Hawaii History - the history of Hawaii
   
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Vacation 2 USA   >   Hawaii   >   History
Vacation 2 USA   >   History   >   Hawaii History

   
 

Hawaii History


Hawaii was first settled by Polynesian people. The process by which this took place is still a matter of debate among archaelogists, with some favoring in a theory of a single continuous migration, and others favoring a theory involving two separate waves of migration.

It is not certain when the Europeans first visited the islands, but it is possible that Spanish explorers may have reached the islands during the 16th century. When British navigator, Captain James Cook encountered the islands in 1778, he was surprised to find them, and named them the Sandwich Islands after the First Lord of the Admiralty, the 4th Earl of Sandwich, John Montagu.

Hawaii was united under a single ruler, Kamehameha I, for the first time in 1810. Until 1816, the chiefs considered the islands under British protection and flew the Union Jack. Hawaii then adopted a similar flag to the present Hawaiistate flag with a Union Jack in the canton (the top corner nearest the flagpole) and eight horizontal stripes representing the eight islands. In 1820, missionaries from a New England Congregationalist group arrived. Gradually they converted first the leading chiefs, and later the commoners to Protestant Christianity.

In the 1870s, Hawaii gradually drew closer to the United States. An 1874 treaty granted Americans exclusive grading rights. The 1876 Reciprocity Treaty allowed duty free importation of Hawaiian grown sugar and rice into the United States. Following these treaties, the Hawaiian landscape was greatly altered by the irrigation requirements of new sugar cane plantations. Additionally, an influx of immigrants from Asia (initially Chinese and later Japanese) was encouraged, in order to work the plantations.

During the 19th century, there were several periods of instability. This culiminated in the Hawaiian Revolution of 1893 when the Queen was overthrown, with the wrongful involvement of (according to the then US President, Grover Cleveland), of US diplomatic and military representatives. Grover Cleveland was however unsuccessful in his attempts to get the Queen reinstated, and eventually accepted the legitimacy of her overthrow and the new government of the Republic of Hawaii. In 1896, William McKinley became President, and two years later he signed the Newlands Resolution which annexed Hawaii to the United States.

After annexation, Pearl Harbor became (and still is) an important US Navy base. The Empire of Japan's attack on this base on December 7th 1941 was the trigger for the entry of the US into World War II. The Japanese attack resulted in severe damage to the US fleet, including the sinking of nine ships, four of which were battleships.

In 1935 and 1937, US Congress deliberated on whether Hawaii should be admitted as a US state. However, southern states opposed the admission of non-white majority territory, and the question was put on hold. In 1950, Hawaii began a new campaign for statehood by putting the question on its ballots. In 1959 the goal of statehood was finally achieved, and Hawaii was admitted as the 50th state of the Union on August 21st.


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Captive Paradise: A History of Hawaii

By James L. Haley

Griffin
Released: 2015-12-08
Paperback (464 pages)

Captive Paradise: A History of Hawaii
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The most recent state to join the union, Hawaii is the only one to have once been a royal kingdom. After its "discovery" by Captain Cook in the late 18th Century, Hawaii was fought over by European powers determined to take advantage of its position as the crossroads of the Pacific. The arrival of the first missionaries marked the beginning of the struggle between a native culture with its ancient gods, sexual libertinism and rites of human sacrifice, and the rigid values of the Calvinists. While Hawaii's royal rulers adopted Christianity, they also fought to preserve their ancient ways. But the success of the ruthless American sugar barons sealed their fate and in 1893, the American Marines overthrew Lili'uokalani, the last queen of Hawaii.

James L. Haley's Captive Paradise is the story of King Kamehameha I, The Conqueror, who unified the islands through terror and bloodshed, but whose dynasty succumbed to inbreeding; of Gilded Age tycoons like Claus Spreckels who brilliantly outmaneuvered his competitors; of firebrand Lorrin Thurston, who was determined that Hawaii be ruled by whites; of President McKinley, who presided over the eventual annexation of the islands. Not for decades has there been such a vibrant and compelling portrait of an extraordinary place and its people.

Hawaii

By James A. Michener

Dial Press
Released: 2002-07-09
Paperback (937 pages)

Hawaii
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Pulitzer Prize–winning author James A. Michener brings Hawaii’s epic history vividly to life in a classic saga that has captivated readers since its initial publication in 1959. As the volcanic Hawaiian Islands sprout from the ocean floor, the land remains untouched for centuries—until, little more than a thousand years ago, Polynesian seafarers make the perilous journey across the Pacific, flourishing in this tropical paradise according to their ancient traditions. Then, in the early nineteenth century, American missionaries arrive, bringing with them a new creed and a new way of life. Based on exhaustive research and told in Michener’s immersive prose, Hawaii is the story of disparate peoples struggling to keep their identity, live in harmony, and, ultimately, join together.
 
