Did you know that the Kingdom of Hawaii was an independent country before it became a state of the United States? This fascinating history is often overlooked, but it’s an important part of American history.
Hawaii is known for its rich culture, spanning several miles in the pacific. Several Hawaiian monarchs ruled the land before it became a state, and their stories are just as fascinating as the island’s landscape.
If you want to learn more about this great kingdom and the monarchs that once reigned over the land, keep reading. This article will discuss the history of the Kingdom of Hawaii and how it became a part of the United States. We’ll also take a look at some of the Hawaiian royalty who ruled over this beautiful kingdom!
The Kingdom of Hawaii Was Established
When you think of Hawaii, the first thing that might come to mind is the beautiful beaches, stunning volcanoes, and the aloha culture. However, there’s a lot more to learn when it comes to this beautiful island.
The Kingdom of Hawaii was an independent country that was ruled by Hawaiian royalty. The kingdom was reigned by several monarchs before officially becoming a part of the United States.
The Kingdom of Hawaii started after the unification led by Kamehameha I, also known as Kamehameha the Great. Before the unification, the kingdom was divided into several chiefdoms that were constantly at war with each other. Each island has its own ruler and culture but mainly has a common denominator when it comes to Hawaiian tradition.
Kamehameha the Great was able to unify these warring factions and establish the Kingdom of Hawaii. He became the first king and ruled from 1795 until his death in 1819. Under his rule, he was able to bring peace and stability to the Hawaiian islands.
He also promoted religious tolerance and established relationships with European countries, which helped to boost the economy. Kamehameha the Great was truly a remarkable ruler and is considered one of the most important figures in Hawaiian history.
After the death of Kamehameha the Great, his son Liholiho succeeded him and became King Kamehameha II. King Kamehameha II continued his father’s legacy by maintaining peace and stability in the kingdom.
He also helped to strengthen the relationships with European countries. One of the most notable events during his reign was the arrival of the first Christian missionaries in 1820.
The missionaries had a profound impact on the Hawaiian culture and introduced several new technologies and concepts to the kingdom. During this time, whalers also became prominent in the land, which introduced new economic opportunities.
King Kamehameha II ruled until his death in 1824. After his death, his brother Kauikeaouli became King Kamehameha III.
The Start of Constitutional Monarchy
King Kamehameha III is considered one of the most significant rulers in Hawaiian history. He’s also the longest-serving monarch in the Kingdom of Hawaii, which spanned three decades.
Under his rule, the kingdom experienced a time of great prosperity. He helped to create a new constitution and established several important laws. King Kamehameha III also helped to strengthen the relationships with European countries.
One of the most important events during his reign was the major shift of government from absolute monarchy to constitutional monarchy, along with the promulgation of the 1840 Constitution, which was the first fully written constitution in Hawaiian history.
The 1840 Constitution limited the power of the Hawaiian monarchy and established a representative government, which was housed at Kuhina Nui. It also granted voting rights to the Hawaiians, which was a major step forward for the kingdom.
Furthermore, the kingdom became more decent in terms of punishments and established a penal code that was more humane. King Kamehameha III also helped to promote education and introduced several new concepts to the Hawaiian people.
King Kamehameha III continued to rule until his death in 1854. After his death, his son Alexander Liholiho succeeded Kamehameha IV. King Kamehameha IV was a devoted Christian and helped to promote the religion throughout his reign.
He also worked to improve relationships with the British and American governments. His major accomplishment throughout his reign was the improvement of health care and education systems in the kingdom.
In 1863, Liholiho had an untimely death due to chronic asthma, and his younger brother Lot Kamehameha succeeded him and became King Kamehameha V.
King Kamehameha V, also known as Lot Kapuaiwa, is famous for his determination and great leadership skills. One of his major accomplishments was the 1864 Constitution, which made significant changes in the king’s role and rights in the government.
He also helped to promote economic development and worked to improve relationships with the British government. The kingdom became more open to tourists from all over the globe. Some of the notable people to have visited Hawaii in the late 1800s were Mark Twain and Prince Alfred, Duke of Edinburgh.
King Kamehameha V ruled until his death in 1872. His death marked the last Kamehameha to have ever ruled the kingdom. This is due to him not designating a successor for the throne.
