The Annexation of Hawaii

Liliʻuokalani is Remembered as the Final Monarch of Hawaii.

She reigned as monarch from January 29, 1891 until her overthrow on January 17, 1893 by a group of American residents who were residents of the islands and not citizens of the United States (though many were part-Hawaiian).

After the overthrow, the Provisional Government of Hawaii was established to administer the territory until annexation to the United States could be accomplished.

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Events Leading up to the Coup

On January 14, 1893, with support from the Republic of Hawai’i government, the Committee of Safety deposed Queen Liliʻuokalani. The following day, they imprisoned her in an upstairs bedroom at ʻIolani Palace.

She was not allowed to speak to her people and no one was allowed to speak on her behalf. A hastily written Provisional Government Proclamation declared that power had been seized by the Committee until order could be restored.

The Role of the Committee of Safety

The Committee of Safety comprised of six non-aboriginal Hawaiian Kingdom subjects who had been naturalized and seven foreign residents.

The coup was supported by the United States Minister to Hawaii John L. Stevens, along with American military troops from the USS Boston, which arrived in Honolulu at 10:00 AM on January 16, 1893. The overthrow took place on January 17 under the direction of Lorrin A.

The Consequences of the Coup

This coup led to the overthrow of the Hawaiian Kingdom and establishment of the Republic of Hawai‘i on July 4, 1894. As monarch, her overthrow and annexation became known as ʻIolani Palace’s Fall.

The Kingdom would not have been overthrown were it not for the American government. In 1898, when Spain sold its Philippines colonies to America, it was with the condition that only Americans could buy land in those territories.

The Legacy of Queen Liliʻuokalani

Queen Liliʻuokalani was the last reigning monarch of the Kingdom of Hawai‘i, who reigned from January 29, 1891 to January 17, 1893. The Queen’s rule ended when she was deposed in a coup on January 17, 1893.

A new government proclaimed itself as the Republic of Hawai‘i and sought annexation to America, which occurred on July 7, 1898.

On September 9, 1901, President Theodore Roosevelt signed an Executive Order confirming the acquisition of Hawaii by the United States.