Is Hawaii a part of united states?

Last Updated On November 07, 2022

Hawaii had been a territory of the United States since 1898, but it became a state, exactly the 50th state of the U.S, on 21st August 1959. Hawaii is situated about 2400 miles away from the U.S mainland, followed by Alaska, which is the 49 state of United States, and it became a state of the U.S just before 8 months.

Hawaii had been trying to get statehood for more than 50 years, but those efforts were futile due to the discrimination against non-white people on the island.

Hawaii could win the attraction of the United States owing to two main reasons. The first one is economic reasons, and the second one is strategic reasons. In the early 19th century, missionaries came to Hawaii and reported about sugar cane cultivation, and so many white businesspeople invested their money on huge acres of islands as well as Hawaii was a great entryway to Asian markets and a stopover for merchant and military ships.

Talking about the monarchy of Hawaii, King David Kalakaua, who was also known as the Merrie monarch, was forced by the rich planter class in 1887 to sign a constitution that canceled the power of Hawaiian monarchy and the power of voting for anyone who was not an English speaking, white, property owner. This constitution was known as the Bayonet constitution. King David Kalakaua died on 20th January 1891. Again in 1893, on 17th January, Queen Liliuokalani, the last Hawaiian monarch, was overthrown by a small group of planters with the help of an envoy from America to Hawaii. But president Grover Cleveland wanted to support the queen and restore the throne since he did not want to overthrow the Hawaiian monarch by force. Even though he sent a new U.S. minister to restore the crown, Sanford B. Dole, who was the organizer of the committee of safety and was trying to establish a new government in Hawaii, did not like to step aside. So, he declared the independent republic of Hawaii. The new government wanted annexation, but the treaties were always discredited due to the reason that most of the native Hawaiians did not like to embrace it. Because they thought that the annexation would consequent the unpleasant American colonialism and militarism. But what changed the subject was that pearl harbor, which was situated on Oahu Island in Hawaii, was founded as a military base in  Spanish American war in 1898, and it convinced congress to pass the Newlands resolution to annex Hawaii as a U.S. territory, and after 2 years it was handed self-governance.

Hawaii beach

Attempts to make Hawaii a state

Although Hawaii became a U.S territory, the efforts to make it a state of the U.S was failing continuously. The first governor of Hawaii was Sanford B. Dole, and he was the one who first raised about being a U.S. state in his commencement speech in 1894. The first bill to accomplish their task had been handed over to the U.S. house of representatives by Jonah Kūhiō Kalanianaʻole on 11th February 1919, but it got canceled out there. After that first attempt, another 48 attempts were made to propose Hawaii statehood, but every time the bills got rejected. The main reason for that was the opponent party in Southern states thought that Hawaii representatives would raise the topic of civil rights legislation in congress. Though Hawaii got funding from the federal for improvements in infrastructure, education, and transportation, Hawaiian people did not have the right to vote and select their president. At the same time, the U.S congress had the ability to disband the legislature and the local governor. 

In October 1937, something special happened, and that was a congress with seven senators and twelve representatives from the congress were appointed for a hearing in Hawaii for 17 days, and from that, it was decided that Hawaii was eligible for statehood. By the time it was 1940, many Hawaiian voters had voted for statehood in a statehood plebiscite. Again in 1946, a hearing was conducted by the U.S house committee, and Alice Kamokila Campbell, who was a territorial senator, made a speech against statehood. She continued her anti-statehood programs, gathered evidence against statehood, and gave them to congress. In the same year, Hawaii was added to the list of non-self-governing territories by the United Nations. From the subsequent polls, it was confirmed that the majority of Hawaiian people are interested in statehood. So, in 1952, a combined bill of Hawaii and Alaska (Alaska also was not a state of U.S at that time) was sent to the Senate, and it was approved. But the Senate delayed it until next year. After that, the Senate, coupled with the house of representatives, passed the bill to accept Alaska as the 49 state of the United States on 3rd January 1959. In the same year, the Hawaii bill passed both the house of representatives and the Senate, and on 21st August, President Dwight D. Eisenhower signed the bill, and Hawaii was stated as the 50th state of the United State.

Now Hawaii is a land with 1.4 million residents and ranked 13th in terms of population density. The capital of Hawaii is Honolulu, and  Hawaii’s official languages are Hawaiian and English, but now the usage of Hawaiian is rare. It has a literacy rate of 84.10%. Hawaii is famous for its beaches and also the volcanoes. It is known as a great spot to go and enjoy your vacation.

Hawaii beautiful beach full of travelers