Ke Kaua Ma America: The Impact of the American Civil War on the Kingdom of Hawaii

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Reprinted in 1 HAW. Reprinted at 1 HAW. As an independent state, the Hawaiian Kingdom continued to evolve as a constitutional monarchy as it kept up with the rapidly changing political, social and economic conditions. Under the Hawaiian constitution of , the office of Prime Minister was repealed. This action established an executive Monarch.

The separation of powers doctrine was also fully adopted in this Hawaiian constitution. Unlike States that were neutralized by agreement of third states, e.

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Switzerland, Belgium and Luxembourg, the Hawaiian Kingdom took a proactive approach to secure its neutrality through diplomacy and treaty provisions. It made full use of its global location and became a beneficial asylum for all states who found themselves at war in the Pacific.

Wyllie, was responsible for carrying out this neutral policy. He secured equal and most favored nation treaties for the Hawaiian 46 25 U. Taylor, Librarian 5 January 10, The first treaty provision securing the recognition of Hawaiian neutrality was with the unified kingdoms of Sweden and Norway in Prior to their impending involvement in the Crimean War, Great Britain and France each issued a formal Declaration, on March 28, , and on March 29, , that declared neutral ships and goods would not be captured.

Prior to this, international law did not afford protection for neutral ships carrying goods headed for the ports of countries who were at war. This neutrality extended one marine league, that being three miles, from the coasts of each of its islands. Foreign Minister Wyllie presented the committee report. Then the following resolution was passed and later made known to the countries engaged in the Crimean War. That Free ships make free goods—that is to say, that the effects of goods belonging to subjects or citizens of a Power or State at war are free from capture and confiscation when found on board of neutral vessels, with the exception of articles contraband of war.

Gregg, sent the following dispatch to the Hawaiian government regarding the recognition of neutral goods. As you will perceive it affirms the principles that free ships make free goods, and that the property of neutrals, not contraband of war, found on board of Enemies ships, is not confiscable. These two principles have been adopted by Great Britain and France as rules of conduct towards all neutrals in the present European war; and it is pronounced that neither nation will refuse to recognize them as rules of international law, and to conform to them in all time to come.

The Emperor of Russia has lately concluded a convention with the United States, embracing these principles as permanent, and immutable, and to be scrupulously observed towards all powers which accede to the same. LI, William Ridgway, , Piccadilly This dispatch embraced certain principles in regard to neutral rights. After careful review of the U. Wyllie is authorized to sign and seal the same and pass it officially to the Commissioner of the United States in reply to his dispatches of the 6th December and 12th January last.

I have given to the President of the United States, at his request, my solemn adhesion to the rule, and to the principles establishing the rights of neutrals during war, contained in the Convention between his Majesty the Emperor of all the Russias, and the United States, concluded in Washington on the 22nd July last. Privateering is, and remains, abolished. Blockades, in order to be binding, must be effective, that is to say, maintained by a force sufficient really to prevent access to the coast of the enemy.

The Hawaiian Kingdom acceded to the Declaration of Paris by virtue of an additional article to its treaty with Italy of February 27, This Proclamation was published in two Honolulu newspapers— the Polynesian, on September 14, , and the Pacific Commercial Advertiser, on September 19, , and repeated the same text embodied in the Proclamation and Privy Council resolutions passed during the Crimean War. The Declarations, Accessions, and the Russo-American Convention, represented the first recognition of the right of neutral states to conduct free trade without any hindrance from war.

Stricter guidelines for neutrality were later established in the Anglo- American Treaty, whereby both states agreed to the following rules. Second, not to permit or suffer either belligerent to make use of its ports or waters as the base of naval operations against the other, or for the purpose of the renewal or augmentation of military supplies or arms, or the recruitment of men. II 65 University of Hawaii Press Since , Japan had been forced to recognize the extraterritoriality of American, British, French, Dutch and Russian law operating within Japanese territory.

Treaty Series , All graciously received the King and he exchanged royal orders with these countries. Great and Good Friend:— We have read with great pleasure the letter which your imperial Majesty has sent to Us in which, with so many king expressions of friendship and good will, He accepts the Grand Cross of Our Royal Order of Kamehameha and tenders, as a mark of his sincerity and reciprocality of His statements, to Us, the high distinction of the decoration of the first class of the Lion and the Sun. We hasten to assure your Imperial Majesty of the high satisfaction with which We receive this toke of His kindly feeling, toward Our Person and towards Our Country; feelings which We shall ever most heartily reciprocate.

