Category Archives: Hawaiian History

Could the Hawaiian monarchy have survived?

This is an opinion piece I wrote as a postscript to my series about King David Kalakaua of Hawaii. I described in my piece about Kalakaua’s trip around the world how his traveling companion William N. Armstrong milked events of … Continue reading

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Ridicule and rifles: The Bayonet Constitution

This is the seventh installment of a series about King David Kalakaua of Hawaii and the final one that concerns him in particular. After studying the subject for the past two months, I find myself haunted by the question, “Could … Continue reading

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The coronation and its critics

This is the sixth installment of a series about King David Kalakaua of Hawaii. The coronation of King Kalakaua nine years after his ascension to the throne was one of a series of events that brought him under attack. When … Continue reading

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Hawaiian king meets Japanese emperor

This is the fifth installment in a series about King David Kalakaua of Hawaii. It focuses on a particular episode of his 1881 trip around the world. By October 1880, the brouhaha over Celso Moreno had subsided. The Italian adventurer’s … Continue reading

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An Italian scoundrel visits Hawaii

This is the fourth installment in a series about King David Kalakaua of Hawaii. The rulers of the Kingdom of Hawaii improvised as they went along. After all, the kingdom only had its first constitution in 1840. That was substantially … Continue reading

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Reciprocity between unequal parties

This is the third installment of a series about King David Kalakaua of Hawaii. Under Lunalilo’s reign, attempts to negotiate a reciprocity treaty with the US failed amidst disagreement over the details. Hawaiian sugar planters pushed for a deal that … Continue reading

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Election and violence in Hawaii, 1874

This is the second in a series about King David Kalakaua of Hawaii. It was a contest between a large boisterous man and a solemn, pious widow. Once again, a king had died without a successor, and Hawaii’s constitution called … Continue reading

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