Hawaii: Notes

Origins of the Hawaiian Kingdom

The present record begins in 1810, the year in which Ali‘i Nui (King) Kamehameha received the submission of Ka umu ali‘i a Ka ‘eo (George Kaumualii), Ali‘i Nui of Kaua‘i, and completed the consolidation of the entire archipelago into a single polity, Ko Hawai‘i Pae ‘Āina = The Hawaiian Islands.

Kaumualii continued ruling Kaua‘i in a subordinate capacity to 1821.

The King

The traditional style of the rulers of the major Hawaiian polities is Ali‘i Nui, literally Great Chief. This style is adopted in the Hawaiian-language text of the Constitution of 6 Oct 1840. The English-language text uses the style King.

The royal style is then made more precise, as Ali‘i o ko Hawai‘i Pae ‘Āina = King of the Hawaiian Islands, as documented in the text of the Constitution of 14 Jun 1852.

The text of the Constitution of 20 Aug 1864 expands the style slightly, to Ma ka Lokomaika‘i o ke Akua, Ke Ali‘i o ko Hawai‘i Pae ‘Āina = By the Grace of God, King of the Hawaiian Islands.

The term Mō‘ī is first documented in 1832. It means Majesty. The phrase Ka Mō‘ī = His Majesty is prefixed to the name of the King, and the phrase becomes standard to mean "The King" in official documents (in the British style). Its use becomes so prevalent that King Kalākaua adopts it as the royal style itself, as documented in the text of the oath attached to the Constitution of 6 Jul 1887.

The Loss of Sovereignty

A Joint Resolution of the United States Congress, the so-called Newlands Resolution, signed by the U.S. President 7 Jul 1898, provided for the annexation of the Republic of Hawai‘i to the United States of America.

The transfer of sovereignty took place in a solemn ceremony on 12 Aug 1898.

The status of Hawaii as an organized Territory of the United States was declared by the Organic Act of 30 Apr 1900 which went into effect 14 Jun 1900.

During the transition from 12 Aug 1898 to 14 Jun 1900, the authorities of the Republic of Hawai‘i, including President Sanford Ballard Dole, remained in office (See Chapter I, Section 9 of the cited Organic Act). Dole became the first governor of the Territory of Hawaii on 14 Jun 1900.

Last updated on: 09 Apr 2016 21:00:00