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United States Of America >> Hawaii >> History of Hawaii

History of Hawaii

The islands were first inhabited by Polynesians who migrated here initially in the eight century and then again in the thirteenth century. 1778 marked a turning point -- Captain Cook arrived here in the island of Kauai and opened up the islands to disease and decimation. Through the centuries, Hawaii has been repeatedly pillaged -- white traders benefited from the islands' wealth of sandalwood, sugar and from the whaling industry which was based here for a while.

With the Civil War, sugar from Hawaii was in great demand in the Union states. In 1887, the king was just a figurehead and real power lay in the hands of white businessmen dealing in sugar. After the king died, there were demands from the native Hawaiian's for a new constitution. The businessmen's lobby then declared a provisional government and refused to heed U.S. President Cleveland's demand that monarchy be restored. In 1894, Hawaii was declared a republic and by 1898, it was annexed as a territory of the U.S. In 1959, it became the fiftieth state of U.S.A.


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