The Hawaiian Islands were legally acquired by the United States on July 7, 1898, when House Joint Resolution 259, 55th Congress, 2nd session, known as the "Newlands Resolution," approved Congress and was signed into law by President McKinley.
Background History of Hawaii Annexation into the United States of America
Hawaii's islands have been dominated by hostile groups for generations. King Kamehameha III united the Hawaiian Islands into one sovereign kingdom in 1810. The old Hawaiian royalty was eventually deposed and replaced with a parliamentary democracy. The monarchy was eventually abolished in favor of a government elected by a limited number of enfranchised people, however, the Hawaiian king remained as ceremonial head of state.
Western influence developed throughout the nineteenth century. From 1874 until 1891, David Kalakaua was the final monarch of Hawaii. In 1885, he signed a commercial reciprocity deal with the United States, continuing history of accords benefiting the United States. Sugar could now be sold tax-free in the United States thanks to this free-trade deal.
The Commission deposed Monarch Lili'uokalani in a long and bloody revolution on January 17, 1893, with the help of John Stevens, the US Ambassador to Hawaii, and a detachment of Soldiers from the battleship USS Boston. The Provisional Government was declared by the Committee of Safety.
Minister Stevens accepted the new administration and declared Hawaii a US colony even without the consent of the US State Department. The new government and President Benjamin Harrison executed an acquisition treaty. Grover Cleveland succeeded Harrison as presidency first before Congress could approve the pact, and the deal was later withdrawn.
In 1894, Dole dispatched a delegation to Washington to request annexation. Instead, President Cleveland named James Blount as a special prosecutor to investigate the occurrences in the Island Of Hawaii. The Blount Commission determined that Lili'uokalani had been deposed illegally and ordered the American flag to be removed from Hawaiian official facilities.
Lili'uokalani, on the other hand, never recovered power. Sanford Dole, the chairman of the Committee of Security and leader of the Interim Government of Hawaii, declined to relinquish control. Dole maintained that the US had no legal authority to meddle in Hawaii's domestic affairs. In 1894, the Provisional Government declared Hawaii to be a republic, the Sovereign State of Hawaii, with Dole as its first leader.
Queen Lili'uokalani wrote a letter of complaint to the United States House of Representatives in a final, fruitless attempt to recapture the sovereignty of her nation for native Hawaiians. She said that her monarchy had been usurped unlawfully and that any attempt by the United States to conquer Hawaii without fair trials would be intolerable.
Hawaii had minimal influence in the US government as a territory, with only one non-voting member in the House of Representatives. The territorial status permitted wealthy white landowners to recruit low-cost labor and sell low-cost goods to the mainland. These landowners utilized their clout to ensure that Hawaii remained a territory.
Finally, in March 1959, President Eisenhower approved a Hawaii statehood resolution that had cleared both the House and the Senate. In June of that year, Hawaii residents voted on whether or not to approve the citizenship measure in a referendum.
President Dwight D. Eisenhower signed the official declaration recognizing Hawaii as the 50th state on August 21, 1959, bringing an end to more than half a century of struggle for Hawaiian statehood.
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