Praise for Hawaii
 
“Wonderful . . . [a] mammoth epic of the islands.”The Baltimore Sun
 
“One novel you must not miss! A tremendous work from every point of view—thrilling, exciting, lusty, vivid, stupendous.”Chicago Tribune
 
“From Michener’s devotion to the islands, he has written a monumental chronicle of Hawaii, an extraordinary and fascinating novel.”Saturday Review
 
“Memorable . . . a superb biography of a people.”Houston Chronicle

Timeline Hawaii: An Illustrated Chronological History of the Islands

By Daniel Harrington

Mutual Pub Co
Paperback (224 pages)

Timeline Hawaii: An Illustrated Chronological History of the Islands
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This highly illustrated timeline, with over 300 photographs, moves readers through the history of Hawaiian Islands, telling a story point by point until a fuller picture emerges. In this volume are collected the dates and names of the men and women who have affected these Islands, some for the better, some for worse. Here is Kamehameha I, unifier of the Islands, alongside Captain Cook, whose voyages to the Islands precipitated years of contact with the West and the near eradication of Hawaiian culture. Here are a multitude of people and events that have shaped and made these Islands into what they have become. This timeline is not a picture of Hawaiian history in its totality; that would require a work of numerous volumes. It does, however, provide the reader with a starting point for further investigation and he or she is encouraged to read the entries gathered in the succeeding pages and seek out further volumes of history to gain a fuller understanding of the events.

Lost Kingdom: Hawaii's Last Queen, the Sugar Kings, and America's First Imperial Venture

By Julia Flynn Siler

Grove Press
Paperback (415 pages)

Lost Kingdom: Hawaii s Last Queen, the Sugar Kings, and America s First Imperial Venture
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"Only one American state was formally a sovereign monarchy. In this compelling narrative, the award-winning journalist Julia Flynn Siler chronicles how this Pacific kingdom, creation of a proud Polynesian people, was encountered, annexed, and absorbed." —Kevin Starr, historian, University of Southern California

Around 200 A.D., intrepid Polynesians paddled thousands of miles across the Pacific and arrived at an undisturbed archipelago. For centuries, their descendants lived with almost no contact from the Western world but in 1778 their profound isolation was shattered with the arrival of Captain Cook. Deftly weaving together a memorable cast of characters, Lost Kingdom brings to life the ensuing clash between the vulnerable Polynesian people and the relentlessly expanding capitalist powers. Portraits of royalty, rogues, sugar barons, and missionaries combine into a sweeping tale of the Hawaiian kingdom’s rise and fall.

At the center of the story is Lili‘uokalani, the last queen of Hawaii. Born in 1838, she lived through the nearly complete economic transformation of the islands. Lucrative sugar plantations owned almost exclusively by white planters, dubbed the "Sugar Kings," gradually subsumed the majority of the land. Hawaii became a prize in the contest between America, Britain, and France, each of whom were seeking to expand their military and commercial influence in the Pacific.

Lost Kingdom is the tragic story of Lili‘uokalani’s family and their fortunes. The monarchy had become a figurehead, victim to manipulation from the wealthy sugar-plantation owners. Upon ascending to the throne, Lili‘uokalani was determined to enact a constitution reinstating the monarchy’s power but she was outmaneuvered and, in January 1893, U.S. Marines from the USS Boston marched through the streets of Honolulu to the palace. The annexation of Hawaii had begun, ushering in a new century of American imperialism.

Shoal of Time: A History of the Hawaiian Islands

By Gavan Daws

University of Hawaii Press
Released: 1974-06-01
Paperback (512 pages)

Shoal of Time: A History of the Hawaiian Islands
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Gavan Daws' remarkable achievement is to free Hawaiian history from the dust of antiquity. Based on years of work in the documentary sources, Shoal of Time emerges as the most readable of all Hawaiian histories.

Hawaii's Story by Hawaii's Queen Liliuokalani

By Queen Queen Liliuokalani

Hui Hanai
Released: 2013-12-31
Hardcover (496 pages)

Hawaii s Story by Hawaii s Queen Liliuokalani
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Queen Lili‘uokalani, born as Lydia Lili‘u Loloku Walania Wewehi Kamaka‘eha, was the last reigning monarch of the kingdom of Hawai‘i. She ascended the throne in January of 1891, upon the death of her brother, King David Kalākaua. The Queen’s desire to restore traditional powers to the sovereign threatened the power of the group of prominent businessmen known as the Missionary Party. With the support of armed U.S. Marines, this group overthrew the Queen in January 1893. For years after her overthrow, the Queen sought redress in the Congress and courts of the United States, but her efforts failed. In July 1898, Hawai‘i was annexed as a territory to the United States of America.