The letter was in the Hawaiian language with an English translation. The author would like to acknowledge Lorenz Gonschor, a Ph. It is here alone that men of their race enjoy most of the advantages and all the pomp of independence; news of Hawaii and descriptions of Honolulu are grateful topics in all parts of the South Seas; and there is no better introduction than a photograph in which the bearer shall be represented in company with Kalakaua.

Our second, never to suffer Europe to intermeddle with cis-Atlantic affairs…our endeavor should surely be, to make our hemisphere that of freedom. VII, H. Washington, ed. This prompted American legal scholars to publish on the law of neutrality, which was often cited by American authorities in their dealings with other states. Holmes, Jr. Boston , No measure is to be taken that will lead to immediate violence.

Hence it follows, that hostilities can not lawfully be exercised within the territorial jurisdiction of the neutral State, which is the common friend of both parties.

To insist that their territory shall be inviolate and untouched by the operations of war, and their rights of sovereignty uninvaded. And if violations of their rights are committed, they have a right to punish the offender on account of them, or to demand satisfaction from his government. They are in a manner bound to do this, because otherwise their neutrality is of no avail, and one of the belligerents enjoys the privilege of immunity.

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New York , No acts of warfare may lawfully take place within them. Lawrence, The Principles of International Law, 5th ed. While prominent historians have designated the United States during the nineteenth century as an isolationist, Major Frame, U. Army, calls this a misnomer. But with the governments who have declared their independence and maintained it, and whose independence we have … acknowledged, we could not view any interposition for the purpose of oppressing them, or controlling in any other manner their destiny, by any European power, in any other light than as the manifestation of an unfriendly disposition towards the United States.

Germany with her expanding population and boundless 76 Arthur T. Military Commission to the Crimean War, 2 unpublished M. S thesis, U.

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Army Command and General Staff College on file with author. II 2 To Mahan, the United States needed to have in operation a large and dominant naval force before the canal was completed. The United States must therefore not rest content until she controlled the canal itself, and guarded the approaches to it with a powerful fleet of battleships. Lodge would eventually serve as United States Senator for Massachusetts from and play an influential role in seizing the Hawaiian Islands during the Spanish-American War.


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It was the United States of America, in its Anglo-American Treaty, that established rules preventing belligerent states from utilizing neutral territory or ports for warlike purposes such as outfitting vessels, recruiting troops, or basing military operations. It would be twenty-two years later that the United States and the Hawaiian Kingdom would find themselves entangled in a web of deception and fraud, perpetuated by American expansionists, in gross violation of the sovereign and neutral rights of an independent and sovereign state.

The following day, U. Brands, ed. Cornwell, Minister of Finance, John F. Colburn, Minister of the Interior, Arthur P. Peterson, Attorney-General, who are hereby removed from office. All Hawaiian Laws and Constitutional principles not inconsistent herewith shall continue in force until further order of the Executive and Advisory Councils.

He warned that a maritime power could well seize the Hawaiian Islands, and that the United States should take that first step. Are we ready to undertake this? After being removed as the U.

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In an article published in the North American Review in December , Stevens unapologetically stood as an American expansionist and Mahan follower. Not hereby renouncing, but expressly reserving all allegiance to any foreign country now owing by me. President Cleveland concluded that the provisional government was neither de facto nor de jure, but self-declared,90 and the U.

The first of several meetings were held at the U. Legation in Honolulu on November 13, Although the agreement was not carried out this agreement is recognized under international law and American public law as a treaty. These signings were coerced under threat from American mercenaries employed by the insurgents. Stevens and William M. Regan, U.

Pink, U. Belmont, U. The subsequent McKinley administration was already drawing up plans to seize the Hawaiian Islands for naval interests. If I had my way we would annex those island tomorrow.

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He believes we should take the islands, and I have just been preparing some memoranda for him to use at the Cabinet meeting tomorrow. Entirely between ourselves, I believe he will act very shortly. If we take Hawaii now, we shall avoid trouble with Japan. State Department. The Senate, however, were not convening until December 6, These facts prompted two Hawaiian political organizations to mobilize signature petitions protesting annexation. On its way to Washington, D.


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On that same day, an article was published, in the San Francisco Call newspaper, interviewing the commission members. The men, the natives, who have refused to sign, tell us that it would hurt their business or jeopardize their positions if their names were added to our petition. But they are with us in feeling, and…if it comes to a vote, they will forget every other consideration, and remember only that their country is being taken from them.

They agreed that they did not want to appear divided or as if they had different goals.