annexation of hawaii


January 17th 1893: Overthrow of Hawaii

On this day in 1893, the Hawaiian monarchy of Queen Lilioukalani was overthrown with the support of the United States. Throughout the nineteenth century, a number of American sugar planters moved to the Hawaiian kingdom. Determined to secure more power for themselves, these planters pushed through measures to drastically reduce the monarch’s role and limit non-whites’ voting power. Queen Liliuokalani, who ascended to the throne in 1891, sought to reassert Hawaiian sovereignty. Concerned about their financial prospects, a group of American businessmen planned to depose the monarch. On January 17th 1893, the conspirators gathered their supporters in Honolulu to launch a coup d’etat, which had the tacit support of the U.S. government. The next day, conspirators captured the government building and declared a provisional government, which was immediately recognised by the U.S. Queen Liliuokalani stepped aside in the hope of avoiding bloodshed, and American troops raided Honolulu. The new President, Grover Cleveland, opposed annexation and supported reinstating the monarchy, but the provisional government refused. Hawaii was eventually annexed by the U.S. in 1898, as the strategic base at Pearl Harbor proved useful during the Spanish-American War. Hawaii was officially designated the fiftieth U.S. state in 1959, despite enduring concerns about the legality of the overthrow. Many indigenous Hawaiians continue to object to American rule and call for a return to sovereignty; the U.S. government officially apologised for the overthrow of Hawaii in 1993.

“The Hawaiian pear is now fully ripe and this is the golden hour for the United States to pluck it.”
- U.S. minister to Hawaii, John L. Stevens, in a letter to the Secretary of State after the coup

anonymous asked:

Pardon my ignorance, but what exactly did McKinley do during his presidency?

Annexed Puerto Rico, Hawaii, the Philippines, Guam, and temporarily annexed Cuba; established protectionist economic policies; got shot

Today in history: January 17, 1893 - The sovereign government of Hawaii is overthrown and replaced by Sanford Dole (part of the family that owned Hawaiian Pineapple Company which later became Dole Food Company) & pro-annexation sugar interests.

U.S. marines land in Hawaii in support of the coup leaders to “protect U.S. interests.” Until the 1890s, Hawaii was an independent sovereign nation, recognized by the US, UK, France, Japan, Germany and other countries. After overthrowing Hawaii’s leader Lilluokalani, Sanford Dole declares himself Hawaii’s president & the new illegitimate government lobbies for US annexation of Hawaii. Voting rights are conditioned on new income and wealth requirements, stripping power from native Hawaiians, while Asians who had become naturalized Hawaiians were also stripped of the vote and U.S. citizens who weren’t naturalized Hawaiians were granted voting rights.

The US Senate Foreign-Relations Committee recommends annexation, declaring it, “a duty that has its origin in the noblest sentiments that inspire the love of a father for his children." In 1898, President William McKinley signs a joint resolution of Congress authorizing the annexation, consolidating the U.S. colonization of the Hawaiian nation. The struggle for Hawaiian sovereignty continues.

"The United States has conquered the indigenous peoples of North America, Hawai’i and Alaska. U.S. imperialism has taken their lands, suppressed their culture and carried out genocidal policies. Native American, Native Hawai’ian and Alaskan Natives struggles for sovereignty and national development (including control of land, natural resources and political autonomy) must receive the full assistance and support of those fighting for equality and socialism.” -from FRSO’s statement on national oppression

(image: U.S. troops in Honolulu to back up the overthrow of the Hawaiian government)

Via Freedom Road Socialist Organization (Fight Back!)


