Dole, Cleveland and Hawaii
On July 6, 1898 the Republic of Hawaii was annexed to the U.S. after Congress passed the Newlands Resolution, the culmination of nearly thirty years effort to bridge the two.
The Sugar Fix
Hawaii’s importance increased with the aftermath of the Civil War and the concurrent rise in sugar prices. In the United States sugar had always been supplied by the southern states, particularly Louisiana, and with the fall of the Confederacy many sugar plantation there had had been destroyed to avoid falling into enemy Yankee hands.
The American missionaries in Hawaii, who had been there since the 1840s and the annexation of Texas, saw sugar was in abundance on the island, and many wrote of this to family and newspapers back home hoping to entice more settlers. This distance was very great, but a few did take the opportunity to get into sugar, particularly because of its rarity at home, and this raised great interest back in Washington who was looking to abet the sugar inflation crisis.
The Reciprocity Treaty
Into this was the idea of annexation, floated heavily by the Hawaiian King who saw the riches of the U.S. as something he could use to ggrandize himself and his people. Thus this idea of annexation was first floated in the Reciprocity Treaty of 1875, a free-trade agreement between the United States and the Hawaiian kingdom guaranteeing a duty -free market for Hawaiian sugar in exchange for special economic privileges. The treaty’s main effect was blocking Great Britain and France’s advances on the islands, also for the sweet stuff, and allowing the Americans to build a base at Pearl Harbor to defend its interests.
But things did not go as planned — Jupiter is in the twelfth house of secret enemies — and the King had felt that the Treaty gave him an unlimited spending account, and was encouraged in this fallacious thinking by the British Crown. The plantation owners felt the King’s spree meant he was mortgaging their property to eventually pay his debts, but the King did not really understand the concept of private property and felt that while the farmers were working the land it still belonged to the Hawaiian people, and in turn, his. Adding to this economics gap, Venus in the eighth — other’s people’s people and taxation — was another problem for the farmers, Pluto in the sixth house, of work and service directly opposite the King on the first house cusp.
These issues were never entirely resolved, and from the U. S. standpoint an internal affair, when the King died, and his daughter and heir Liliʻuokalani ascended to the Hawaiian throne. Lili’uokalani, see our header picture, disagreed with both her father and the settlers, thinking the Treaty as a whole had been mistake and was looking to abrogate it. She started the movement “Hawaii for Hawaiians,” as the first attempt to rousing native Hawaiians to a patriotic duty, but it was a lacklustre affair as most did not think who owned the Island matter.
In practice though, without a standing army or any military forces, the base at Pearl Harbor was under U. S. jurisdiction, the Queen’s efforts would have failed nonetheless, for Hawaii’s independence was with the advent of sugar basically moot. If not America, it was a matter of who: France and Britain were still patrolling the area looking for a division between Hawaii and the U.S. for a chance to move in.
Nevertheless, the plantation owners went wild, and took her actions at their word and in an unauthorized military coup, overthrew the Queen and declared the military leader, Sanford Dole, the first president in the new republic. President Grover Cleveland a friend of Queen Lil’ukoalani’s told Dole to stand down. He stated this was an act of aggression and the U. S. and its Pearl Harbor base would not support their actions. The latter group, via Dole, refused; a stalemate ensued.
On July 7th (the original chart was for June 14 1900 from the Wall Street Journal) 1898, the U.S. Congress annexed Hawaii through a joint resolution. President William McKinley, in a grand ceremony, signed and Hawaii was now an official U.S. territory.
From annexation to statehood was sixty years, or two Saturn cycles until when Hawaii became the 50th U.S. state on August 21 1959. Two more Saturn cycles, and another sixty years, the great solar eclipse happened on that very date.
The dates for the Newlands resolution is wrong almost everywhere I checked on the Internet, finally getting the correct date from the archives of the Library of Congress. The charts have been updated to July 6 1898 date.