Wednesday, February 1, 2017

Kingdom of Hawaii

Hawaii is a group of eight major islands located in the Pacific Ocean 2,500 miles off the California coast. In early times, each island of Hawaii had a king. In the 1790s one of the chieftains, Kamehameha, led a series of military surges to overthrow the other local leaders and consolidate the islands. Through military and diplomatic campaigns, Kamehameha unified the island of Hawaii in 1791.

Hawaii remained a kingdom for 85 years thereafter. In the early nineteenth century the American whaling fleet began watering in Hawaii and the islands were visited with mounting frequency by explorers, traders and adventures.

During the nineteenth century, the Kingdom of Hawaii provided a substantial amount of sugar to the United States. US planters controlled a large percentage of the island’s production. During the 1840s the British and the French sought to incorporate the sugar-rich islands into their own empire.

The Kingdom of Hawaii was an absolute monarchy during its early years. Kamehameha, like many other Polynesian elites, practiced polygamy, and his wives shared in the governance of the kingdom to some extent.

Hawaii’s first constitution of 1840 reflected the dual influence of American political thought and missionary work, as it was based on the Declaration of Independence and the Bible. In 1959 Hawaii became the fiftieth state of the Union.
Kingdom of Hawaii
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