|Previous Page||Next Page|
issues, due to his huge financial investments and dependence on the kingdom. This alarmed the sugar planters’ They had been able in 1884 to bypass Spreckels' virtual monopoly on handling their sugar exports as "some of them marketed their sugar independently in the United States and, finding they could do so successfully, all were eager to break with him." 46/ In 1883, Premier Gibson had also promised Spreckels the monopoly on transporting Chinese immigrants—a monopoly that had already been promised to an American firm. Sanford Dole, in a December 1883 meeting of soon-to-be reformists, discussed renewal of the reciprocity treaty. He stated that Gibson's act of giving Spreckels a monopoly on transporting immigrants was "likely to endanger Hawaii's treaty relations with the United States at a crucial time." 47/
Attacks on Gibson's policies continued so unceasingly that he became "the sole issue of the 1886 legislative campaign." 48/ At this time "the king had at last wearied of domination by Claus Spreckels, the Opposition effected an alliance with the king and his party, and expressed distrust in the existing Cabinet." 49/ Spreckels1 hold over the king was thus finally broken, despite Gibson's protests. Two cabinets were dismissed and replaced with Gibson still as premier. Reform members had been voted into the Assembly in 1886, including Lorrin A. Thurston, who would play a major role in the formation of a republic.
Cabinet Government Formed
The reformers regarded themselves as a "morally righteous group" who finally took action against the king and Gibson for two main reasons: their attempt to create an empire, and the king's action on opium licenses. Concern focused on the "attempt to establish an Empire of Polynesia, with Kalakaua as ruler;" and on the fact that the king was "accepting money for the license to import opium from two different individuals." 50/ Although the opium license problem had far less world impact than the matter of creating a Polynesian empire, it raised the ire of the reformers from the start. Several of the reformists had gone home from the legislature on private business, whereupon "the Royalists seized the reins and by a bare majority passed an opium license bill which was signed by the king in spite of outspoken public protests." 51/ The problem was compounded when it was learned that the king had evidently accepted money for the license from more than one individual.
The other event that brought the reformers to action was the attempt to implement Gibson's dream for the king of creating a Polynesian empire. This dream had been given fresh impetus after the king's world tour, where he saw that his European fellow sovereigns had expansionist dreams as well. As a result:
- In 1880 a resolution was passed in the legislature which created a Royal Hawaiian Commissioner to represent the government to the peoples of Polynesia. Three years later the government sent copies of a policy statement to twenty-six nations stating that the various islands of Polynesia should be allowed to govern themselves and not be annexed by any major power. 52/
Although most nations disregarded this statement, Kalakaua decided in 1887 to implement his dream by sending a delegation to Samoa with the responsibility of "forming a political confederation." 53/ Germany was at the same time in the process of making Samoa a colony. When Bismarck learned of Hawaii's confederation, he sent angry messages to Washington demanding
|Previous Page||Next Page|