How Hawaii was annexed by the USA

stevev

Ad Honorem
Apr 2017
2,688
Las Vegas, NV USA
#31
At the time of annexation, Hawaii had a modern style monarchy that was little different than many in Europe at the time. They believed the annexation was unwarranted as Hawaii was completely capable of governing itself and they were probably right. Descendants of American missionaries owned considerable land and pretty much controlled the economy of the Kingdom and they were the ones that engineered the coup, presumably to preserve their position.
The Dole pineapple monopoly was a major factor and they largely controlled the Hawaiian legislature. However, if the US did not annex Hawaii, another country would have, most likely Japan. See post 9.
 

betgo

Ad Honorem
Jul 2011
5,689
#32
The Dole pineapple monopoly was a major factor and they largely controlled the Hawaiian legislature. However, if the US did not annex Hawaii, another country would have, most likely Japan. See post 9.
This was the period of the scramble for Africa. Hawaii had done a good job of modernizing in the European model. However, US business interests wanted the US to be in control rather than a European power or Japan.
 
Jul 2012
2,790
Dhaka
#33
I actually don't. The US were a settlement colony rather than a far away conquered province. Those two kinds of places while both misleadingly labeled "colonies" for the sake of history are fundamentally different. The Hawaiians were protesting being conquered in an age of imperialism, where every great power was expected to do some conquering, the American colonists were voluntarily under the rule of the UK and might even be considered English and they decided they didn't want this to be the case anymore.
Yes, you are right, what the American colonists did was treason, which wasn't the case for the Hawaiians.
 
Oct 2017
108
United States
#34
One negative effect for Hawaii is that it’s native population is ever decreasing. Today there are very few pure native Hawaiians left, & there won’t be any in the future. Native Hawaiians are becoming increasingly mixed & absorbed into the Asian & American populations. They’re disappearing along with their culture. Hawaiian culture is more of a cultural symbol today than anything. It’s kind of hard to appreciate this fact if haven’t grown up in the native culture. But this must have been an unimaginable nightmare for a native Hawaiian before the late 19th century. How shocked would a native Hawaiian of 200 years ago or more have been if he could foresee modern Hawaii? What would he have supported?

How is that not an argument for colonialism?

Would this fate have been different for Hawaii if it fell under another colonial power? Like Britain or Japan?
 
Last edited:
Dec 2017
212
Florida
#35
The 1897 Petition Against the Annexation of Hawaii

However, in 1898 the battleship Maine blew up in Havana harbor, triggering the Spanish-American war. Native Hawaiian hopes to remain independent sank right along with that ship.
There was no tactical justification for the annexation of Hawaii nor any political reason. It was clearly done for the economics of the sugar that Hawaii provided.
 
Jun 2017
2,552
Connecticut
#36
Yes, you are right, what the American colonists did was treason, which wasn't the case for the Hawaiians.
Well the Americans were complaining to a body that in theory was supposed to listen while the Hawaiians were basically saying please don't conquer us. I don't get where we're going. Again, things haven't ended up too bad for Hawaii, if you want to talk about how evil we are, Marshall Islands and the genocide of the Native Americans is probably a better case study. Citizens in the nations capital have spent decades begging for the rights that Hawaii has. Here though the worst thing to really happen to Hawaii is disease that was brought by Europeans, not Americans. We annexed them against their will and overthrew their monarch and I'll agree that's not positive but compared to the colonial practices of the day it's not really all that terrible IMO compared to the days standards and I think I've made a case Hawaii is better off for being a part of America. This might not be true of most native groups and other overseas territories or countries we've exploited but I do think Hawaii is doing far better as a result of it being in the US, compared not only to other US states where according to wiki it's 19th but compared to the world at large. It's got about the same GDP per capita as countries like Germany and Sweden and would place in the top 20 if counted as an independent nation.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_countries_by_GDP_(PPP)_per_capita

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_U.S._states_by_GDP_per_capita

In terms of the size of it's economy, Hawaii also is just generally wealthier than many countries with much larger populations.
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_U.S._states_and_territories_by_GDP

The country the following page lists as an equal in economy size is Siri Lanka. That countries got over 20 million people. Hawaii has about 1.5 million.
 
