Nhsc-v1-285

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nhsc-v1-285

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results to Himself, and to His Kingdom which would, in our opinion attend any attempt to force through the Legislative Assembly such a measure as that recommended in His Message to that body on the 15th instant...
We said, Whatever grievances Hawaiians might have to complain of under the present Constitution, and we did not say that there were none, a means for redressing them is provided by the Constitution. To go outside of that would be to get on dangerous and Revolutionary ground. The country, we said required peace, which meant prosperity. 151/

Kalakaua was so displeased with the diplomats' comments, particularly those of Wodehouse, that he asked that Wodehouse be replaced by "some person more lively to the British interest." 152/

The movement for a constitutional convention continued to the point where Robert Wilcox stated in the legislature on September 9, 1890, that:

There was danger of another revolution and the streets being made sticky with blood, if the wishes of the people were to be persistently thwarted as at present. It would be a worse revolution than that of 1887, and some of the finest buildings in Honolulu would be blown up. He would take a hand in it himself... 153/

After this speech British Commissioner Wodehouse wrote: "My colleague [Stevens] and I, have, under these circumstances, called upon the commanders of our National Ships to hold themselves in readiness for any emergency." 154/ On September 25, 1890, Stevens wrote: "There are threats of attempts to constrain the Legislature by intimidation and violence. But at present writing it looks like a pacific solution by the approval of some Constitutional amendments..." 155/ The events did not turn violent, however, and relative calm ensued after the legislative committee considering the bill for a constitutional convention rejected it. Opponents of the bill believed that pending proposed constitutional amendments would "correct all the really objectionable features of the constitution." 156/

On January 20, 1891, King Kalakaua died and Princess Liliuokalani became queen. The queen immediately moved against the reformers by appointing cabinet members of her choice and giving Kalakaua a large state funeral. She also developed a plan (initially secret) for a new constitution for Hawaii. This would eliminate the "bayonet" constitution of 1887 and restore control of Hawaii to the monarchy and the natives.

Because many of Liliuokalani's policies were opposed to the goals of the reformers, "there was a marked increase in annexation sentiment" during 1891 and 1892. 157/ This sentiment contributed to the fall of the monarchy and the formation of the Provisional Government.

Annexation Movements: 1891 and 1892

When Liliuokalani ascended the throne, Hawaii was "in the beginning of an economic depression brought on by the recent change in the tariff law of the United States." 158/ Although the McKinley Tariff Act raising the tariff on Hawaiian sugar imported into the United States did not go into effect until April 1, 1891, an anticipatory reaction was already occurring in Hawaii.

Several courses of action for Hawaii were suggested in response to this new development. These included

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