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State of Hawaii
Facts About Hawaii
Fact About Hawaii - Hawaiian Islands
Hawaii History - Hawaiian History

State Motto
"Ua Mau ke Ea o ka`Aina i ka Pono"
"The life of the land is perpetuated in righteousness."

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Hawaii Geology and Creation
Hawaii Discovery and Settlement
European Discovery of Hawaii
Surfing In Hawaii Observed
Captain Cooke Killed
King Kamehameha I Unifies Hawaii
The Great Mahele
Kamehameha III
Immigrant Arrivals
Annexation of Hawaii
Modernization of Hawaii
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Kamehameha I, also known as, King Kamehameha The Great, became the ruler of the Big Island of Hawai`i in 1782. In 1792 Kamehameha I conquered Maui, Lanai, Molokai, and Oahu in 1795 in the battle of Nuuanu. In 1810 he unified the Hawaiian Islands under a single rule after negotiating the secession of Kauai from King Kaumuali’i. He believed he was destined by prophecy to unify the Islands and used western weapons to seize power. He promoted trade with Europe and the United States. King Kamehameha I, died in Kamakahonu, Kailua-Kona, on May 8, 1819.

On May 20, his son Liholiho is proclaimed Kamehameha II. Kamehameha II and his advisors bring down Hawaiian religion by ordering the end to the kapu system and the destruction of heiaus. The first foreign women arrive in Kailua on the Big Island, on April 4, 1820, aboard the brig Thaddeous with American missionaries from Boston. The first Christian church is established in September on Oahu where the Kawaiaha‘o Church is presently located in downtown Honolulu.


Between 1830 and 1840 the Hawaiian government, influenced by foreign complaints and demands implemented land reforms, doing away with traditional divisions and usages of land. In 1839, King Kamehameha, III, with the influence of European and American advisors, issued a Hawaiian Bill of Rights and later a constitution. Under the guise of allowing commoners to claim and own land rights, many lands were titled to the elite and foreigners.


Under the reign of Kamehameha III, many Euro-American reforms were instituted to the governing of Hawaii. Many treaties and agreements with the French, British and American governments were made under the threat of violence and the influence of war ships, as the “Great Nations” all vied to protect there commercial interests and push for land ownership reforms and concessions. Negotiation for the annexation of Hawai’i to the United States began in 1854 but ended with Kamehameha III’s death in December 1854. . He is succeeded by Alexander Liholiho, Kamebameha IV. Reigning for only 9 years he is most famous for he and his Queen, Queen Emma, establishing the Queens Hospital to provide better medical care for Hawaiians and furthering the establishment of Christianity in Hawaii.


Russians, Portuguese, Spaniards, Germans and Norwegians were among Caucasians who came to Hawai`i in small groups as agricultural workers. The first Chinese contract laborers arrive aboard the Thetis from Amoy, Fukien, China, on January 3, 1852. From 1885 through 1894, over 28,000 Japanese workers migrated to Hawaii. Between 1878 and 1887, most of the 17,500 Portuguese contract workers for Hawai’i’s plantations arrived. The first Korean immigrants arrived in 1903. From 1907 to 1931, nearly 120,000 Filipinos, mostly males, arrived in the islands. Filipinos were the last major immigrant group recruited to Hawai`i as plantation laborers. Puerto Ricans arrived in Hawai`i aboard the ship Rio de Janeiro on December 23. 1900. Many of these groups intermarried with Hawaiians and other racial groups creating the Hawai`i we know as the “melting pot.”

Sugar cane, pineapple, cattle ranching, and the strategic location of Hawai’i in regards to world politics and military domination, all played rolls is the history of Hawai’i’s annexation. Hawai’i was annexed by the United States in 1898 amid fears that Hawai’i would come under the control of a European Power.

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