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to constitutional monarchy in the 1840's permitted limited political participation by all of the people for the first time. Although mana (the degree of sacred power and rank) was supplanted by hereditary succession to the throne in 1819, it was not until the Constitution of 1840 that any fundamental changes in the traditional patterns of governance occurred.
The Constitution of 1840 created a two-house legislature based on the British Parliamentary model. The House of Nobles was to be appointed by the king and duplicated the pre-contact Council of Chiefs. The House of Representatives was to be elected from and by adult males who were citizens of the kingdom. (For a more complete description of the Constitution, see below page 158.)
The notion of male suffrage, like the House of Representatives itself, was a Western concept. Women of high royal rank were included in the House of Nobles, but precluded from the democratically-inspired electoral process. In addition, the position of kuhina nui, or premier, became a male function for the first time, after twenty years of hereditary succession by the highest-ranking woman.
As early as the reign of Kamehameha IV (1854-1863), however, there were attempts to change the constitution. The king, and his brother who would succeed him, believed the existing constitution was too far in advance of the needs of the people. The king wanted to centralize more power to the monarch and to limit suffrage.
Both of these goals were accomplished by Kamehameha V (1863- 1872) when he abrogated the old constitution and proclaimed a new one in 1864. Universal manhood suffrage was abolished. Property qualifications were instituted for the members of the House of Representatives and property and educational qualifications were instituted for voters. Although Lunalilo, Kamehameha V's successor, successfully petitioned the legislature to repeal the property qualification for voters, education requirements remained.
The Republic of Hawaii
Preparations for establishing the Republic of Hawaii in 1894 placed new restrictions on voters. The first step in adopting a constitution for the Republic was to elect the delegates to a constitutional convention. All voters were required to sign an oath that stated, in part, H...I will support and bear true allegiance to the Provisional Government of the Hawaiian Islands, and will oppose any attempt to reestablish monarchical government in any form in the Hawaiian Islands." 105/ This requirement had the intended effect of disenfranchising almost all the native Hawaiian voters. Another, unexpected effect, however, was the disenfranchisement of many Americans who were afraid that by signing the oath, they would lose their U.S. citizenship. 106/ The result of this disenfranchisement was striking: in 1890 there had been 13,593 registered electors; for the election of delegates to the constitutional convention, there were only 4,477. 107/
The constitutional convention, made up of eighteen elected delegates and nineteen members of the Provisional Government (to ensure "success" of those in favor of a Republic) agreed on a constitution that "was satisfactory to all but the most extreme oligarchs." 108/ Property qualifications were instituted for both voters and members of the legislature. Candidates for the Senate, or upper house, were required to have an income of $1,200 or to own $3,000 in property. Candidates for the lower house, the House of Representatives, had to have an income of $600 or own property worth $1,000. 109/ Requirements tor voters were:
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