James Cook’s Sandwich Island

By | Jan 18, 2011

On January 18, 1778 Captain James Cook discovered an island chain in the Pacific Ocean. He named the islands the Sandwich Island to honor John Montagu, 4th Earl of Sandwich, who was one of his sponsors. Today these islands are known as the State of Hawaii.

In James Cook’s log is an entry describing the natives as “riding the ocean’s waves on wooden boards”. This is the first written account by Europeans describing the sport of surfing.

Beginning in 1810 under the leadership of Kamehameha I, the islands were united under a single ruler.

The United States signed an exclusive trading treaty with Hawaii on On March 18, 1874. A year later the Reciprocity Treaty of 1875 allowed for duty-free importation of Hawaiian sugar (from cane) into the United States, with sugar plantations soon becoming one of their main agriculture produce.

The Republic of Hawaiʻi was established on July 4, 1894. Sanford Dole, a businessman who assisted in the overthrow of the Hawaiian monarchy, was named president after Lorrin A. Thurston declined the office.

Between 1894 and 1900, the Republic of Hawai’i repelled attempts to restore the monarchy at the same time they were petitioning the United States for annexation. On on February 22, 1900 Hawaii was formally made a territory of the United States. 59 years later Hawaii would become the 50th state (and so far the last to be granted statehood) on August 21, 1959.


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1 Comment so far
  1. Harold January 18, 2009 5:55 am

    The United States is an illegal occupying force that should hand the 132 islands of Hawaii back to the monarchy overthrown more than a century ago, according to members of a Native Hawaiian sovereignty movement.

    In 1893 a small, mostly American group of sugar plantation owners and other businessmen overthrew the Hawaiian monarchy with the support of US troops sent ashore from a Navy warship.

    The then monarch, Queen Liliuokalani, gave up her throne “to this superior force of the United States of America” and was imprisoned in the Iolani Palace in Honolulu, built by her brother King Kalakaua. In 1898, Hawaii was annexed by the United States and in 1959 became the 50th US state.

    “The Hawaiian kingdom was unlawfully taken over by a coup d’etat and then those that took it over formed an illegal government and then ceded Hawaii to the United States,” said Leon Siu, minister of foreign affairs for the Hawaiian Kingdom, another sovereignty group that shares many of the Hawaiian Kingdom Government’s aims.

    “There was never a lawful transfer of either jurisdiction or title, therefore what we are doing is asserting that the Hawaiian Kingdom still exists.” Mr Siu said he was engaged in discussions with several countries as well as the United Nations as part of a bid to achieve “international recognition of our nation”, in part by reviving treaties Hawaii had with other nations, including Britain, in the 19th century.

    Sovereignty groups cite the “Apology Resolution” signed by President Bill Clinton in 1993 which acknowledged the 100th anniversary of the overthrow and apologised to Native Hawaiians on behalf of the US.
    The whole article can be found here:
    http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/australiaandthepacific/hawaii/2218343/Queen-of-Hawaii-demands-independence-from-%27US-occupiers%27.html

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