Due to this event, the first Hawaiian election was held to elect a new king. The winner of the election was Lunalilo – the cousin of Kamehameha V.
Lunalilo only ruled for a year until his untimely death of tuberculosis in 1874.
The Reign of Kalakaua Dynasty
After the death of Kamehameha V, the second Hawaiian election was held, and the winner was David Kalakaua.
Kalakaua is considered to be one of the most significant rulers in Hawaiian history. He helped to restore the Hawaiian culture and traditions.
Under his rule, the Kingdom of Hawaii experienced a time of great prosperity. He worked to improve relationships with other countries, such as Japan and China.
Kalakaua also helped to promote the Hawaiian language and culture. He introduced the hula dance to the world and helped to revive traditional Hawaiian music.
Some of his notable works were the creation of the statue of Kamehameha I and the rebuilding of Iolani Palace.
On January 20, 1881, Kalakaua embarked on a world tour to promote the Hawaiian Kingdom. He was the first Hawaiian king to ever travel around the world. His main goal was to introduce Hawaii to the world, as well as to learn about other cultures and peoples. He also wanted to promote the immigration of laborers for the kingdom’s plantation economy.
Because of Hawaii’s rich soil, a lot of fruits and vegetables were grown on the land. The sugarcane industry was also booming, and Hawaii became one of the world’s leading producers of sugar.
Kalakaua started his travel to Japan and China, then continued on to Europe, where he was received by many royals and dignitaries.
Kalakaua continued his tour across America, where he met Thomas Edison, wherein they talked about the potential use of electric lighting in Honolulu. He also received a courtesy call from President Chester A. Arthur regarding the death of his predecessor: President James A. Garfield.
Kalakaua ended his journey on October 22 and arrived home on October 31, 1881, to a grand celebration.
The world tour was a success and helped to improve the image of Hawaii in the international community.
He continued his reign until his death in 1891. After his death, his sister Liliuokalani succeeded him and became the last Hawaiian monarch.
The 1887 Constitution and Overthrow of the Kingdom
Liliuokalani was a devoted Christian and helped to promote the religion throughout her reign.
She also worked to improve relationships with the British and American governments.
However, Liliuokalani’s reign was known as one of the most controversial, which led to the overthrow of the Hawaiian Kingdom – the greatest event in Hawaiian history.
The 1887 Constitution, also known as the Bayonet Constitution, was a document that was created by a group of wealthy businessmen and American officials. The new constitution took away the power of the Hawaiian monarchy and gave more power to American businessmen who were living in Hawaii.
The Bayonet Constitution was signed by King Kalakaua before his death. He signed the constitution by force after he was threatened to be deposed by armed militia.
The document took away the power of the Hawaiian monarchy and made Hawaii a republic.
It also allowed foreigners to own land in Hawaii, which led to many Americans moving to the island.
Liliuokalani protested against the new constitution and tried to get it annulled. She promulgated a new constitution, which aimed to regain the monarchy’s power over the land. As expected, the new constitution was opposed by the American businessmen.
Because of this new constitution, chaos struck Honolulu as anti-monarchists, annexationists, and party leaders flocked the city for major protests.
The events that followed led to the overthrow of the Hawaiian Kingdom in 1893. Liliuokalani was arrested, and Hawaii was annexed by the United States in 1898.
The Hawaiian Islands became a US territory in 1900, and Hawaii became the 50th state of America in 1959.
The overthrow of the Hawaiian Kingdom was a turning point in Hawaiian history because it marked the end of Hawaiian sovereignty.
Some Hawaiian natives have been fighting for sovereignty ever since. In 1993, the US government issued a formal apology to the Hawaiian people for the overthrow of the Hawaiian Kingdom.
The Hawaiian monarchy may have been overthrown, but the spirit of aloha still lives on in the Hawaiian people. Aloha is more than just a word – it is a way of life. It is the spirit of welcome, warmth, and kindness that is extended to everyone, whether they are Hawaiian or not.
The Kingdom of Hawaii and its royalties truly marked a significant part of its history. The Hawaiian Kingdom is known for its unique culture and its beautiful islands. The Hawaiian people are known for their warm hospitality and their love for nature. Even though the Kingdom of Hawaii no longer exists, its spirit lives on through the Hawaiian people.