amazing women series
Queen Lili'uokalani

   Queen Lili'uokalani was born Lydia Liliʻu Loloku Walania Wewehi Kamakaʻeha. She was the last monarch and only queen regnant of the Kingdom of Hawaii. She is remembered for her many musical compositions, including the famous song “Aloha ‘Oe” (“Farewell the Thee”). Many of these were written during her imprisonment after she abdicated her throne, and they express a deep love of her land and people. King Kalākaua named his sister as his heir and he gave her the name “Lili'uokalani”, meaning “the smarting of the royal ones”.
   In 1887, Lili'uokalani learned that her brother had been forced to sign the 1887 Constitution of the Kingdom of Hawaii. This constitution immediately became known as the “Bayonet Constitution” because of the use of intimidation by armed militia which forced King Kalākaua to sign it or be deposed. She began working to annul the constitution forced onto her people. She started writing a new constitution that would restore the veto power to the monarchy, and voting rights to economically disenfranchised native Hawaiians and Asians. When they heard of her new constitution, American and European businessmen and residents started organizing to depose her. They wanted Hawaii annexed to the United States so that their businesses could have the same sugar bounties as domestic producers.
   Lili'uokalani believed in peaceful resistance. She did not want the blood of Hawaiian people to be shed. Hoping that the US would eventually restore Hawaii’s sovereignty to the rightful holder, the Queen temporarily relinquished her throne to the superior military forces of the United States. She was arrested on 16 January 1895, accused of being involved in a failed 1895 counter-revolution, though she denied any knowledge or involvement at her trial. She was put under house imprisonment for a year, until in 1896 when the Republic of Hawai'i gave her a full pardon and restored her civil rights.

it would be really weird if someone time traveled back just to make it so we never annexed hawaii so that we only had 49 states.  i wonder if in that universe we would invade someone else just so we could even out the number.  what i am really asking is would the us government spend billions of dollars and kill people just to even out the number


A War Over Bananas — The Banana Wars of the 1920’s and 30’s

Before the Spanish American War the United States was a very isolationist nation.  Generally, the government and the military did not get involved overseas unless the nation was directly involved.  Then, quite suddenly American interests began to expand across the globe with the capture of Cuba, Puerto Rico, the Philippines, and the annexation of Hawaii.  Suddenly then, America became an imperial colonial power, with whole armies stationed overseas and American corporations spreading out to foreign nations.  It was the beginning of the time when the US would get involved in international affairs.

By the turn of the century, the United States came to dominate the banana industry, which was primarily centered in Central America.  The top dog of the banana business was United Fruit Company (now Chiquita Brands International), which also traded in Central American goods such as coffee, tobacco, and sugar.  There were other American competitors in Central America, such as Standard Fruit Company (now Dole Foods), and Cuyamel Fruit Company.  The fruit companies became so powerful, they influenced and even controlled their host nations laws, government, and elections.  Many government services were run by the fruit companies, whole controlled the national railroads, postal services, radio services, electric services, and telegraph/telephone services.  Essentially, the countries of Central America were controlled and run by the fruit companies (and other American companies) who made a fortune in bananas, hence they were often termed the “Banana Republics”.

The fruit companies tended to install conservative politicians in office who supported policies beneficial to the companies.  However these politicians tended to be highly unpopular with the people living in those countries.  Around the time of World War I, the 1920’s, up to the early 1930’s a series of rebellions and revolutions broke out in Central America, typically liberal revolutions with the purpose of overthrowing conservative (and often oppressive) fruit company controlled governments or pro-America governments.  For the American economy, the financial stakes were very high as a disruption of American business in Central America could lead to high losses for those businesses, high losses for stock and bond holders, high losses for banks, and high losses for subsidiary industries that worked with the fruit companies.  Not to mention, in this age of imperialism, it seemed vital that the United States maintain Latin America as a strong sphere of influence, especially since a destabilized Central America could pose a threat to US control over the Panama Canal.  Finally, it would not be a leap of imagination to assume that the fruit companies had many US politicians in their pockets.

In 1904 President Theodore Roosevelt issued the Roosevelt Corollary, the doctrine that the US had the right to intervene in Caribbean and Central American countries in order to maintain economic stability, especially in nations who owed the US money.  Such a policy was totally revolutionary.  During the Spanish American War and Philippine War, the justification for foreign intervention was that it was America’s destiny to civilize “backward” nations and spread American style democracy and Christianity around the world — the so called “White Man’s Burden”.  Now, the US had no grand moral idealistic pretenses, this was all about protecting America’s cash flow.