As part of her efforts to stave off annexation, the Queen published Hawaii’s Story by Hawaii’s Queen Liliuokalani in early 1898. She worked closely with the American journalist Julius Palmer on the manuscript, and the book reflects her experiences and perspectives. This classic work is the only autobiography written by a Hawaiian monarch, and provides a glimpse of life in Honolulu during her lifetime.

The Queen describes her childhood, and shares her thoughts on Kamehameha IV and Queen Emma, Kamehameha V, the reign of Kalākaua, and her marriage to John O. Dominis in 1862. A key work on Hawaiian history, it is especially valuable for the Queen’s account of the increasingly ominous state of Hawaiian politics surrounding the overthrow of the monarchy, including her 1895 arrest, abdication, and trial on charges of having knowledge of treasonous activities against the newly formed government, the Republic of Hawaii.

The new edition of Hawaii’s Story by Hawaii’s Queen Liliuokalani, is based on the 1898 edition, enhanced with additional illustrations, and annotated by David W. Forbes. An introductory essay about the publishing history of the first edition includes portions of early drafts of the manuscript deemed too inflammatory to include by the publisher. A foreword by the trustees of the Queen Lili‘uokalani Trust underscores that the Queen’s legacy lives on, providing financial resources and social services for orphans and destitute Hawaiian children through the programs of the Queen Lili‘uokalani Children’s Centers.

Hawai'i: A History of the Big Island (Making of America)

By Robert F. Oaks

Arcadia Publishing
Released: 2003-11-01
Kindle Edition (160 pages)

Hawai i: A History of the Big Island (Making of America)
 
Product Description:
Although its soils are the youngest in the Hawaiian chain, the Big Island's chronicles are at times epic, tragic, and heroic, but always fascinating. Modern Hawai'i is filled with tradition and mythology, accommodating influences as diverse as its inviting landscape. Kamehameha stood tall to mold this nascent region into a unified kingdom and others fought to sustain it, while outside forces molded and shaped this island in astonishing ways.

Island World: A History of Hawai'i and the United States

By Gary Okihiro

University of California Press
Released: 2009-10-28
Paperback (326 pages)

Island World: A History of Hawai i and the United States
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Brilliantly mixing geology, folklore, music, cultural commentary, and history, Gary Y. Okihiro overturns the customary narrative in which the United States acts upon and dominates Hawai'i. Instead, Island World depicts the islands' press against the continent, endowing America's story with fresh meaning. Okihiro's reconsidered history reveals Hawaiians fighting in the Civil War, sailing on nineteenth-century New England ships, and living in pre-gold rush California. He points to Hawai'i's lingering effect on twentieth-century American culture―from surfboards, hula, sports, and films, to art, imagination, and racial perspectives―even as the islands themselves succumb slowly to the continental United States. In placing Hawai'i at the center of the national story, Island World rejects the premise that continents comprise "natural" states while islands are "tiny spaces," without significance, to be acted upon by continents. An astonishingly compact tour de force, this book not only revises the way we think about islands, oceans, and continents, it also recasts the way we write about space and time.

Then There Were None

By Martha H. Noyes

Brand: Bess Press
Hardcover (120 pages)

Then There Were None
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Then There Were None, by award-winning Honolulu writer and artist Martha H. Noyes, is a personal and emotional account, in words and pictures, of the effect of Western contact on the Hawaiian population. Drawing from a variety of sources, Noyes chronicles the effects, from the arrival of Capt. Cook to the present, of disease, written language, the missionaries, landownership, the overthrow of the monarchy, and the suppression of hula and Hawaiian language, concluding with a look at present-day activism. Photographs vividly contrast tourist images with scenes from the real Hawai‘i and highlight the contrast between a culture rooted in cosmology and the material culture of those who made Hawai‘i their own.

Hawaiian Natural History, Ecology, and Evolution

By Alan C. Ziegler

University of Hawaii Press
Released: 2002-09-30
Hardcover (512 pages)

Hawaiian Natural History, Ecology, and Evolution
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Not since Willam A. Bryan's 1915 landmark compendium, Hawaiian Natural History, has there been a single-volume work that offers such extensive coverage of this complex but fascinating subject. Illustrated with more than two dozen color plates and a hundred photographs and line drawings, Hawaiian Natural History, Ecology, and Evolution updates both the earlier publication and subsequent works by compiling and synthesizing in a uniform and accessible fashion the widely scattered information now available.

Readers can trace the natural history of the Hawaiian Archipelago through the book's twenty-eight chapters or focus on specific topics such as island formation by plate tectonics, plant and animal evolution, flightless birds and their fossil sites, Polynesian migrational history and ecology, the effects of humans and exotic animals on the environment, current conservation efforts, and the contributions of the many naturalists who visited the islands over the centuries and the stories behind their discoveries. An extensive annotated bibliography and a list of audio-visual materials will help readers locate additional sources of information.



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