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In spite of these fears, the election was peaceful. The opposition National Reform Party (or Hui Kalaiaina) won half the party seats in the Hawaiian legislature. The election was regarded as a victory by the opponents of the reformers in the government and a defeat of those who favored a policy of closer alignment with the United States. A reformer, W. D. Alexander, wrote the following concerning the election results on Oahu:
- One element, which turned the scales against us, was the strong anti-American feeling of the British and many of the Germans, to say nothing of the natives and half-whites. 144/
After the election, the National Reform Party was assisted further by the introduction of a resolution in the legislature "declaring a want of confidence in the ministry because of the dissension within the ranks." 145/ Although this resolution was not voted on, the cabinet resigned anyway and a new cabinet was appointed by the king. The new cabinet consisted of four ministers: one part-Hawaiian, one British by birth, and two born in the United States (one of whom was a personal friend of the king). 146/ Kalakaua had thus managed to remove the Reform cabinet.
Shortly afterwards, a resolution was introduced in the legislature asking whether the new cabinet would discuss the subject of a new constitution. The president of the legislature responded that the sponsor of the resolution "might as well ask the Ministers if they intended to hold a revolution." 147/ In spite of this block in the legislature, a mass meeting of citizens supporting a new constitution was held and committee meetings on the subject were subsequently held. These meetings were led by Robert W. Wilcox and others who presented a resolution to the king on August 14, 1890, calling for the "King to request the Legislature to enact a Law authorizing You to call Convention for the purpose of drafting a suitable and equitable Constitution for Your Kingdom..." 148/
On August 15, Kalakaua, without consulting his ministers, sent a message to the legislature referring to the resolution petition and stati--? that it was his "Royal Pleasure that the Legislative Assembly...take such measures as would carry out the intention of the people expressed in that Petition." 149/ This message and the bills that followed, forced the legislature to form a committee to consider the desirability of a new constitution.
As these events proceeded, America Minister Stevens wrote:
- The businessmen and the more responsible citizens of the islands are greatly disturbed. For good reasons they fear to have the country convulsed by such an issue. The English commissioner and the undersigned have been urged confidentially by the leading members of the cabinet and by the most conservative of the Legislature to counsel the King against the rash and dangerous step. 150/
Stevens and British Commissioner Wodehouse then agreed that they would talk to the king together. Of this meeting, Wodehouse wrote:
- We told the King that we came as His friends, and as the Representatives of two Powers who had the most friendly Relations with Him and that looking to the "large interests" which we had to protect, we thought that our duty to our Governments required us to point to His Majesty the disastrous
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