Annexation of Hawaii

by: Felisha Moore

How did U.S. imperialism affect Hawaii?

Economic treaties led to a growth of American business people operating in Hawaii. Over time, business people pressured the king to limit voting rights to wealthy landowners. Most of these people were foreigners, and from this time on the Hawaiian legislature was dominated by foreign influence. Prominent American and European business people who didn't want to lose control, mainly Sanford B. Dole, seized power and had Queen Lili'uokalani, the queen of Hawaii, imprisoned. These business people wanted Hawaii annexed to the United States. Having Hawaii annexed to the United States would get rid of taxes on goods from Hawaii and make a lot of money for Dole and his comrades. When the McKinley tariff went through in 1890, it dramatically raised the price of imports. President Cleveland and his administration researched and found that overthrowing of the Queen was illegal and wanted her returned to power. But, Hawaii became a protectorate of the United States, and under President McKinley was made an American territory in 1897.

Queen Lili'uokalani

Before being overthrown, Queen Lili'uokalani was the queen of Hawaii. She became queen in 1891 after her brother's death. In response to her people, she started to work on a new constitution for Hawaii, which would reinstate the veto power of the monarchy, along with giving back voting rights to the poor native Hawaiians. Queen Lili'uokalani's power was seized and she was imprisoned by Sanford B. Dole and his people.

Sanford B. Dole

Sanford B. Dole was one of the main people responsible for the overthrow and imprisonment of Queen Lili'uokalani. He was the first president of the Republic of Hawaii, officially established on July 4, 1894. Dole served as a lawyer and jurist in the Hawaiian islands. He was born in Honolulu, Hawaii, and was the cousin once removed of James Dole, who founded the Hawaiian Food Company, which later became the Dole Food Company.