Hawaiian Sovereignty Background- the Newest Research Paper

Pages: 3 (1243 words)  ·  Bibliography Sources: 6  ·  File: .docx  ·  Level: College Junior  ·  Topic: American History

Hawaiian Sovereignty

Background- The newest of the 50 States, Hawaii, became an official State of the Union on August 21, 1959. It is the only U.S. State made up entirely of islands. A popular tourist spot, its location gives it a multi-cultural feel, both Asian and Western. Hawaii is one of four U.S. States that were independent prior to joining the Union (Vermont, 1791; Texas, 1845; and California, 1846) (U.S. Code 7512.Findings). Historically, Hawaii was likely settled by people of Polynesian descent and Bora in the 11th century. The first recorded Western contact was in 1778 by British Captain James Cook, who named the Islands The Sandwich Islands, in honor of his sponsor, the Earl of Sandwich. His log indicates that the native called their island Owyhee. Cook visited the islands twice, but was forced to leave after an altercation. After he published the account of his voyage, the Islands became a popular base for whalers, a destination for explorers, missionaries, and traders. These visitors, unfortunately, introduced disease (influenza, smallpox, measles, syphilis) into the population, and like Mesoamerica, caused the population to drop drastically (Migration and Disease).Get full Download Microsoft Word File access
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Research Paper on Hawaiian Sovereignty Background- the Newest of the Assignment

Hawaii as an Historical Kingdom -- During the late 18th century, Hawaiian government was, at best, a series of warring factions. This ended with the unification of the islands under King Kamehameha in 1810, a kingdom lasting until 1872. This period also saw the influx of a number of missionaries many Hawaiian cultural traditions. There as simply too much potential wealth for the American and European powers to allow Hawaii hegemony, so in 1887 King Kalakauna was forced to sign a new Constitution, stripping the monarchy of most of its power. By 1893 a western dominated Provisional Government was established, leading to the Republic of Hawaii and annexation by the United States. It was largely because of the plantation economy and control of the islands by an economic oligarchy that Hawaii did not become a State until 1959, even though it had been a strategic military base and one of the causes of the United States' entry into World War II (Okihiro)

The Movement for Hawaiian Sovereignty- Ever since the 1893 overthrow of Queen Liliuokalani and the presence of the U.S. military on the Hawaiian Islands, there has been a nationalist political movement that focuses on self-determination and self-governance. This group believes that it was only through superior military technology that Hawaii essentially was made part of the U.S. colonial empire, and the profits from agriculture, land, and later tourism, funneled to non-Hawaiians at the expense of the indigenous peoples, a controversial legal debate (Fein)

Of course, just as with the Southern Secession Movement theat pre-dated the Civil War, the Hawaiian Soverignty Movement has a number of views and ideas. Plans range from complete independence from the United States and 100% self-rule to a "nation within a nation" proposal (similar to the Native American nations still in existence. There are some who want the monarchy resotred, Much of the movement, though, is based on race -- with the native peoples believing that essentially their homeland was uspured for the economic benefit of others, a similar paradigm to that of the American Indian (Loomis).

Ironically, and something that has become somewhat of an island chortle, since April 2008, a group called the Hawaiian Kingdom Government has positioned itself on the ground of the historic Iilani Palace in Honolulu. This group is led by Mahealani Kaihau, calling herself Queen. She and her enterouge meet daily with others to conduct "gpverm, emt nisomess" and deman Hawaiian sovereignty and the resoration of the monarchy. The group feels so strongly about its cause that it has filed a complaint in the Federal Court of Washington, DC against President Obama… [END OF PREVIEW] . . . READ MORE

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