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A bit of Hawaii history and Komarr

On the Lois Bujold list, a perennial argument about the conquest and treatment of Komarr saw someone suggesting Hawaii as a model of successful integration. After only 70 years it was a state, and a year later a future President was born there! "Um" I thought and I went to look at Wikipedia.

"By 1820, Eurasian diseases, famine, and wars among the chiefs killed more than half of the Native Hawaiian population."



"In 1887, Kal?kaua was forced to sign the 1887 Constitution of the Kingdom of Hawaii, which stripped the king of much of his authority. There was a property qualification for voting, which disenfranchised most Hawaiians and immigrant laborers, and favored the wealthier white community. Resident whites were allowed to vote, but resident Asians were excluded. Because the 1887 Constitution was signed under threat of violence, it is known as the "Bayonet Constitution". "

"In 1893, Queen Lili?uokalani announced plans for a new constitution. On January 14, 1893, a group of mostly Euro-American business leaders and residents formed a Committee of Safety to overthrow the Kingdom and seek annexation by the United States. United States Government Minister John L. Stevens, responding to a request from the Committee of Safety, summoned a company of U.S. Marines."

"McKinley was open to persuasion by U.S. expansionists and by annexationists from Hawaii. He met with three annexationists from Hawaii: Lorrin Thurston, Francis March Hatch and William Ansel Kinney."

"Despite several attempts to become a state, Hawaii remained a territory for sixty years. Plantation owners and key capitalists, who maintained control through financial institutions, or "factors", known as the "Big Five", found territorial status convenient, enabling them to continue importing cheap foreign labor; such immigration was prohibited in various states."

And today native Hawaiians are 10% of the population, and their language is spoken by approximately no one. (2000 native speakers, 24,000 total.)

Yeah, that's not the model I want for benign imperialism.

One interesting bit:

"In 1993, a joint Apology Resolution regarding the overthrow was passed by Congress and signed by President Clinton, apologizing for the overthrow of the Hawaiian Kingdom.[55] It is the first time in American history that the United States government has apologized for overthrowing the government of a sovereign nation."

I also possibly learn why Hawaii has been a one-party state:

"In the 1950s the power of the plantation owners was finally broken by descendants of immigrant laborers. Because they were born in a U.S. territory, they were legal U.S. citizens. The Hawaii Republican Party, strongly supported by plantation owners, was voted out of office. The Democratic Party of Hawaii dominated politics for 40 years."

Sounds like for two generat1ions the Republicans were identified as the party of the oppressors and thus thoroughly rejected, not the party of "values". The GOP has gotten the governorship but it's still a pretty Democratic state, and governors are kind of the most independent office.



Give Barrayar credit: even after applying an elite perspective bias, they seem to be treating Komarr better. Then again, all but the first five years since the Conquest have been under one of two would-be enlightened despots.

See the comment count unavailable DW comments at http://mindstalk.dreamwidth.org/349798.html#comments

Comments

( 2 comments — Leave a comment )
laudre
Feb. 4th, 2013 01:28 am (UTC)
Yeah, no, Hawaii was pretty much as fucked up as can be. It was really no better than any other example of Western imperialism from ... well, the era of Western imperialism and colonization.

My wife, looking over my shoulder, points out that Taiwan/Formosa under the Japanese was notably less bad, though it might be a stretch to refer to it as positive integration.
mindstalk
Feb. 4th, 2013 01:51 am (UTC)
Yeah, I've heard that from Taiwanese, and wikipedia; like Japan wanted to make a model occupation out of it. "Our grandparents grumble about being forced to learn Japanese" as opposed to human experimentation camps.
( 2 comments — Leave a comment )

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