The first inhabitants of Hawaii were Polynesians who came from other islands from the Pacific, (believed to be from the Marquesas Islands) about 2000 years ago. Later, in the thirteenth century, they occupied the islands, colonists from Tahiti who managed to impose themselves on the primitive colonizers. The Spaniards, Dutch and Japanese probably sailed near this archipelago from the 16th century, but the British James Cook was the first to explore the islands on his expedition to the South Seas in 1778. Captain Cook who was well received by the islanders, however, died in Hawaii during a dispute between the inhabitants and his men in 1779.
- See ejiaxing.org for Hawaii state facts, including geography, climate, flora and fauna as well as major cities.
Between 1782 and 1792, Kamehameha managed to take over the islands, with the exception of Kauai and Niihau which resisted the rule of this dynasty until 1810. During the Kamehameha dynasty, Hawaii’s economy grew significantly thanks to the sandalwood trade. with China, the cultivation of pineapple and sugar cane (products introduced between 1810 and 1830), and the trade with the whaling ships that called at its ports, since these ships had to supply water and coal for their boilers.
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With King Kamehameha III beginning to rule in 1824, profound changes began in Hawaii. The capital was established in Honolulu, the first public schools opened and the first newspaper published. In 1840 the first constitution was approved, and Hawaii managed to be recognized by the United States as an independent state. During this reign, the law was passed that allowed the private ownership of the land, changing the tradition that assigned all the land of the islands to the monarch.
The prosperity of Hawaii during this dynasty attracted numerous immigrants who came mainly from China, Japan, the Philippines, Korea and other Polynesian islands. Immigrants from Porto Ricco also arrived to work on the sugar cane plantations.
Between 1874 and 1891 he reigned in Hawai Kalakaua, known as the Happy King who took care to recover the traditions of his country; some of the traditions he recovered and which today are symbols of Hawaiian culture were “imported” from other Polynesian islands. In 1885, he began the massive cultivation of pineapple, a plant from Jamaica, in Hawaii. During the reign of Kalakaua, in 1887, the United States acquired the exclusive right to use Pearl Harbor, which later became the emblematic base of US naval forces in the Pacific.
Upon Kalakaua’s death in 1891, his sister, Liliuokalani, assumed power. In 1893, nine Americans, two British and two Germans organized a coup d’état which, with the help of the American navy, succeeded in overthrowing the queen; she this she had tried for two years to reassert the power of the monarchy, through measures that canceled the transfers of her predecessors to foreigners. In 1894, Sandford B. Dole assumed the post of president of the new Republic which he ruled with the support of the United States. In 1898 the Washington Congress decreed that Hawaii became a possession of the United States, and in 1900 it gave permission to convert it into United States territory.
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In December 1941, Japanese forces unexpectedly attacked Pearl Harbor and the Oahu Air Base. This attack anticipated the United States’ entry into World War II (1939-1945). Hawaii became the US headquarters for the Pacific campaign against Japan. After the war, the islands served as a base of operations in the Korean War, 1950-1953. After the war, pressures intensified to make Hawaii the 50th state of the Union. His admission was approved in 1959. The first Hawaiian Senator in the US Congress was Daniel Alaka.
The agricultural sector is dominated by the production of sugar cane and pineapples, of which the state is the largest US producer. Other products are coffee, flowers and tropical fruit. The breeding of meat and dairy cattle is also developed. Timber production is not very developed and is limited to the demand of the local economy. Fishing is also not widespread, which mainly concerns tuna.
The most important industries concern the food, stone, clay and glass, petrochemical and metallurgical sectors; the plants are concentrated near Honolulu. Both national and international trade and transport use almost exclusively ships and airplanes; a few kilometers of railway lines are in operation. The main ports are Honolulu, Kahului, Hilo and Nawiliwili.
Tourism is the most important private sector for the state economy and together with government contributions to the numerous military bases it is the main source of income. Millions of tourists visit Hawaii every year, attracting them above all to the mild climate, sandy beaches and also the numerous national parks. Favorite destination is the island of Oahu.