When the Hawaiian islands were formally annexed by the United states in 1898, the event significant end the a an extensive internal struggle between native Hawaiians and also white American businessmen for control of the Hawaiian government. In 1893 the critical monarch the Hawaii, Queen Lili"uokalani, was toppled by party the businessmen, that then imposed a provisional government. Soon after, chairman Benjamin Harrison submitted a contract to annex the Hawaiian islands to the U.S. Senate because that ratification. In 1897, the treaty effort was blocked when the newly-formed Hawaiian Patriotic League, composed of aboriginal Hawaiians, efficiently petitioned the U.S. Conference in the contrary of the treaty. The League"s lobbying efforts left only 46 Senators in favor of the resolution, less than the 2/3 bulk needed because that approval of a treaty. The League"s success was shortlived, but as unfolding world events soon forced the addition issue to the fore again. Through the explosion of the U.S.S. Maine in February of 1898 signaling the begin of the Spanish American War, establishing a mid-Pacific fueling station and also naval base became a strategy imperative for the united States. The Hawaiian islands were the clear choice, and also this time Congress relocated to annex the Hawaiian archipelago by share Resolution, a process requiring only a simple bulk in both residences of Congress. ~ above July 12, 1898, the share Resolution passed and also the Hawaiian islands were officially annexed by the joined States.

You are watching: What new relationship with hawaii did congress approve

The Hawaiian islands had a well-established culture and long history of self-governance as soon as Captain James Cook, the first European explorer to collection foot on Hawaii, landing in 1778. The affect of European and also American settlers quickly started to change traditional ways of life. Initially governed by individual chiefs or kings, the islands joined under the ascendancy of a solitary monarch, King Kamehameha, in 1795, much less than two years after Cook"s arrival. Later on the traditional Hawaiian monarchy was overthrown in favor of a constitution monarchy. Eventually, the monarchy itself was exit in favor of a government elected by a small group of enfranchised voters, return the Hawaiian monarch was retained as the ceremonial head the the government. Even elements of everyday life feel the social and economic influence of the white planters, missionaries and also businessmen. The landholding mechanism changed, and many aspects of traditonal culture were prohibited consisting of teaching the Hawaiian language and also performing the indigenous Hula dance.

In 1887, the battle for control of Hawaii to be at its elevation as David Kalakaua was chosen to the Hawaiian throne. King Kalakaua signed a reciprocity treaty with the United claims making it feasible for street to be sold to the U.S. Industry tax-free, yet the haole - or "white" - businessmen were still distrustful that him. They criticize his ties to guys they thought to be corrupt, his renewal of Hawaiian legacies such together the historic Hula, and construction that the royal Iolani Palace. A scandal involving Kalakaua erupted in the an extremely year he was crowned, and also it unified his opponents, a party that businessmen under the management of Lorrin Thurston. The opposition used the risk of violence to pressure the Kalakua to expropriate a new constitution the stripped the monarchy of executive, management powers and also replaced the cabinet with members that the businessmen"s party. The brand-new constitution, which properly disenfranchised most native Hawaiian voters, became known as the "Bayonet Constitution" since Kalakaua signed it under duress.

When King Kalakaua died in 1891, his sister Lili"uokalani succeeded him, and members that the native population persuaded the brand-new queen to draft a new constitution in an attempt to restore aboriginal rights and also powers. The relocate was countered through the Committee ~ above Annexation, a small group of white businessmen and also politicians that felt that annexation by the unified States, the major importer of Hawaiian agricultural products, would certainly be helpful for the economy of Hawaii. Supported by man Stevens, the U.S. Minister come Hawaii, and a random of Marines from the warship, U.S.S. Boston, the Committee on annexation overthrew Queen Lili"uokalani in a bloodless coup on January 17, 1893 and established a revolutionary regime.

Without permission from the U.S. State Department, Minister Stevens then known the brand-new government and also proclaimed Hawaii a U.S. Protectorate. The Committee immediately proclaimed chin to be the Provisional Government. President Benjamin Harrison signed a treaty of addition with the brand-new government, but prior to the Senate can ratify it, Grover Cleveland replaced Harrison together president and also subsequently withdrew the treaty.

Shortly right into his presidency, Cleveland appointed James Blount as a distinct investigator to inspection the events in the Hawaiian Islands. Blount found that Minister Stevens had acted improperly and ordered that the American flag be lower from Hawaiian federal government buildings. He likewise ordered that Queen Lili"uokalani be revived to power, but Sanford Dole, the president of the Provisional federal government of Hawaii, refuse to rotate over power. Dole successfully argued that the joined States had no best to interfere in the internal affairs that Hawaii. The Provisional government then proclaimed Hawaii a republic in 1894, and soon the Republic of Hawaii was officially well-known by the unified States.

The overthrow of Lili"uokalani and also imposition of the Republic the Hawaii to be contrary come the will of the native Hawaiians. Indigenous Hawaiians staged fixed protest rallies and also formed 2 gender-designated groups to protest the overthrow and also prevent annexation. One to be the Hui Hawaii Aloha Aina, loosely translated as the Hawaiian Patriotic League, and also the various other was its female counterpart, the Hui Hawaii Aloha Aina o Na Wahine. On January 5, 1895, the protests took the form of an equipped attempt to derail the annexation but the armed revolt to be suppressed by forces of the Republic. The leader of the rebellion were imprisoned along with Queen Lili"uokalani who was jailed because that failing to put down the revolt.