Thus in the early 19th century up to 1934, a series of military interventions and occupations would occur to put down on control the various revolutions in Central America, with the goal of protecting US business interests. In 1912, US Marines invaded and occupied Nicaragua.  The occupation would last until 1933, would lead to the deaths 125 US Marines, and an untold hundreds of thousands of Nicaraguans.  Between 1903 and 1925 hundreds of US troops conducted operations to fight Honduran rebels who threatened the business interests of the United Fruit Company.  Finally, while bananas were not involved, the Dominican Republic and Haiti were both occupied in 1915 and 1916 to protect American business interests in the region, and to end German political and military influence in the region as well.

At the time the use of military and political intervention to protect American business interests was something that had rarely ever been done before.  The Banana Wars would make such a policy normal routine.  From overthrowing the Prime Minister of Iran in 1953 to protect oil interests to supporting tinpot dictators for cheap consumer items, it’s all good business.


Crown Princess Kaʻiulani of Hawaii 

Born Victoria Kaʻiulani Kalaninuiahilapalapa Kawekiu i Lunalilo Cleghorn in 1875. Ka'iluani was the daughter of Hawaiian Princess Likelike and Scottish businessman Archibald Cleghorn. She was educated in England and was very intelligent. She was made heir to the throne in 1891 by her aunt,Queen Lili'oukalani , but the overthrow of the Hawaiian monarchy in 1893 prevented Ka'iluani from returning to Hawaii until 1897.

Ka'iulani would never inherit the throne due to the annexation of Hawaii, making it a republic. She became engaged to a Hawaiian prince, but became ill soon after. Ka'iulani died of inflammatory rheumatism in 1898 at the age of 23.
Feds Take Step Toward Native Hawaiian Recognition

The federal government announced Wednesday it will take a first step toward recognizing and working with a Native Hawaiian government at a time when a growing number of Hawaiians are questioning the legality of the U.S. annexation of Hawaii. The U.S. Department of the Interior will host a…

Ironic how this happens only after OHA’s (Office of Hawaiian Affairs) CEO, Kamanaʻopono Crabbe, sent a letter to the Department of Interior asking if the Hawaiian Kingdom still exists … Shitting bricks perhaps? ʻAʻole mākou aʻe minamina ʻi ka puʻukālā ʻo ke aupuni ʻua lawa mākou ʻi ka pōhaku ʻi ka ʻai kamahaʻo ʻo ka ʻāina. 


Joint Resolution of July 7, 1898, Public Resolution 55-51, 30 STAT 750, to Provide for Annexing the Hawaiian Islands to the United States, 07/07/1898.

Item From: General Records of the United States Government. (04/01/1985-).

On July 7, 1898 the United States annexed the Hawaii Islands. This joint resolution is signed by the Speaker of the House, Vice President and President William McKinley.



Happy Birthday Hawaii

Aloha!  Today is Hawaiian Statehood Day, when Hawaii’s admission as the 50th state occurred on August 21, 1959.  Here’s a brief history lesson: In 1898 the United States annexed Hawaii as one of its spoils from its victory in the Spanish-American war.  The United States had a vested interest in the islands for some time, coveting its strategic placement as a navy base.  During World War II, Oahu served as a command post for US operations in the Pacific, as large portions of the region were turned over to US military bases. After the war, two-thirds of the residents favored statehood.  However, resistance to Hawaiian statehood was plentiful, particularly in the segregated south.  A primary election took place in Hawaii on June 27, 1959, and various statehood propositions received many votes on that day. Following the certification of the election results, President Eisenhower signed a proclamation on August 21, 1959, declaring Hawaii to be the 50th state.

-Wendy Jimenez, Archival Fellow

Top: Brochure from the World’s Fair Collection at the Queens Museum. Gift of Michael Shernoff, 1988.89.44WF64.

Bottom: Photo from the World’s Fair Collection at the Queens Museum. Gift of Peter Warner.