Nhsc-v1-291

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nhsc-v1-291

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appropriate had the Commission requested this work be undertaken by a non-governmental historian so that there might have been no question about the appearance or substance of objectivity. I recommend strongly that if the Commission feels additional work is needed with regard to the revision, amendment or re-writing of this chapter, it should be done by either an academic or an independent historian who has no administrative connection with the U.S. Government.

Respectfully yours,

(signed) William S. Dudley


Setting the Stage

To summarize the previous section, the fall of the monarchy in 1893 was primarily the result of a power struggle between supporters of the monarchy, a group largely composed of persons of Hawaiian ancestry, and the monied haole group, or "foreigners," persons of American and European birth or descent. The Kamehamehas had been the last strong monarchs of Hawaii. In the latter part of the nineteenth century, as the kings weakened, the haole population gained in political influence and economic power. This set the scene for the ensuing conflict.

The Constitution of 1887 was a key in the changing scope of Hawaiian politics (see above, page 277). Major changes were that: although the king retained his right to appoint the cabinet, cabinet members could be removed only with the approval of the legislature; the king no longer had ax absolute veto, which could now be over-ridden by a two-thirds majority In the legislature; the House of Nobles was no longer appointed by the king but became elective offices; bot) nobles and legislators had to meet residence and property requirements, more stringent for the nobles; but th» most significant change was in the voting requirements. The vote was extended to all male residents of Hawaiian, American, or European birth or descent who met certain property, educational, and residence requirements and who took an oath to support the Constitution and laws. This extended the vote to foreign residents and naturalized citizens as well as to native Hawaiians. The property requirements for eligibility to vote for representatives were modest; but to vote for nobles, one was required to own "taxable property in this country of the value of not less than three thousand dollars over and above all encumbrances, or shall have received an income of not less than six hundred dollars during the next year preceding his registration for such election." 180/ This last requirement had the effect of placing the control of the House of Nobles (and thus the legislature) in the hands of the Reform Party, which was made up largely of Hawaiian-born Americans and Europeans, and resident foreigners. This group held most of the land and a majority of the businesses of the country. They could, therefore, meet the property requirements, while most of the native Hawaiians were disenfranchised.

In 1889, an attempt was made by a group led by Robert W. Wilcox, a

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