History of Hawaii|
Date: Thu, 18 Sep 1997 23:18:57 -1000 (HST)
From: Hawaii Nation Info <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Subject: Hawaii's royalty - A monarchy in limbo
A monarchy in limbo. Hawaii's royalty, overthrown illegally, may try for a comeback
By Ian Mulgrew,
in The Vancouver Sun
13 September 1997
Don Ho may have to stop calling himself the "King of Hawaii" because
there soon could be a real one.
Three years ago, U.S. President Bill Clinton signed the so-called "apology
law," a joint congressional resolution formally apologizing to native
Hawaiians for the illegal overthrow of their kingdom at the end of the last
The Republic of Hawaii`i with Sanford B. Dole as president was proclaimed
on July 4, 1894. It was recognized immediately by the U.S. government and
later annexed through a joint resolution of the U. S. Congress in 1898
during the presidency of William McKinley.
"The kingdom was never lawfully terminated, therefore the kingdom still
exists or should be restored," international law specialist Francis
Anthony Boyle, of the University of Illinois, said in a telephone interview.
"Precisely who is the monarch, that's another issue - I don't know. There
are descendants of the monarchy and some of them have made personal claims
to be the legitimate monarch, but I'm not in a position to evaluate their
claims one way or another."
The issue here, Boyle emphasized, is the U.S. Congress has admitted they
illegally overthrew the kingdom in violation of at least three different
treaties the U.S. was party to at the time.
In the event native Hawaiians declare independence, which they now have a
right to do under international law, Boyle said they could restore their
monarchy, although that could prove tricky.
Lydia Lili`uokalani, the last sovereign Queen of Hawai'i, died in 1917.
But she maintained throughout her life that Hawaiian sovereignty is
inherent and cannot be taken away by force.
Lili`uokalani evoked loyalty and sympathy from all native Hawaiians, but
she died childless and the royal line now is a tangle.
Today, some in Hawaii want to go back to the monarchy, others don't.
"The critical point is the distinction between a state and a government,"
Boyle said. "Their argument about the state, the kingdom of Hawaii, is
correct - it was never validly terminated by the U.S. government. But
assuming they regain their independence, what kind of government they want
is for them to decide."
Estimates of the number of native Hawaiians in the state's population of
just over one-million vary from just 12 per cent to 20 per cent of the
Dennis Kanahele is head of the "nation of Hawaii," the self-proclaimed
Once an advocate of confrontation with the authorities, Kanahele says he
now believes in the power of persuasion: "We just have to have patience,
and we have to educate each other, and we have to be concerned about the
non-Hawaiians as well as our own people as we develop this process."
But time may be running out.
Of the number of people who choose to identify themselves as native
Hawaiian, only six-thousand or so are pure-blooded. One scientist has
projected that the Hawaiians as a distinct people will disappear by the
Hawai`i - Independent & Sovereign
"The cause of Hawaii and independence is larger and dearer than
the life of any man connected with it. Love of country is deep-
seated in the breast of every Hawaiian, whatever his station."
- Queen Lili`uokalani