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Blount Report: Affairs in Hawaii

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HAWAIIAN  ISLANDS.	379
be lost in looking at the facts as they really exist. The strong inclina- 
tion of several European powers to gain possession of all the islands in 
the Pacific, except such as are expressly protected by the United States, 
is plainly shown by what has taken place in recent years.
The seizure of Gilbert, Johnson, and other islands, in the past few 
months, and what recently transpired in regard to Samoa, emphatically 
show that England certainly has not moderated her policy in the indi- 
cated regard, to which course the Canadian Government is undoubtedly 
the inspiring cause. The enormous cost of the Canadian Pacific Rail- 
way impels its managers to make the most desperate efforts to secure 
freight and passengers, and hence its aggressive plans to secure Pacific 
commerce and to gain political and commercial influence in these islands. 
The scheme of a British cable from Vancouver via Honolulu to Australia, 
as well as to Japan and China, and of establishing commercial and mail 
lines of steamers on the same route, is not an idle dream. Powerful agen- 
cies are already working to these ends, and to effectively safeguard 
American interests on the Pacific and in these islands there is no time for 
hesitation and delay. If the United States Government does not very 
promptly provide for laying a cable from San Francisco or San Diego 
to Honolulu or Hilo, it may be regarded as certain that a cable will be 
laid by British capital and be controlled by British managers. Pearl 
Harbor for a coaling station and an American cable between California 
and Hawaii are of immediate vital importance to American commercial 
and naval interests and to the maintenance of American influence on 
these islands.
THE  GOVERNMENT  OF  THE  ISLANDS.
A question of vital importance to Hawaii and of American interest 
in and care for its future is that of its government. There has been 
in the last twenty years a great change in the political status of things 
here. Formerly the facts and circumstances appertaining to govern- 
ment on these islands were essentially different from what they are to- 
day. Then the population was chiefly native Hawaiian. The natives 
had long lived under a kind of feudal system, with rigid laws and cus- 
toms, which gave to the numerous chiefs and the King absolute despotic 
power. The wisdom and the religions zeal of the Christian missiona- 
ries enabled them to acquire and exercise a strong influence for good 
over the chiefs and King as well. Thus a system of government 
and laws was established which was a great improvement on the 
former condition of things. The general good character of the men 
who effectively aided the Hawaiian monarch to carry on the Govern- 
ment for years secured fairly successful administration of law and the 
maintenance of public order at limited cost, the public revenues being 
small. But the numerous Hawaiian chiefs are in their graves. Their 
families are extinct. The original native Hawaiians are now so de- 
creased as to number less than two-fifths of the population of the islands.
The coming to the throne of the late King Kalakaua in 1873 was by 
legislative election, and but for the presence in the harbor and on shore 
of American marines and sailors, of the United States vessels of war, he 
would have failed to secure his Crown against a determined mob in the 
interest of another aspirant. The great prosperity of the islands under 
the reciprocity treaty, stimulating the production of sugar, leading to 
a large American, European, and Asiatic immigration, caused a great 
increase of the Government revenues. This prosperous state of things 
also soon resulted in a large increase of the Government expenditures,

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