May 7, 2013
Question: How did the Hawaiian Queen, Lili’uokalani affect the economy of Hawaii in the mid 1800’s?
Lili’uokalani was the first woman leader of Hawaii when she became queen in 1891. Her life before becoming queen consisted of growing up in a household of royalty. Being the daughter of high-ranking chiefs Caesar Kapa’akea and Anale’a a Keohokālole, and the sister of King Kalakuaua helped taking the role of leadership a lot easier. Lili’uokalani grew up going to the Royal School, where she learned proper English, was trained in music, and traveled widely. Going to the Royal School and learning these components ended up helping Lili’uokalani in the long run when she finally became queen. Before she took the royal throne, her brother Kalakuaua was king at the time. Lili’uokalani saw the way her brother led, and helped the people of Hawaii. In 1881, King Kalakuaua took an extended trip around the world, and Lili’uokalani ended up having to fill in the role of King Kalakuaua. During the time when Lili’uokalani was in charge, an epidemic of smallpox broke out through the islands of Hawaii. Chinese laborers who worked in Hawaii’s sugar cane fields brought the disease. Lili’uokalani made the executive decision by closing of the ports of Hawaii to limit the disease from spreading anywhere else. Wealthy sugar growers became angry, but it was the right move to make and she showed strong concern for her people.
One of the first acts as king, Kalakuaua’s initial plan was to name William Pitt Leleiohoku as his heir, but the prince died at such an early age he couldn’t. Therefore being next in line Lili’uokalani took the throne. Luckily being the Princess Regent and controlling Hawaii months prior while her brother traveled the world, Lili’uokalani was strong and already had the mindset and qualities of becoming queen no problem. In January 1891, Liliuokalani ascended the Hawaiian throne, becoming the first woman ever to occupy it. Many chauvinists at the time didn’t agree with having a woman in charge, so they caused her problems, but it wasn’t something she couldn’t work through. Being on the throne, Queen Liliuokalani initiated the first act to put in rule. Her first act was recommending a new Hawaiian Constitution, and naming it the “Bayonet Constitution” because it limited the power of the monarch and the political power of native Hawaiians. The Bayonet Constitution was originally set up to sharply curtailing his powers, and diminishing the Native Hawaiians voice in government. The predominately European and American businessmen and ministry members in the organization supported the Constitution that would reserve the right of voting only to citizens who owned property and had enough money. This Constitution favored white planters, mill owners, and sugar cane and pineapple producers. By wanting to get rid of the Bayonet Constitution and restoring the land of Hawaii caused outbreak. Of course, having such a high position in royalty being queen, Queen Liliuokalani had many haters that disagreed with the decisions she made.
In 1890, the McKinley Tariff had been passed by the U.S., which severely restricted the primary market for Hawaiian-produced sugar, and the Ha'oles began plans to have Hawaii invaded. Lili'uokalani was aware of this intention. Under all constitutions, including the Bayonet Constitution, the ruler of the Kingdom was empowered to create law by signing a Constitution and by proclamation. To regain independence in her Kingdom, Lili'uokalani herself wrote the a new constitution setting aside the requirements of the Bayonet Constitution and restoring authority and power to the reigning Hawaiian aristocracy and restoring the agreement of native Hawaiians in 1892. Queen Liliuokalani sought to empower Hawaiians through a new Constitution. Sanford B. Dole, one of Queen Liliuokalani’s “friends”, set up a group “Committee of Safety” went after Queen Liliuokalani for...