Nhsc-v1-162

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nhsc-v1-162

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The U.S. Commissioner and members of the king's government drew up a document setting forth alternative plans for the United States to save Hawaii from the danger of filibustering or threats from foreign governments. In order of preference, these were:

  • A joint protectorate by the United States, Great Britain, and France;
  • A protectorate under the United States and Great Britain;
  • A protectorate by the United States alone;
  • If no protectorate could be arranged, resignation of sovereignty to the United States. 72/

After communicating these developments to Washington, however, the United States Commissioner was informed by the U.S. Secretary of State that he was not to give countenance to "any idea or expectation that the islands will become annexed to the United States." 73/

All of these negotiations came to a halt without being resolved. Rumors of filibustering proved untrue, relations with France improved somewhat, and Kamehameha III died on December 15, 1854. His successor, Prince Alexander Liholiho, did not reopen the discussions and supporters of annexation in Hawaii gave up their agitation for the time being. However, interest had been piqued in the United States by these developments. Fear that France would take over the Hawaiian Islands had stimulated talk of annexation, particularly in California.

E. THE REIGNS OF KAMEHAMEHA IV AND V (1854-1872)

Politics and Sugar

Prince Alexander Liholiho, nephew and heir of Kamehameha III, ascended the throne as Kamehameha IV in December 1854. His reign lasted until his death in 1863. This Hawaiian monarch had very different ideas about relations with foreign governments, in general, and with the United States, in particular.

In the foreign realm, the policy of the government of Kamehameha IV consisted of three parts:

1) To substitute for the pending annexation project a treaty of reciprocity between the United States and Hawaii;
2) To get a satisfactory treaty with France and place the relations between the two countries on a cordial footing; and
3) To obtain a joint guarantee of Hawaii's independence by the great maritime powers, Great Britain, France, the United States, and possibly Russia, by means of a tripartite or quadripartite treaty. 74/

Of the three parts of this policy, only the second met with some success. A new treaty between Hawaii and France was ratified in 1858 and, although still not satisfactory, the treaty was "in some important respects an improvement over the old one." 75/

One of the first steps taken in pursuit of the foreign policy goals of Kamehameha IV was to break off all negotiations for annexation to the

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