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The Hawaiian Kingdom
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The Hawaiian Kingdom was established by Kamehameha I when he unified the Hawaiian islands. Kamehameha I was an absolute monarch. The government and the man were one and the same. There were no courts, there was no legislative process. He was the government.
Well that absolute authority was transferred to his son, Kamehameha II, Liholiho. And upon the death of Kamehameha II in 1824, Kamehameha II's younger brother, Kamehameha III, Kauikeaouli, came to the throne.
Kamehameha III is a very important individual. He was the transitional period, from Hawaii being an absolute monarchy to Hawaii becoming a constitutional monarchy.
That all began in 1839 when Kamehameha III established the Declaration of Rights.
What he did was he declared the rights for both the chiefs and his subjects and said that everyone will be treated equal under the law.
The very next year, in 1840, he established the first constitution for the Hawaiian Kingdom. For the first time ever, the King was separate and distinct from the government.
From 1840 on, Kamehameha III was the chief executive, no different than the president of the United States.
In 1842, Kamehameha III found it practical to dispatch certain envoys to the United States and then on to Europe to secure Hawaii's recognition as an independent state.
They were able to successfully achieve the recognition from England and France of Hawaii's independence, and a formal recognition of that independence was on November 28, 1843, which was signed at the court of London.
So, as a result of these efforts by these Hawaiian envoys, Hawaii, as of November 28, 1843, now became a member of the family of nations.
They were on an equal footing with England, France and America and all of the other countries which were also members to that family of nations.
Hawaii then began to enter into most favored nation treaties with other nations,
Hawaii was not a colony, nor was it an indigenous tribe.
From 1843 all the way until 1893, the Hawaiian Kingdom had a complete system of laws, both criminal and civil. It had an executive branch and also a judicial court system. with Supreme Court, circuit courts, district courts and police courts.
The Hawaiian Kingdom, as a nation, had a fixed territorial boundary, which included the Hawaiian archipelago, that also included Palmyra Island, which is way down south.
It had a distinct population, which were termed Hawaiian subjects. That was the nationality of the country. And also it was actively engaged in international commerce and trade. It had over ninety consulates throughout the world with ambassadors and ministers assigned to them.
On January 16, 1893, the Hawaiian Kingdom was a fully functional nation.