Author Topic: How the US Stole Hawaii  (Read 286 times)


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Re: How the US Stole Hawaii
« on: February 12, 2021, 12:03:10 am »

Richard Charlton, who had been the British Consul to the Kingdom of Hawaii since 1825 ... had a claim to land that was under dispute.[2] Paulet requested permission from Admiral Thomas to investigate the allegations.[3]
Kamehameha III agreed to reopen the disputed cases but refused to overrule the courts and ignore due process. On 25 February the agreement was signed ceding the land subject to any diplomatic resolution. Paulet appointed himself and three others to a commission to be the new government, and insisted on direct control of all land transactions.[4]

Paulet destroyed all Hawaiian flags he could find, and raised the British Union Flag for an occupation that would last six months. He cleared 156 residents off of the contested Charlton land.

On July 10, 1839 Captain Laplace of the French frigate Artémise sailed to Hawaii under orders to:

Destroy the malevolent impression which you find established to the detriment of the French name; to rectify the erroneous opinion which has been created as to the power of France; and to make it well understood that it would be to the advantage of the chiefs of those islands of the Ocean to conduct themselves in such a manner as not to incur the wrath of France. You will exact, if necessary with all the force that is yours to use, complete reparation for the wrongs which have been committed, and you will not quit those places until you have left in all minds a solid and lasting impression.[1]

In the Treaty of 1843 with Hawaii, France had agreed never on any pretense to take possession of any portion of the Hawaiian domain.[1] The French government had issued orders to Guillaume Patrice Dillon, its new consul in Honolulu in 1848: "Avoid in your conduct any show of pugnaciousness [esprit de lutte]. It is befitting that moderation be the one to consolidate the fruits of firmness". Nevertheless on November 5, 1848, he wrote to the French Foreign Office: "I am convinced that it will prove sufficient to display a good French corvette for three days at Honolulu to force concessions from this devious and hypocritical Government."[2]
The marines took an empty Honolulu Fort from the two men defending it, Governor of Oahu Mataio Kekuanaoa and Marshal of the Kingdom Warren Goodale, who did not resist, the fort having been evacuated before the French landed.[6] The marines spiked the coastal guns, threw kegs of powder into the harbor and destroyed all the other weapons they found (mainly muskets and ammunition). They raided government buildings and general property in Honolulu, causing $100,000 in damages. They also took the king's yacht, Kamehameha III, which was sailed to Tahiti and never returned.[7]
At first the French government condemned the attack on Honolulu but with the account of Tromelin and Dillon who left with Tromelin on September 5, the French government reconsidered the incident as more justified and did not make reparation for the damages.[10]

In 1887, Kalakaua was forced to sign the 1887 Constitution of the Kingdom of Hawaii. Drafted by white businessmen and lawyers, the document stripped the king of much of his authority. It established a property qualification for voting that effectively disenfranchised most Hawaiians and immigrant laborers and favored the wealthier, white elite. Resident whites were allowed to vote but resident Asians were not. As the 1887 Constitution was signed under threat of violence, it is known as the Bayonet Constitution. King Kalakaua, reduced to a figurehead, reigned until his death in 1891. His sister, Queen Lili?uokalani, succeeded him; she was the last monarch of Hawai?i.[76]

It also took away the power of the king to act without the consent of his cabinet and gave the legislature, which was controlled by the white Americans by this time, the power to dismiss the cabinet instead of the king.
to reduce the king's influence, he was not allowed to appoint legislators to any other government post. The legislature also gained the authority to imprison those that disrespected, published false reports or comments about or threatened or assaulted any of its members.[10]

The constitution also removed the monarch's power to appoint members of the House of Nobles (the upper house of the legislature), instead making it a body elected by the wealthy landowners to six-year terms and enlarging it to 40 members. Qualifications to serve as a noble or representative now came to include high property and income requirements as well, which stripped almost all of the native population of the ability to serve in the legislature.[10][11]
It allowed foreign resident aliens to vote, not just naturalized citizens. Asians, including subjects who previously enjoyed the right to vote, were specifically denied suffrage.
the 1887 constitution required an income of $600 (equivalent to US$16731 in 2019) or taxable property of US$3000 (equivalent to $83656 in 2019) to vote for the upper house (or serve in it). That excluded an estimated two thirds of the Hawaiian population. Essentially, only white males, wealthy from the sugar industry, retained suffrage with the Bayonet Constitution.

Allocating the government’s power to the Cabinet and then promptly appointing their members to the Cabinet, and securing the disenfranchisement of their opposition, the Hawaiian League seized complete control over the Kingdom of Hawaii.

In 1893, Queen Lili?uokalani announced plans for a new constitution to proclaim herself an absolute monarch. On January 14, 1893, a group of mostly Euro-American business leaders and residents formed the Committee of Safety to stage a coup d'état against the kingdom and seek annexation by the United States. United States Government Minister John L. Stevens, responding to a request from the Committee of Safety, summoned a company of U.S. Marines. The Queen's soldiers did not resist. According to historian William Russ, the monarchy was unable to protect itself.[77]

For a much more thorough study, with emphasis on US involvement, I proudly recommend: