included Ni‘ihau, while Maui region included Kaho‘olawe, Lāna‘i and Moloka‘i. Each administrative region was governed by a governor appointed by the monarch.

Kamehameha Dynasty

From 1810 to 1893, the Kingdom of Hawai‘i would be ruled by two major dynastic families, the Kamehameha Dynasty and the Kalākaua Dynasty. Five members of the Kamehameha family would lead the government as its king. Two of them were direct sons of Kamehameha the Great himself. They were Liholiho (Kamehameha II) and Kauikeaouli (Kamehameha III). For a period between Liholiho and Kauikeaouli's reigns, Kamehameha the Great's primary wife, Queen Ka‘ahumanu, would rule as Queen Regent and Kuhina Nui, or Prime Minister.

Dynastic rule by the Kamehameha family tragically ended in 1872 with the death of Lot (Kamehameha V). Upon his deathbed, he summoned Princess Bernice Pauahi Bishop to declare his intentions of making her heir to the throne. She was the last direct Kamehameha family member surviving. She refused the crown and throne in favor of a private life with her husband, Charles Reed Bishop. Lot died before naming an alternative heir.

Elected monarchy

The refusal of Princess Bernice Pauahi Bishop to take the crown and throne as Queen of Hawai‘i forced the legislature of the Kingdom to declare an election to fill the royal vacancy. From 1872 to 1873, several distant relatives of the Kamehameha line were nominated. In a popular vote, William C. Lunalilo became Hawai‘i's first of two elected monarchs.

Kalākaua Dynasty

Like his predecessor, Lunalilo failed to name an heir to the throne. He died unexpectedly after less than a year as King of Hawai‘i. Once again, the legislature of the Kingdom of Hawai‘i was forced to declare an election to fill the royal vacancy. Queen Emma, widow of Kamehameha IV, was nominated along with David Kalākaua. The 1874 election was opined to be one of the nastiest political campaign seasons ever in Hawai‘i history. Both candidates resorted to mudslinging and rumors. David Kalākaua was elected the second elected King of Hawai‘i.

Hoping to avoid uncertainty in the monarchy's future, Kalākaua proclaimed several heirs to the throne and defined a royal line of succession. His sister Lili‘uokalani would succeed the throne upon Kalākaua's death. It was indicated that Princess Victoria Ka‘iulani would follow. If she could not produce an heir by birth, Prince Jonah Kūhiō Kalaniana‘ole would rule after her.

Overthrow of the Kingdom of Hawai'i

United States Marines aboard the USS Boston land in Honolulu in 1893 to forcibly remove Queen Lili‘uokalani from her position as head of state and government of Hawai‘i. On November 23, 1993, President Bill Clinton signed United States Public Law 103-150 apologizing for the illegal action
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United States Marines aboard the USS Boston land in Honolulu in 1893 to forcibly remove Queen Lili‘uokalani from her position as head of state and government of Hawai‘i. On November 23, 1993, President Bill Clinton signed United States Public Law 103-150 apologizing for the illegal action

Queen Lili‘uokalani inherited a monarchy that was left impotent by her brother's Bayonet Constitution of 1887. David Kalākaua's Royal Cabinet forced him at gunpoint to sign the constitution stripping the monarchy of much of its power in favor of an administration controlled by Americans. The constitution was the opening salvo to the end of the Kingdom of Hawai‘i.

In 1893, American businessmen seeking to protect their industrial profits in the exportation of goods like sugar to the United States of America organized the overthrow of the Kingdom of Hawai‘i. American troops aboard the USS Boston landed in Honolulu to help Sanford B. Dole and Lorrin A. Thurston's Committee of Safety, a 13 member council of businessmen plotting to depose Queen Lili‘uokalani. At the gunpoint of American soldiers, Queen Lili‘uokalani was removed from ‘Iolani Palace under arrest, tried by the American Judge Advocate General's Corps and then imprisoned in her own home.

Dole and his committee declared itself the provisional government and proclaimed the creation of the Republic of Hawai‘i. Dole became its president. As a republic, it was the intention of the provisional government to campaign for annexation with the United States of America. With annexation, their goods and services exported to the mainland would not be subject to American tariffs. The provisional government succeeded when in 1897, Congress approved the Treaty of Annexation creating the U.S. Territory of Hawai‘i. Dole was appointed its first governor.

Royal estates

Early in its history, the Kingdom of Hawai‘i was governed from several locations including coastal towns on the islands of Hawai‘i and Maui (Lahaina). It wasn't until the reign of Kamehameha III that a capital was established in Honolulu on the Island of O‘ahu.

On August 12, 1898, the flag of the Kingdom of Hawai‘i over ‘Iolani Palace was lowered to raise the United States flag to signify annexation. Native Hawaiians began a period of mourning.
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On August 12, 1898, the flag of the Kingdom of Hawai‘i over ‘Iolani Palace was lowered to raise the United States flag to signify annexation. Native Hawaiians began a period of mourning.

By the time Kamehameha V was king, he saw the need to build a royal palace fitting of the Kingdom of Hawai‘i's new found prosperity and standing with the royals of other nations. He commissioned the building of the palace at Ali‘iolani Hale. He died before it was completed. Today, the palace houses the Supreme Court of the State of Hawai‘i.

David Kalākaua shared the dream of Kamehameha V to build a palace for all the same reasons. He commissioned the construction of ‘Iolani Palace from which he and his successor would govern. In later years, the palace would become his sister's makeshift prison under guard by the U.S. Armed Forces, the site of the official raising of the U.S. flag during annexation, and then the site of the territorial governor's and legislature's offices.

Palaces

Royal grounds

Other notable Hawaiian royals

Missing image
Kawaiahao.jpg
Kawaiaha‘o Church is known as the Westminster Abbey of Hawai‘i, the site of coronations, royal christenings and funerals. It sits on Punchbowl Street near ‘Iolani Palace and Ali‘iolani Hale. King William C. Lunalilo's mausoleum is in its courtyard.

Kamehameha Dynasty

Kalākaua Dynasty

Other notable royal subjects

Ali‘iolani Hale was originally designed as a royal palace for Kamehameha V. The building was not completed until after Kamehameha V passed away, and it was dedicated by King Kalākaua as a government office building instead. Today the building is the site of the Kamehameha statue and the State of Hawai‘i Supreme Court.
Enlarge
Ali‘iolani Hale was originally designed as a royal palace for Kamehameha V. The building was not completed until after Kamehameha V passed away, and it was dedicated by King Kalākaua as a government office building instead. Today the building is the site of the Kamehameha statue and the State of Hawai‘i Supreme Court.

Authors and artists

Civil leaders

Religious leaders

See also

References

External links

de:Knige von Hawaii ja:ハワイ王国 zh:夏威夷王國

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