JANUARY 17, 1893


In 1887, a group of white sugar planters and businessmen known as the Hawaiian League became angered by King David Kalākaua’s attempts to dilute their power.  Backed by militia, the League forced him to sign what is known as the “Bayonet Constitution” reducing his power, giving voting rights to wealthy noncitizens, and restricting the same for Native Hawaiians.  After Kalakaua died in 1891, he was succeeded by his sister, Lili’uokalani.  She sought to restore monarchial powers and extend voting rights for Native Hawaiians.  The League then formed a Committee of Safety to seek annexation.  On January 13, 1893, the U.S. Minister ordered ashore Marines and Navy sailors from the U.S.S. Boston to protect the Committee.  On January 16, they joined with the Committee’s militia at the queen’s palace.  Lili’uokalani surrendered.  When President Cleveland called for her to be restored, the Committee established the Hawaiian Republic.  The monarchy was overthrown.  Hawai’i was annexed in 1898.  

Sources:  The Learning Network, “Jan. 17, 1893 | Hawaiian Monarchy Overthrown by America-Backed Businessmen,” The New York Times, 1/17/2012.  Retrieved 6/5/2019, https://learning.blogs.nytimes.com/2012/01/17/jan-17-1893-hawaiian-monarchy-overthrown-by-america-backed-businessmen/. Professor Plagiarus, “January 13th, 1893—U.S. Marines Vs. The Queen of Hawaii,” The Pandora Society, 1/13/2016.  Retrieved 6/5/2019,  http://thepandorasociety.com/january-13th-1893/
Photo:  Author unknown, 1/1893.   Hawaii State Archives. Call Number: PP-36-3-002.  Public Domain in U.S.:  Pre 1/1/1925.  Public Domain elsewhere where copyright term is author’s life plus 70 years or less.

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