Last edited:
Jun 2017
2,552
Connecticut
#37
One negative effect for Hawaii is that it’s native population is ever decreasing. Today there are very few pure native Hawaiians left, & there won’t be any in the future. Native Hawaiians are becoming increasingly mixed & absorbed into the Asian & American populations. They’re disappearing along with their culture. Hawaiian culture is more of a cultural symbol today than anything. It’s kind of hard to appreciate this fact if haven’t grown up in the native culture. But this must have been an unimaginable nightmare for a native Hawaiian before the late 19th century. How shocked would a native Hawaiian of 200 years ago or more have been if he could foresee modern Hawaii? What would he have supported?

How is that not an argument for colonialism?

Would this fate have been different for Hawaii if it fell under another colonial power? Like Britain or Japan?
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hawaii#Demographics

Maybe with the culture you have a point but demographic wise, the population of natives is very stagnant and in the past century or so has risen dramatically. It was actually initial European diseases that led to the dramatic initial decline in the Native population.

If we count the mixed population, which I guess under this argument we wouldn't their are probably considerably more descendants of Hawaiians than in the past.
 
Nov 2015
1,747
Bye, bye
#38
One negative effect for Hawaii is that it’s native population is ever decreasing. Today there are very few pure native Hawaiians left, & there won’t be any in the future. Native Hawaiians are becoming increasingly mixed & absorbed into the Asian & American populations. They’re disappearing along with their culture. Hawaiian culture is more of a cultural symbol today than anything. It’s kind of hard to appreciate this fact if haven’t grown up in the native culture. But this must have been an unimaginable nightmare for a native Hawaiian before the late 19th century. How shocked would a native Hawaiian of 200 years ago or more have been if he could foresee modern Hawaii? What would he have supported?

How is that not an argument for colonialism?

Would this fate have been different for Hawaii if it fell under another colonial power? Like Britain or Japan?
I am saddened to read it :crying:

If I look at the flags of Hawaii, I don't see anything Maohi.:think:
Although the history of the Hawaiian natives and the Amerindians may be different, from what I read, it seems that the Maohi were crushed by American colonization.

Can we make a parallel between the fate of the Maohi and that of the native American?

Such a cultural cartoon is unimaginable in French Polynesia :notrust:

In the following Hawaiian dance videos, there is only one that really looks like a Maohi dance.
It takes place in a parking space with poor means...
 

Lowell2

Ad Honorem
Jun 2014
6,541
California
#39
https://thediplomat.com/2013/05/the-geopolitics-of-hawaii/
Alfred Thayer Mahan mounted a tireless lobbying campaign in his writings, imploring the U.S. government to acquire the islands. In so doing, it could assure access to Honolulu while preventing some hostile power from acquiring the islands and, perhaps, denying access to American seafarers crisscrossing the Pacific Ocean. Mahan ultimately got his wish following the Spanish-American War, which wrought a revolution in American thinking about national power and purposes.
who was Mahan? https://history.state.gov/milestones/1866-1898/mahan
In 1890, Captain Alfred Thayer Mahan, a lecturer in naval history and the president of the United States Naval War College, published The Influence of Sea Power upon History, 1660–1783, a revolutionary analysis of the importance of naval power as a factor in the rise of the British Empire. Two years later, he completed a supplementary volume, The Influence of Sea Power upon the French Revolution and Empire, 1793–1812.
-- it's easy to overlook the issue of a fueling station in an era of diesel or nuclear powered ships, but at the time, Hawaii was a very strategic location. There's a reason why Pearl Harbor is there.

President Grover Cleveland quashed a previous annexation bid. So no, the US didn't just look at Hawaii, salivate, and seize it out of the hands of -- whom? the native Hawaiians? (their original culture was already crushed and their numbers already reduced)? Germany? Japan? the UK? (and how would that be better?)

