Hawaii's Path to Statehood - Outline/Timeline | Student Handouts
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Hawaii's Path to Statehood
World Geography > North America > United States of America > American West > Hawaii
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Excerpt from Hawaii's Story by Hawaii's Queen (1898)

·         300-800 C.E.

o   Hawaiian Islands were first settled by Polynesians

·         1778

o   Captain James Cook (Great Britain) came across the Hawaiian Islands when looking for the Northwest Passage

o   Cook named the island the Sandwich Islands after his patron, the fourth Earl of Sandwich (the man who allegedly invented the sandwich)

o   Cook was killed by the  Hawaiians during a skirmish

·         1790s

o   Hawaii became a major stopping point for U.S. ships traveling to and from Asia

·         1810

o   Kamehameha I established the Kingdom of Hawaii by uniting the islands

·         1820s

o   White U.S. missionaries began arriving in Hawaii

·         1840s

o   Children and grandchildren of white missionaries began to grow into a  wealthy class of sugar planters

o   75% of Hawaii’s wealth came from sugar plantations

o   Sugar plantations imported laborers from China, Japan, and Portugal

o   Native Hawaiians became outnumbered 3 to 1

·         1867

o   U.S. acquired the Midway Islands, located in the Pacific Ocean approximately 1,300 miles north of Hawaii

·         1874

o   King Kalakaua ascended to the Hawaiian throne

·         1875

o   King Kalakaua signed the Reciprocity Treaty with the U.S.

o   Hawaii could sell duty- and tax-free sugar to the United States

o   U.S. could build Pearl Harbor naval base on the Hawaiian island of Oahu

·          1877

o   White group known as the Honolulu Rifles forced King Kalakaua to sign the Constitution of the Kingdom of Hawaii

o   Hawaii became a constitutional monarchy

o   Suffrage  only for non-Asian males, at least 20 years old, who owned property

·         1890

o   McKinley Tariff repealed the sale of duty- and tax-free sugar to the U.S.

o   White plantation owners wanted the U.S. to annex Hawaii to avoid these taxes

·         1891

o   King Kalakaua died

o   Queen Liliuokalani, his sister, ascended to the throne

o   Liliuokalani nullified the Constitution of the Kingdom of Hawaii

·         1893

o   January 14—U.S. Ambassador John Leavitt Stevens led the pro-annexation Committee of Public Safety to intimidate Queen Liliuokalani

o   January 16—162 U.S. Marines and sailors made a visible presence

o   January 17—Liluokalani forced to relinquish her throne

o   February 1—Hawaii proclaimed a protectorate of the United States

·         January 4, 1894

o   Sanford Ballard Dole proclaimed the Republic of Hawaii

·         January 16, 1895

o   Queen Liliuokalani arrested in connection with the 1895 Counter-Revolution in Hawaii

o   She served one year of House Arrest in Iolani Palace

o   She abdicated in order to save the lives of her supporters who were on death row

·         1898

o   President McKinley officially annexed Hawaii

o   Hawaii became a dependent republic run by its white aristocracy

·         1900

o   Hawaii Organic Act

o   Hawaii officially reclassified as a territory

o   Suffrage for all adult males

o   Nonvoting delegate in the U.S. House of Representatives

·         1903

o   Congress denied the Hawaiian legislature the right to draw up a state constitution

o   This would have been the first step toward Hawaiian statehood

·         1905-1910

o   Queen Liliuokalani filed a series of unsuccessful claims and lawsuits against the United States for  the loss of crown lands

·         1919

o   Prince Kalanianaole (son of the late King Kalakaua) introduced the first statehood bill

o   All statehood bills failed due to fears over Japanese imperialism in the Pacific

·         1934

o   Jones-Costigan Act

o   Severely limited U.S. imports of foreign sugar, including sugar from Hawaii

o   White plantation owners began working for statehood

·         1937

o   U.S. Congress held statehood hearings on Hawaii

·         1940

o   Hawaiians voted 2 to 1 for statehood

·         1941

o   December 7 – Pearl Harbor attacked by the Japanese (World War II)

o   Hawaii under martial law until 1944

·         1947

o   House of Representatives voted 196 to 133 for Hawaiian statehood

·         1948

o   Hawaiian statehood movement stalled

o   Senator Hugh A. Butler (Republican, Nebraska), chairman of the House Rules Committee, feared that communists had infiltrated the Hawaiian Democratic Party

·         1949

o   Hawaii’s territorial legislature wrote a democratic state constitution in hopes of acquiring statehood

·         1953

o   Delegate Joseph Farrington proposed yet another Hawaiian statehood bill

o   Passed in the House of Representatives

·         1954

o   Hawaiian statehood bill approved by the Senate

o   But Senate attached it to Alaska’s pending statehood bill

o   Bill went back to the House for approval

o   Bill died in the House because Speaker Joseph William Martin, Jr. (Republican, Massachusetts) wanted statehood for Hawaii but not for Alaska

·         1959

o   January 3 – Alaska became the 49th state

o   Senate passed the Hawaii Statehood Bill

o   August 21 – Hawaii became the 50th state

Click here to print. Click here for more free educational materials related to this period in United States history.
UNIT I: Early America   UNIT IX: Discontent and Reform
UNIT II: Colonial Period   UNIT X: War, Prosperity, and Depression
UNIT III: American Revolution   UNIT XI: New Deal and World War II
UNIT IV: New National Government   UNIT XII: Postwar America
UNIT V: Westward Expansion   UNIT XIII: Decades of Change
UNIT VI: Sectional Conflict   UNIT XIV: New Conservatism
UNIT VII: Civil War and Reconstruction   UNIT XV: Into the Twenty-first Century