How did the United States acquire Hawaii?


Quick Answer

On July 4, 1898, the House of Representatives passed the Newlands Resolution to annex the Republic of Hawaii as a United States territory. President McKinley signed the resolution three days later, on July 7, and the Republic of Hawaii became the U.S. Territory of Hawaii.

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How did the United States acquire Hawaii?
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Full Answer

The Newlands Resolution officially changed Hawaii from a sovereign nation to a U.S. territory, but the annexation process began years before.

In the early 1800s, missionaries from Europe and the U.S began interfering in native Hawaiian affairs and brought new diseases to the islands' populations. In 1887, non-native immigrants held King Kalakaua at gunpoint and forced him to sign a new constitution giving white immigrants more rights while stripping two-thirds of native Hawaiians of their right to vote. King Kalakaua's sister, Lili?uokalani, succeeded him on the throne after his death.

In 1893, American and European immigrants formed a union to overthrow the Kingdom of Hawaii and dethrone Queen Lili?uokalani. Their efforts ended the Hawaiian monarchy and turned the Kingdom of Hawaii into the Republic of Hawaii. The Newlands Resolution resulted from negotiations with the newly formed Republic of Hawaii.

The Kingdom of Hawaii existed from the 1790s until the overthrow of Queen Lili?uokalani in 1893. The Republic of Hawaii lasted only a few years until the islands became the Territory of Hawaii in 1898. In 1959, the Admission Act officially recognized Hawaii as the 50th state of the U.S.

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