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Hawaii Organic Act: Congressional debates on Hawaii Organic Act

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quired except in the furtherance of a policy based on the Monroe 
doctrine and political necessity.
The Democratic party has always been in favor of this kind of 
expansion, and except in the case of Alaska, practically speaking, is 
entitled to the credit for the acquisition of all territory to that 
time. In all the territories acquired, as I have stated, we have 
acted in the acquisition of and in governing them strictly in ac-
cordance with the provisions of the Constitution of the United 
States. I stand with my party on the question of expansion, and in 
opposition to the policy of imperialism and militarism advocated by 
the Republicans.
Mr. Chairman, the causes leading to the annexation of the Ha-
waiian Islands are not in all respects the same as those leading to 
all former acquisitions. Along this line it may not be out of place 
to mention some facts in connection with the acquisition of these 
islands and their history. They were discovered by Captain Cook in 
1789, and at that time were populated by a warlike, vigorous, and 
hearty race. They were a higher type of what may be termed 
"barbarous Asiatics." The islands are situated in the Pacific 
Ocean, some 2,000 miles from the coast of North America and about 
4,000 from the coast of Asia.
The people of the islands were almost entirely isolated from the 
outside world up to the time of their discovery by Cook. The 
population then numbered between four and five hundred thou-
sand. The area of the islands being only in the neighborhood of 
6,000 square miles, this would give a per capita population of up-
ward of 75 to the square mile. Since 1789, when the islands were 
discovered, to 1819, the islands were greatly reduced in population 
by the ravages of war and disease. Since then the death rate of the 
Hawaiians has increased to such an extent that to-day there are 
only about 40,000 natives and Hapas, or half-castes.
Prior to 1819, idolatry was a part of the religious practice of the 
May 8, 1819, Kamehameha I (then King of all the islands) died. 
By his will he left to his son, Liholihe, the sovereignty of all the 
islands, with the title of King Kamehameha II, and appointed 
Kaahumanu (his widow) premier, to exercise equal authority 
with the young king. These two almost immediately abolished 
idolatry and destroyed the infamous Tabu system, so that when 
the pioneer missionaries arrived at the islands, October 23, 1819, 
they found these people self-redeemed from idolatry and casting 
aside the superstitions of their fathers.
When the Christian missionaries from New England landed in 
the island, they were most kindly received by the natives. The 
people of the islands having some knowledge of western civilization 
from the occasional visits of passing ships, willingly received the 
teachings of the missionaries, and in a short while the greater part 
of them were converted to Christianity; and the Christian religion 
being the foundation stone of all lasting and progressive 
civilization, the Hawaiians have from that day to this made rapid 
progress. Up to 1820 they had no written language other than 
crude hieroglyphics, amounting to very little in the way of edu-
cation from a practical standpoint, being symbolic only.
Until January 17, 1893, the islands continued under a monarchy 
which had existed from time immemorial. During this period of 
time, from 1819, when idolatry was abolished, to 1893, when the 
monarchy was abolished, education became general throughout 
the islands and Christianity common among all the people.
In 1893 a part of the foreign population, dominated and led by 
Americans or people of American extraction, successfully re-
belled and overthrew the existing government, deposed Queen Lil-
iuokalani, abolished the monarchy, and set up a republican form of 
government, modeled for the most part after that of the United 
States; and, with the government securely in their own hands, they 
promulgated a constitution for the islands, containing, amongst 
other things, a provision looking forward to and providing for an-
nexation to the United States whenever it could be effected. This 
government continued until the 7th of July, 1898, when the Ha-
waiian Islands, by a joint resolution passed by Congress, were 
annexed to the United States.
The causes leading up to annexation were, first, the islands being 
of prominence on account of their situation in the Pacific Ocean, 
on the usual route of travel between Asia and North and South 
America, and on account of agricultural and trade resources; and, 
second, its government being weak from a standpoint of force 
and ability to maintain itself against a strong and aggressive 
power. The governing power or Hawaii earnestly desired 
annexation by the United States as a security for their welfare for 
all time to come.
When war was declared by the United States against Spain, in 
1898, and after Dewey had sunk the Spanish fleet in the harbor of 
Manila,  the United States was under the necessity of transporting to 
the Philippine Islands ships, soldiers, and supplies. As a matter of 
convenience, and sometimes of necessity, our ships and vessels of 
war had occasion to stop at the ports of Hawaii for coal and other 
The Hawaiian government treated the United States in all these 
matters with the utmost consideration and as if there were

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