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Hawaii

 

About United States - Hawaii
Region: Cities and Towns:
State : Hawaii
Country : United States
Continent : North America
Population : 1,392,313
Area : 28,311 sq km
Latitude : 18° 55′ N to 28° 27′ N
Longitude : 154° 48′ W to 178° 22′ W
Visiting United States - Hawaii

Captain James Cook, the so-called "discoverer" of Hawaii (which he named the Sandwich Islands) found the paradise of the Hawaiian islands fully occupied and settled by a proud and indigenous people under their own king who were fully prepared to defend their land.  Things went well enough on his first visit in 1778, but on the second visit (we all return at least once!), a quarrel broke out and Cook lost his life in the ensuing melee.
 
Europeans were not frightened off, and the local tribes, although wary, were anxious to trade.  Alas, overtime, their openness cost them their unique culture. The population was decimated by European diseases to which the Hawaiians had no immunity, and tribal arrows, spears and clubs were no match for guns and gunpowder.

From the time Cook arrived until the early 1950s, Hawaiis history is one of conflict - first among warring tribes on the islands,  By 1795, all the Islands except Kaua'i were subjugated under a single king, King Kamehameha the Great., whose dynasty lasted until 1872.   The death of the last king in the line resulted in another period of conflict, ultimately resulting in the landing of British and American troops who quelled the riots and mayhem and re-asserted order under a new king.  

In 1887, the king was forced to sign a constitutiion which reduced the royal power in favour of a legislature, but even this relatively tranquil state was not to last.  A committee of business people and other local residents formed a committee to overthrow the royal house and seek annexation by the USA.  The marines landed and established an American occupation, and through various machinations, the provisional government they had established was transformed and in 1894, Hawaii became an independent republic.  But independence was not a proud accomplishment in the eyes of powerful voices in Hawaii, and, conniving with the US government, the forced a treaty of annexation, signed by the US governmen in the face of vehement opposition in Hawaii itself.  Annexation became effective in 1898.

Annexation paved the way for Hawaii's ultimate assimilation into the United States.  The Hawaii Admission Act was signed into law by President Dwight Eishenhower in March 1959.

Through all the years of political conflict and change, Hawaii grew as a center of business and agricultural activity (sugar, pineapple etc) in the South Pacific, and as a reknowned vacation destination.  With the advent of modern jet aircraft and cruise ships, the trickle of adventurers grew from the 1000s to the millions, and today, Hawaii is one of the world's major tourist destinations.


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