H is for the Kingdom of Hawaii

Love, Peace, and Compassion

Hawaii.NASA earth observatory
NASA earth observatory
In a Travel Trvia post called 5 Countries That No Longer Exist, I read about the Kingdom of Hawaii. It was “founded by King Kamehameha I in 1810, about 40 years after first contact with Europeans…

“Remarkably, the political structure of the kingdom was close to a feudal European system, though its religion and customs followed the ancient Polynesian ways. The kingdom was an internationally recognized independent state, securing most of their assurances (including one from the United States) in the early 1840s.” But then it gets interesting.

“The U.S. annexed the islands as a result of the Spanish–American War in 1898 to better fight the Spanish in the Philippines, which is a whole other can of international-sovereignty-violating-worms… There’s a serious case to be made that the U.S. violated a whole bunch of international laws during the annexation, meaning we may never have had the authority to do literally any of the things we did on the island.

Hawaiian independence is a very real possibility and there are a lot of people fighting hard for it.” While I don’t expect the state will actually secede, I find this bit of history quite fascinating.

Incidentally, “most people think that “Aloha” is a word that means both hello and goodbye” That is not true. “In Hawaiian we say ‘Aloha’ both when greeting someone and also saying goodbye. But that is not to be taken literally. The real meaning of Aloha in Hawaiian is that of Love, Peace, and Compassion.”

HI Hawaii. I DO , though, like the fact that the two-letter postal code says, “Hi!” Capital and largest city: Honolulu.

The Hawaiian Islands are “an archipelago of eight major islands, several atolls, numerous smaller islets, and seamounts in the North Pacific Ocean, extending some 1,500 miles (2,400 kilometers) from the island of Hawaiʻi in the south to northernmost Kure Atoll. Formerly the group was known to Europeans and Americans as the Sandwich Islands, a name chosen by James Cook in honor of the then First Lord of the Admiralty John Montagu, 4th Earl of Sandwich.”

One last thing: is it Hawaii or Hawai’i? The state website has a bar that reads “Search all Hawai’i government.” Other sources suggests that the large island is Hawai’i but that the state is Hawaii. It’s still engendering great debate on the islands.

Author: Roger

I'm a librarian. I hear music, even when it's not being played. I used to work at a comic book store, and it still informs my life. I won once on JEOPARDY! - ditto.

5 thoughts on “H is for the Kingdom of Hawaii”

  1. I haven’t heard that discussion before about Hawai’i for the Big Island and Hawaii for the State. Whatever floats peoples votes. I wonder what happens to every non-Hawaiian who calls Hawaii home if Hawaii becomes a sovereign nation again. Would Hawaii return to being a monarchy, and who would that be?
    If I could, I’d live the rest of my life in Hawaii. Hawai’i is a candidate.

  2. Since I hardly know anything about the process of each state being added, I had no idea Hawai’i was once a kingdom. Still being a Dutch citizen, I am all for it that a kingdom stays a kingdom, simply because of its heritage, and it is so obvious that its (Hawaii) culture is so different from the rest of the USA. There’s an unbreakable bond between the monarch and its country. Choosing a president is the pits -my opinion. From what I have seen and experienced in the the USA, there is no more or less freedom, and the hate and anger that has come to the surface about being for or against a president, I could do without.

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