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William McKinley


Sanford B. Dole
Sanford B. Dole

Two days after taking over, the new government sent representatives to Washington to negotiate a treaty of annexation. In February a treaty was signed and submitted to the U.S. Senate. Before the treaty could be approved, President Benjamin Harrison’s term of office expired in March 1893 and he was succeeded by Grover Cleveland. The new president, who strongly opposed imperialist enterprises, withdrew the treaty from the Senate and supported efforts to return Liliuokalani to the throne. However, by that time the revolutionaries were firmly entrenched in power, and they refused to yield to Cleveland’s pressures for a return to monarchy. Instead, realizing that annexation was not imminent, they began to arrange for the establishment of an independent republic. On May 30, 1894, a constitutional convention was convened in Honolulu. On July 4 a constitution creating the new Republic of Hawaii took effect, naming Dole as the first president.

In March 1897 William McKinley succeeded Cleveland as president of the United States. Both McKinley and the U.S. public favored the annexation of Hawaii. The next year both houses of Congress approved a joint resolution to annex Hawaii. President McKinley signed the resolution on July 7, 1898, and the formal transfer of Hawaiian sovereignty to the United States took place in Honolulu on August 12, 1898. On June 14, 1900, Hawaii became a U.S. territory, making all its citizens U.S. citizens. Dole was appointed the first territorial governor. The native Hawaiian people were overwhelmingly demoralized. Since the arrival of whites they had lost their native religion, their land, and their traditions; with the overthrow of the monarchy they lost even their independence. The descendants of early missionaries and other whites had gained complete economic control of the islands, establishing a political system run by a few powerful men that was essentially undisturbed for half a century. "Hawaii" © Emmanuel BUCHOT, Encarta, Wikipedia

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