Hawaii Annexation

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Hawaii is often admired for the beauty and uniqueness it brings to America. Despite the distinctly Hawaiian culture it brings to America, its annexation was extremely controversial. Although there were people in opposition to the annexation of Hawaii due to the belief that it was unnecessary and unconstitutional, the majority of Americans and Hawaiians alike were immensely pleased by it and saw it as a cause for celebration and joy.
Prior to its annexation, about three fourths of Hawaii’s wealth was owned by Americans working there. The king was later forced to grant voting rights to only the wealthy landowners in Hawaii, however, the population of wealthy landowners consisted of almost all Americans and by 1900 there were three foreigners
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Congressman Hartman expressed that the annexation of Hawaii was neither necessary nor helpful concerning the military and economy. He believed that the possession of the islands was a “weakness rather than a strength.” He believed it was neither an aid for trade nor for sugar production because of the large portion of the Asian immigrant workers that were not fit for citizenship. The addition of the islands into the country would also cause the United States to have to increase their navy coverage in the pacific and decrease coverage in other areas. He also expressed that the annexation would just be making Hawaii the colony of America, which he stated was unconstitutional. The unconstitutionality of Hawaii’s annexation was also shown by the fact that the Hawaiians had already “demonstrated their capacity for self government” before they were annexed. Despite this, they still became an American territory “regardless of any feeling they may have in the matter.” America was taking away the freedom they had founded their nation on nearly one hundred years earlier. One journalist even described the annexation as a “departure from all [America’s] national …show more content…
A Hawaiian minister revealed his excitement to “find the American flag flying” from every home in Hawaii by describing the “glorious bond of brotherhood” it led to between Americans and the new American citizens in Hawaii. Even people with deep ties to the overthrown monarchs were pleased with the result of the annexation. The nephew of Queen Liliuokalani asserted that Hawaii “never was so prosperous before” receiving the help of America and that as long as Hawaii received their proper place in the American government, there would be no cause for complaint by Hawaiians. The people of Hawaii were overjoyed to be a part of America. They were even described as “people wild with enthusiasm” that spread happiness and energy to each other through the “hand shaking and congratulations everywhere.” The citizens were so ecstatic about the annexation that prior to the vessel even reaching Honolulu with the news, “whistles were blown, bells were rung and pandemonium let loose;” the native Hawaiians even marched through the streets “playing American patriotic tunes.” Because Hawaii became a territory of the United States, they were finally able to be truly “independent and

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