In march of 1897, william McKinley was inaugurated as President of the unified States. McKinley was in favor of annexation, and the change in management was quickly felt. ~ above June 16, 1897, McKinley and three to represent of the federal government of the Republic of Hawaii --Lorrin Thurston, Francis Hatch, and William Kinney-- signed a treaty of annexation. Chairman McKinley climate submitted the treaty to the U.S. Senate for ratification.

The Hui Aloha Aina for Women and also the Hui Aloha Aina for males now arranged a massive petition drive. Castle hoped the if the U.S. Federal government realized that the majority of native Hawaiian citizens protest annexation, the move to annex Hawaii would be stopped. In between September 11 and also October 2, 1897, the two groups collected petition signatures at public meetings held on each of the 5 principal archipelago of Hawaii. The petition, clearly marked "Petition against Annexation" and written in both the Hawaiian and also English languages, to be signed by 21,269 indigenous Hawaiian people, or much more than fifty percent the 39,000 indigenous Hawaiians and also mixed-blood persons reported by the Hawaiian the supervisory board census for the same year.

Four delegates, James Kaulia, David Kalauokalani, man Richardson, and also William Auld, come in Washington, DC top top December 6 through the 556-page petition in hand. The day, as they met with Queen Lili"uokalani, that was already in Washington lobbying versus annexation, the second session the the 55th congress opened. The delegates and Lili"uokalani plan a strategy to current the petition to the Senate.

The delegation and also Lili"oukalani met councilor George Hoar, chairman the the Senate Committee on foreign Relations top top the following day, and also on December 9, with the delegates present, city council Hoar read the text of the petition to the Senate. It was formally accepted. The next day the delegates met v Secretary the State john Sherman and submitted a formal statement protesting the annexation to him. In the adhering to days, the delegates met with plenty of senators, voice opposition come the annexation. By the time the delegates left Washington top top February 27, 1898, there were only 46 senators ready to poll for annexation. The treaty was beat in the Senate.

Other events carried the subject of annexation up again immediately. On February 15, 1898, the U.S. Battleship Maine was blown increase in Havana harbor in Cuba. The following Spanish-American War, component of i m sorry was battled in the Philippine Islands, created the strategic worth of the Hawaiian islands together a mid-Pacific fueling station and also naval installation. The pro-annexation forces in conference submitted a proposal to annex the Hawaiian archipelago by share resolution, which required only a simple majority vote in both houses. This eliminated the 2/3 majority needed come ratify a treaty, and also by result, the important support was in place. Home Joint Resolution 259, 55th Congress, 2nd session, known as the "Newlands Resolution," passed Congress and was signed right into law by chairman McKinley ~ above July 7, 1898.

Once annexed by the united States, the Hawaiian islands remained a U.S. Region until 1959, when they to be admitted to statehood as the 50th state. The story the the addition is a story of conflicting purposes as the white businessmen struggled to attain favorable trade conditions and also native Hawaiians search to protect their social heritage and also maintain a nationwide identity. The 1897 Petition through the Hawaiian Patriotic organization stands as proof that the indigenous Hawaiian civilization objected to annexation, but since the interests of the businessmen winner out, over the coming years most historians who wrote the history of Hawaii emphasized events as called by the Provisional Government and largely neglected the battle of the indigenous Hawaiians. Today, over there is a growing movement ~ above the archipelago to revive interest in the aboriginal Hawaiian language and culture. Primary sources such as this petition be affected by each other witness the there is an additional side to the story.

The addition petition with its voluminous signatures, along with many related records, is filed in the documents of the U.S. Senate, Record group 46, in ~ the nationwide and also Records Administration. The petitions are obtainable on microfilm as publication M1897.


Silva, Noenoe K. Aloha Betrayed: native Hawaiian Resistance come AmericanColonialism.. Durham: battle each other University Press, 2004, pages 123-163.

See more: Call Of The Wild Buck And John Thornton, John Thornton (2020 Version)

The Documents

The 1897 Petition against The addition of Hawaii

Page 6 that Men"s Petition versus Annexation that Hawaii September 11, 1897

Click come Enlarge

Record group 46 records of the U.S. Senate nationwide and Records Administration

Page 22 the Women"s Petition versus Annexation the Hawaii September 11, 1897

Click come Enlarge

Record team 46 records of the U.S. Senate nationwide and also Records Administration

Image optimal Right: "Lahaina, Maui, T.H. - previously the Capital"Department of Commerce and Labor. Lighthouse Board. 12th Lighthouse District. (1903 - 1913) RG 26: documents of the unified States coast Guard , 1785 - 1988

Article Citation

Schamel, Wynell and Charles E. Schamel. "The 1897 Petition versus the annexation of Hawaii." Social education 63, 7 (November/December 1999): 402-408.