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possession of the islands as a conquest, or for the purpose of colonization, and that no power ought to seek for any undue control over the existing Government, or any exclusive privileges or preferences in matters of commerce." 67/ The document was sent to Great Britain and France and became known as the "Tyler Doctrine," after the then-President John Tyler.
Having successfully completed their negotiation in the United States, the king's representatives left for Europe to continue their quest for formal recognition. Before they could complete negotiations for recognition in Europe, however, the "Paulet Affair" intervened.
Lord Paulet, captain of the British frigate Carysfort, was sent to Honolulu to protect British interests as a result of complaints--mainly about land--by the acting British consul in Honolulu, Alexander Simpson. Paulet made demands on the Hawaiian government and threatened to fire upon Honolulu if they were not met.
To avoid conflict, the king made a provisional cession of the islands to Great Britain on February 25, 1843. Until the end of July, the Hawaiian Islands were under the British flag. When it was informed of what Paulet had done, the British Government disavowed Paulet's act and sent Rear Admiral Richard Thomas to restore Hawaiian sovereignty, which he did on July 31, 1843.
After this episode was resolved, the Hawaiian delegation continued their European negotiations. Finally, on November 11, 1843, a joint declaration was signed in London by which the Queen of Great Britain and the King of France recognized the independence of the Sandwich (Hawaiian) Islands. The United States refused to sign the declaration on the grounds that it was contrary to America's policy of avoiding entangling alliances. Instead, the United States stood by the Tyler Doctrine.
Despite this formal recognition of independence, inequitable treaties were still a problem for Hawaii. In 1844, the British presented the Hawaiian Government with a convention with objectionable articles similar to those of the Laplace Convention of 1839. The government signed the convention but wrote to the head of the British foreign office seeking modifications. New treaties were signed with Britain and France in 1846, still with objectionable articles on trade preferences and the composition of juries.
In the mid-1340's and 1850's Hawaii was finally able to achieve equitable treaties. In 1846 Hawaii signed a satisfactory treaty with Denmark that did not contain the restrictive clauses of the British and French treaties. Eventually, even Britain and the United States relaxed their discriminatory attitudes. By the 1840's, the articles of arrangement with the United States, which had first been negotiated in 1826, had ceased to be regarded as a valid treaty. A new treaty satisfactory to the Hawaiian Government was signed in 1849 and remained in effect until the annexation. The American treaty served as the basis for a new, more equitable treaty with Great Britain, signed in 1851. In turn, this treaty was the basis for treaties with Sweden and Norway in 1852.
Thus Hawaii progressed toward more equitable treaty relations. France was an exception, since it continued to insist upon articles objectionable to the Hawaiian Government. Moreover, most-favored-nation clauses enabled other nations to claim, the benefits of the restrictive clauses in the French treaty.
Trade and Annexation
Economic development in the late 1840's and early 1850's foreshadowed the dominant role the United States
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