Nhsc-v1-157

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nhsc-v1-157

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the regency and from what looks like an attempt on his part to regain for the crown as much as possible of the power which had gradually passed into the hands of the council of chiefs. 55/

The king's rebellion came to an end in June, 1834. 56/ At that time, Kamehameha III retired from actively governing the kingdom and allowed the new kuhina nui, his half-sister Kinau, and the chiefs to run the government, as they had before the death of Kaahumanu.

Meanwhile, the problems inherent in governing a foreign population that frequently called upon warships to back up their claims continued to plague the ruling chiefs. The majority of the claims against the government by foreigners dealt with land and property rights. Unfamiliar with Western property rights and laws, the chiefs decided that it would be necessary to establish more formal laws and government in the kingdom to answer these claims.

To begin this process, a request was made to the United States in 1836 by the chiefs for a teacher of economics and political science. When no suitable teacher could be found, William Richards, a missionary, became "chaplain, teacher and translator" to the king in 1838. 57/ This is the beginning of the formal involvement of missionaries in the government of the Hawaiian kingdom. During the 1840's more missionaries formally joined the king's cabinet: the physician Gerrit P. Judd; Lorrin Andrews, former principal of Lahainaluna; and Richard Armstrong, pastor of Kawaiahao Church in Honolulu. Missionaries who joined the government were required to break formal connection with the American Board of Commissioners for Foreign Missions.

Other white men found their way into the government from diverse backgrounds: John Ricord became attorney general; William Little Lee became chief justice of the Hawaiian supreme court while still in his twenties; Robert C. Wyllie served as foreign minister for twenty years. The numbers and influence of these men in the government grew. By the end of 1844, there were fourteen white men working for the government. This number grew to forty-eight by 1851—twenty-five Americans, twenty-one Englishmen, one Frenchman, and one German. Each foreigner in the government had to sign an oath of allegiance to the king as a condition of employment. 58/

Once Richards began to advise the king and the chiefs, "it became clear that the government could not be remade to suit foreigners without bringing in revolutionary changes in the relationship between chiefs and commoners." 59/ As a first step in 1839 the king announced a policy of religious toleration (relieving pressure on the Catholics). In the same year, the king proclaimed the Declaration of Rights and Laws, a sort of civil code (called the "Hawaiian Magna Carta"). This document defined and secured for the first time the rights of the commoners who, prior to that time, had had no rights, but were subservient to the ali'i. This was the first result of the decision by the king and chiefs to codify the laws of the kingdom.

Prior to the Constitution of 1840, Hawaii's form of government was difficult to define because it was constantly changing. During the reign of Kamehameha I, it was a feudal aristocracy. During the reign of Kamehameha II and the minority of Kamehameha III, the importance of the office of the kuhina nui was enhanced and the chiefs began to encroach on the authority of the king. From their beginning as an advisory council, the chiefs eventually came to have legislative power. 60/

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