Sunday May 24, 2015
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01-128 Revolution in Paradise

Sunday May 24, 2015

Lead: Its economic potential and strategic position in the central Pacific and were too great for Hawaii to retain its independence.

Intro: A Moment In Time with Dan Roberts.

Content: In January 1891 the last king of the Hawaiians, David Kalakaua, died while on a trip to California. His reign had been characterized by rising political corruption and the increasing influence of Asian immigrants and white people, especially citizens of the United States. While resenting this growing foreign influence Kalakaua contributed to it by signing two Reciprocity Treaties with the States which gave Americans a larger share of the Hawaiian economy as each year passed. Toward the end of his life he was forced by public opinion aroused by influential Americans to surrender many of his personal powers to the legislature by agreeing to what his successor called the "bayonet constitution."

Kalakaua was succeeded by his sister Queen Liliuokalani. She was highly skeptical of growing American influence in the Islands. Soon after taking office she began conspiring to dump the "bayonet constitution." Her plan was to restore the powers of the monarch and the influence of native Hawaiians. In the new constitution only native Hawaiians would be able to vote and their property would be exempt from taxation.

To combat the queen a Committee of Safety was formed and when she attempted to ditch the old constitution, the committee offered the presidency to Sanford B. Dole a native-born white man. Three days later he proclaimed an end to the monarchy and created a provisional government which would seek annexation by the United States. Under protest Queen Liliuokalani was forced to abdicate.

Many obstacles lay in front of those Hawaiians seeking U.S. control, not the least of which were Americans on the mainland who didn't want their country acquiring an empire; but in the summer of 1898 the infant Republic of Hawaii became a territory of the United States. Revolution had come to paradise.

The producer of A Moment In Time is Steve Clark. At the University of Richmondís School of Professional and Continuing Studies, Iím Dan Roberts.


Wyndette, Olive. Islands of Destiny: A History of Hawaii. Rutland, Vermont: C.E. Tuttle Company, 1968.

Copyright 2015 by Dan Roberts Enterprises, Inc.


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