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Annexation of Hawaii

Page history last edited by Robert W. Maloy 1 year, 5 months ago

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Focus Question: How did American imperialism in the Pacific region impact Hawaii?




Summary of Hawaiian Annexation from Digital History

The United States began to assert its influence in Hawaii in the late 19th century.


  • Many trade laws were changed to make it so that the U.S. and Hawaii, which was then an independent nation, could trade freely.


  • This made it so that many people wanted a chance to cultivate whatever the U.S. wanted.


  • The land became aimed towards creating sugar plantations and rice fields.

U.S. influence increased and at one point the King at the time was forced to sign a treaty that not only took away many of his powers but disenfranchised many Asians and poorer peoples in the land.


  • In fact, the treaty ended up making it so only Europeans and Americans could vote making their influence even stronger.


Raising American Flag at ʻIolani Palace, Honolulu, Hawaii, August 12, 1898
Raising American Flag at ʻIolani Palace, Honolulu, Hawaii, August 12, 1898


January 17, 1893/Hawaiian Monarchy Overthrown by America-Backed Businessmen, from The New York Times Learning Blog



  • That government was at first not accepted by President Grover Cleveland but later was and with President McKinley in office, the U.S. officially annexed the land on August 12, 1898.

Hawaii officially became a state on August 21, 1959.



Primary Sources







external image Liliuokalani_140x190.jpg
Queen Liliuokalani, pictured above, was the last Monarch of Hawaii.


She wrote over 160 songs including the classic "Aloha Oe"


For more, see Queen Liliuokalani and the American Take-Over of Hawaii from teacher education students at the University of Texas at Austin

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Sanford Ballard Dole was the President of the Republic of Hawaii and first governor of Hawaii after annexation by the United States.

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  • His cousin, James Drummond Dole, founded the Hawaiian Pineapple Company which became Dole Food Company




  • Dole Plantation is visited by one million tourists every year and sells more than 3,500 pineapples every week

Lesson Plans

America Becomes a Pacific Nation: Hawaiian Annexation from Portland State University

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