The Annexation of Hawai'i: A Violation of Foreign Sovereignty by the United States of America
Date of Award
University Scholars Director
Dr. Christine Chaney
First Advisor/Committee Member
Dr. Ruth Ediger
Second Advisor/Committee Member
Dr. Rebecca Hughes
Hawaii, Kingdom of Hawai'i, Hawaiian annexation, sovereignty, American imperialism, US territory
The Kingdom of Hawai’i was annexed by the United States of America in 1898 and was given statehood in 1959. Prior to its annexation, the Kingdom of Hawai’i had a legitimate functioning government with sovereign recognition from many in the international arena, including the United States, as early as 1840. This article analyzes current and past definitions of the state and sovereignty, as well as precedence from international law, to determine if the United States violated the sovereignty of the Kingdom of Hawai’i before and during the annexation process. A preponderance of evidence, including explanations of the preexisting Hawaiian political structure, has indicated that the United States and the Provisional Government violated the sovereign rights and privileges of the Kingdom of Hawai’i. The case study that the Hawaiian experience presents is one that is applicable to the question of other US territories and possible violations of their sovereignties. Additionally, the imperialistic policies of the United States becomes much more contemptible when examined through Christian moral principles.
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Schuermyer, Larissa R., "The Annexation of Hawai'i: A Violation of Foreign Sovereignty by the United States of America" (2019). Honors Projects. 113.