Kauikeaouli was born on August 11, 1813 on the Big Island of Hawaii. He became king at age 11 when his older brother Liholiho died, who ruled as Kamehameha II. For 14 years of his reign Kauikeaouli was guided by Kaahumanu and Kinau. At age 25, he took on the responsibilities of kingship by himself as Kamehameha III. (The Reign of Kamehameha III Website) Kauikeaouli's reign of thirty years was filled with change and accomplishment. Kamehameha III's reign would be a desirable time to live in because of the small population, religious freedom, and the equality for all Hawaiians.
One of the biggest changes was the decrease in population of the native Hawaiians. When Kauikeaouli became king in June 1825, the native population was about 150,000, which is half of the Hawaiian population at the time of Captain Cook's arrival in 1778. (Mrantz) Prior to 1778, Hawaiians had lived in isolation for a thousand years, practicing an ancient system of health and hygiene in perfect balance with the environment. During Kamehameha III's reign, the small pox arrived, which decreased the population by half again. (The Reign of Kamehameha III Website) The reason why so many Hawaiians died was because they had no experience with contagious diseases and neither did their grandparents before them. When smallpox came they regarded it with curiosity rather than with fear. Few of the chiefs died, and not one of the member's of the Legislation had caught the disease even though they looked after the people and helped bury the dead. (Mrantz) Many believed God preserved those of the Royal family and protected the law makers. The small pox epidemic lasted for six months, and ended in the month of October. Ten thousand of the Hawaiian population are said to have died of the small pox disease. (Kamakau)
The religious situation in Hawaii had changed as well. In 1839, Kamehameha III guaranteed religious freedom to the people of Hawaii. (The World of Royalty Website)...
Cited: Mrantz, Maxine. Hawaiian Monarchy. "Kamehameha III". Aloha Graphics and Sales, Honolulu, 1974.
Kamakau, S.M. Ruling Chiefs of Hawaii (Revised Edition). The Kamehameha Schools Press. Honolulu, 1992.
The Reign of Kamehameha III. 2003-2004. Media-HI, Inc. 14 Apr. 2005.
The World of Royalty Website. 31 Jan. 2005. 14 Apr. 2005.
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