Captain James Cook and his crew came to Hawaii in 1778. Bringing along many diseases such as, syphilis, gonorrhea, tuberculosis, and viral hepatitis.(Blaisdell, p.44) Native Hawaiians were not immune to these diseases, they were unable to be cured therefore died and a massive depopulation occurred. An estimated 500,000 Hawaiians were living in Hawaii before Western Contact, and in 1878 less than 45,000 Hawaiians remained.(Trask, p.10). With the rapid decrease of Hawaiians, also came the fact that their culture was in danger.
Foreign exploitation began, when Cook replaced the traditional island subsistence-sharing economy by the for-profit barter and afterward the money economy. Firearms, and sandalwood lumbering where just a few items that brought foreign economic and political control of the ruling ali'i, who were tricked by many greedy Western merchants. The Great Mahele of 1848 and the Kuleana Act of 1850 contained a major land redistribution act, which was forced onto the monarchy by Westerners(Blaisdell, p.44). Bringing fee simple ownership to Hawaiians, these land divisions actually alienated the land from them. The Mahele divided the lands between the chiefs, king and government. The Kuleana act supposedly guaranteed to the makaainana fee simple title to small plots of land, which would eventually separate the individual from the group. (Trask, p.10) Hawaiians depended on the land, they were not use to "private property", which led to many problems, and the chiefs and the government were heavily indebt to the Western merchants.
A small company of thirty-four New England missionaries came to Hawaii between 1820 and 1930, were the first modern immigrants. (Lind p.59)... [continues]
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(2001, 12). Hawaiis Political Economy. StudyMode.com. Retrieved 12, 2001, from http://www.studymode.com/essays/Hawaiis-Political-Economy-22676.html
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"Hawaiis Political Economy." StudyMode.com. 12, 2001. Accessed 12, 2001. http://www.studymode.com/essays/Hawaiis-Political-Economy-22676.html.