In geopolitics as in real estate, it's all about location, location, location. Hawaii occupies a particularly auspicious location some 2,400 miles southwest of San Francisco. It lies along the sea lanes linking Panama with Asia. That was a big deal for sea-power advocates who fretted about where to stage the main U.S. Navy fleet — Atlantic or Pacific? — and for officials charged with administering the Philippine Islands. It took months to combine the fleet for action in the days before the Panama Canal opened. In 1898, for instance, the Pacific-based battleship Oregon had to undertake an epic voyage around South America to get into the Caribbean fight. Reaching the combat theater was an ordeal in itself.
Hawaii also lies astride the sea lines of communication connecting North America with Australia. That accentuated the islands' importance during the age of British maritime supremacy, and of course during World War II. Ships transiting between Canada and Australia commonly tarried at Honolulu for provisions and, after the onset of the age of steam, to quench steam engineering plants' thirst for fuel. Admiral Chester Nimitz masterminded the Pacific War from Pearl Harbor.
as for Hawaii today? yes, it's a state, not an independent nation. Tahiti is part of French Polynesia and Australia became an independent nation on 1 January 1901. Hong Kong wasn't relinquished by the UK until 1997 (and plenty there regretted when they did). the British owned several islands in the Caribbean and didn't relinquish them all that quickly. The fact is that however "anglicized" Hawaii was, it wasn't able to defend itself in 1898, and it's strategic value ensured that some stronger country WAS going to take it. It just happened to be the US. Whether Hawaii would now be better off if the UK had owned them, or the Japanese, or French, is strictly speculative. There's no evidence that crime, standard of living or even demographics would be significantly different if any of those countries had gained possession. --https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Native_Hawaiians
At the time of Captain Cook's arrival in 1778, the population is estimated to have been between 250,000 and 800,000. Over the span of the first century after first contact, the native Hawaiians were nearly wiped out by diseases introduced to the islands. Native Hawaiians had no resistance to influenza, smallpox, measles, or whooping cough, among others. The 1900 U.S. Census identified 37,656 residents of full or partial native Hawaiian ancestry. The 2000 U.S. Census identified 283,430 residents of Native Hawaiian or Pacific Islander ancestry, showing a dramatic growth trend since annexation by the U.S. in 1898.
so the fact is that there weren't that many "100%" Natives even in 1898. and yes, the culture has been altered -- as has Tahiti, even New Zealand and Australia. It happens, even when the ethnic group stays the same (Japan being an example. how many samurai would find modern Japan and pokemon go understandable? or how many ainu speakers are there?
 
Nov 2015
1,747
Bye, bye
#40
@Lowell2
Your post is interesting.
I think it gives an excellent summary of the history of American colonization in Hawaii.
It explains the reasons very well.
However, I think there is a bias in what you write.

Whether Hawaii would now be better off if the UK had owned them, or the Japanese, or French, is strictly speculative. There's no evidence that crime, standard of living or even demographics would be significantly different if any of those countries had gained possession.
I can assure you you're wrong.
I consider that this distotion is due to the different cultures of Historum members.
I mean, as far as you're concerned, I don't think you're acting in bad faith.
I find that your vision of the similarities between the French colonization of the Maohi and that made by the Americans is flawed.

Let me explain myself.
I spent a part of my childhood and adolescence in French Polynesia, later in my adult life I relived there.
I am very attached to the culture of the Maohi, moreover Tahitians say Maori.
I was shocked to read in this thread that the situation of the Hawaii Maohi was so bad.
Usually Tahitians believe the opposite and many go to Hawaii on cultural holidays (to play casino in fact!:rolleyes:).
Tahitians are aware of the ties that unite them with other Maohi and are attached to them.
Hawaii is a strong symbol for them.

I disagree with what you wrote on the following point:
If the considerable population declines are, as you wrote, comparable for the beginning of the 20th century.
The reasons for this decline are probably the same: alcoholism, firearms, tribal wars, colonial aculturation, epidemics.
However, there is a big difference between the current situation of Tahitians and Hawaiians.
Contrary to what you write,
Tahitian demographics have recovered and there has been no crushing of Tahitian culture by the French.
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/French_Polynesia#Demographics
"At the 1988 census, the last census which asked questions regarding ethnicity, 66.5% of people were ethnically unmixed Polynesians, 7.1% were ethnically Polynesians with light European and/or East Asian mixing, 11.9% were Europeans (mostly French), 9.3% were people of mixed European and Polynesian descent, the so-called Demis (literally meaning "Half"), and 4.7% were East Asians (mainly Chinese)"
The Maohi culture in French Polynesia is very much alive and well.


Their current status as a French territory is benevolent.
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/French_Polynesia#Administration
Indeed, Tahitians enjoy a status of autonomy, they can decide to be independent whenever they want.
France is not determined to keep this territory under control at all costs.
Relationship with the Popaas (whites) are, on the whole, largely cordial and respectful.
HELL OF THE PACIFIC.jpg
The only real problem we have had is with respect to nuclear testing has been to Moruroa or Aoponi (it has two names)

In short, I will not dwell on this specific point which is periferous to the OP.
But according to my knowledge and experience, the French were cooler with the Tahitians compared to the fate of the Hawaiians.
I try to understand that.
I tell you that I am not at all in the style of those stupid nationalist pride that unfortunately we find more and more often on this forum.
Nana, (kind regards,)
 

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