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Lunalilo died of pulmonary tuberculosis in February 1874 after barely a year on the throne. He became the first Hawaiian monarch to leave his property to a benevolent institution—the Lunalilo Home for poor, destitute, and infirm people of Hawaiian blood.

Since Lunalilo died without an heir, the legislature once again had to choose a king. David Kalakaua was elected after a campaign in which he was opposed by Queen Emma, the widow of Kamehameha IV. This election changed the line of succession from the Kamehameha line to the Kalakaua line.


King Kalakaua was in favor of a reciprocity treaty. Shortly after he assumed the throne, he travelled to the United States as a "good-will" ambassador to promote its passage. Some credit the eventual passage of the treaty to the favorable impression he made. Of this trip, Liliuokalani says:

Yielding to the wishes of those residents of his domain who were from American or missionary stock, my brother [Kalakaua] had organized the negotiation of a treaty of closer alliance or reciprocity with the United States...The result of this visit is well known. It secured that for which the planters had gained endorsement of the king, it resulted in the reciprocity treaty of January 30, 1875. 90/

Liliuokalani states that support for the treaty was not unanimous in Hawaii. Some protected that it would "put in peril the independence of our nation." 91/

The reciprocity treaty finally passed the U.S. Congress and was signed in nid-1875 without the clause on Pearl Harbor. It went into effect in 1876. The treaty was renewed in 1887 with a clause giving the U.S. Government exclusive right to use Pearl Harbor, and this treaty remained in effect until June 1890.

The 1876 treaty provided that unrefined sugar, rice, and almost all other Hawaiian products would be admitted to the United States free of duties. In return, a long list of American products and manufactured goods were admitted into Hawaii. The treaty also provided that, as long as it was in effect, Hawaii could not offer the same kind of treaty to any other nation.

The primary effect of the treaty was a tremendous upsurge in the sugar industry. Records show that in 1875, before the treaty was in effect, 25 million pounds of sugar were exported. By 1890, that amount had increased ten-fold--250 million pounds of sugar were exported. 92/

Since sugar cane requires large amounts of water, extensive irrigation was begun, with an assured market, more capital was available to make such improvements. The agency (or factor) system became more important, because it offered a centralized system to sell and ship crops, finance new ventures, and purchase equipment needed by plantations. With the growth in output, the need for labor also increased. More than 55,000 immigrant laborers were brought to Hawaii between 1877 and 1890. Approximately one-half of these were Chinese. Others were Japanese, Portuguese, and European. 93/

However, the most significant consequence of the reciprocity treaty was the development of powerful economic ties between Hawaii and the United States. These economic ties then intensified the political consequences of the treaty. Russ believes that:

The political consequences of this reciprocity agreement cannot be overestimated. When Hawaii was finally annexed in 1898, practically everybody