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The second section of this chapter addresses the fall of the monarchy and the annexation of Hawaii to the United States. Because of the sensitivity of this period of history, this section was prepared by a professional historian. It sets forth relationships within Hawaii and between Hawaii and the United States, providing background for the fall of the monarchy. It also details the events of the days and weeks leading up to the establishment of a provisional government and the queen's resignation in January 1893. Further, the section outlines the unsuccessful steps that the queen took in an effort to regain her kingdom. Finally, the section describes the United States' response to the developments in Hawaii, and the resulting efforts to annex Hawaii, first by treaty, and eventually, by joint resolution of both houses of Congress in 1898. Formal transfer of sovereignty occurred on August 12, 1898, when the Hawaiian Islands became a territory of the United States.
The third section of this chapter analyzes a number of specific questions regarding the process of annexation. These include a review of Hawaii's annexation by joint resolution rather than by treaty. The primary reason for the use of the joint resolution was expediency: the United States was concerned about protection of its strategic position in the Pacific; waiting to obtain the required two-thirds majority in the Senate for annexation by treaty could have been too slow to guarantee that protection. This section also describes the Congressional debate surrounding annexation. It then compares the procedures for annexation of Hawaii to the procedures used to annex other territories of the United States, including Florida, Louisiana, and Texas. The final portion of the analysis reviews whether any native Hawaiians signed annexation documents in Hawaii, noting the difficulties of making such an assessment with the genealogical data now available.
The fourth section of the chapter describes the history of Hawaii's admission to statehood, and compares Hawaii's admission to that of Louisiana, Florida, Texas, Oregon and Alaska.
"Existing Law, Native Hawaiians, and Compensation"
The question addressed in this chapter is "whether native Hawaiians are entitled to compensation for loss of land or sovereignty." In light of the history of landholding laws in Hawaii and the history of the fall of the monarchy and annexation, the Commission has examined whether native Hawaiians have any claims under present law for compensation from the United States for loss of land or sovereignty. The chapter first describes the background of law on these matters, and states that much of the law has developed in relation to American Indians. Second, the chapter analyzes whether native Hawaiians meet the legal requirements for holding "aboriginal title" to Crown and Government lands and whether they are entitled to compensation for loss of any such title. It reviews each of the factors that must be met to establish aboriginal title, in light of the history and sociological facts about native Hawaiians. The requirements that must be met are: the group must be a single landowning entity; there must be actual and exclusive use and occupancy of the lands; the use and occupancy must be of a defined area; and the land must be used and occupied for a long time before aboriginal title was extinguished. While the native Hawaiians may meet some of these requirements, they do not meet all of them.
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