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Treaty of Reciprocity

 

 

The planters had a plan: a Treaty of Reciprocity between the United States of America and the Hawaiian Kingdom was drafted under which Hawaiian sugar and other goods would enter the US duty free. In return US goods would enter Hawaii free and, as a sweetener, the US Navy could build a naval base in the mouth of the Pearl River.

This would be a win-win for the planters, who saw a political advantage in a physical US presence, but not so good for the Hawaiians who were outraged at a proposed alienation of sacred Hawaiian river lands.  The Hawaiians still held the overwhelming balance of power in the democratically elected House of Representatives.  With the growing racial tensions fist-fighting broke out on the floor of the Legislature.

Kamehameha V acceded to the proposed Treaty of Reciprocity but it would not pass the lower house.  Shortly afterwards in, 1872, the he died without leaving an heir.

A new King, Lunalillo, was chosen by popular vote of the Hawaiian Legislature. He was a sophisticate and lover of the arts who also 'liked a drink'.  He was also dying of Tuberculosis and would last little over a year. His reign was chaotic.  Helped along by the Missionary Party lawlessness had broken out across the country and the royal household troops, who were commanded by Europeans, mutinied and were disbanded.

An attempt by Queen Emma to rule and restore order was thwarted by the Legislature and the House of Nobles elected another high-cast Hawaiian: King Kalakaua.

Kalakaua became known as the 'Merry Monarch'.  He demanded an elaborate coronation, reflecting that of Napoleon, and built the large 'loani Palace for balls and State banquets.  Yet he entertained friends and visitors, like Robert Louis Stevenson, in his more casual wooden boat house in the traditional style preferred by his Queen.

 

 


King Kalakaua entertaining Robert Louis Stevenson in his Boat House
They're sitting on the floor but women alternate with men and the dress style is European
Edwin J. Beinecke Collection of Robert Louis Stevenson - public domain  

 

The glittering 'loani Palace is now a tourist attraction.

During his reign Kalakaua negotiated a more limited Reciprocity Treaty under which only Ford Island (moku'ume'ume) in the middle of the river would be leased to the US for 'a coaling and repair station for the use of vessels of the United States, and to that end the United States may improve the entrance to said harbor and do all other things needful to the purpose aforesaid.' - ratified in 1884.  Read more...

This together with his taste for power and a plan to create a Federation of Polynesia so alarmed the Missionary Party that they forced the 'Bayonet Constitution' of 1887 on him by threatening him with the militia, now commanded by their supporters.  This robbed Kalakaua of most of his powers. For good measure the new constitution abolished the democratically elected House of Representatives and restructured the House of Nobles so that only wealthy land owners and US citizens, now made honorary Hawaiians, could stand as members.  Once in effective control of the government they worked to replace Kalakaua with his sister, princess Lili'uokalani, as Regent.

 

 


Dredging at Pearl Harbour after 1884 - resulting from the Reciprocity Treaty of 1875
Note that the attached commentary at the US Army Museum is misleading as to dates and extent

 

 

Kalakaua died of a stroke in San Francisco in 1891 and Lili'uokalani returned from London, where she was attending Queen Victoria's Jubilee, to be crowned.  As Queen her first goal was to restore democracy but this was not to be tolerated by the white businessmen who had sized power and were now actively lobbying Washington for the annexation of Hawaii by the United States.  The Hawaiian public were close to rebellion so the white minority formed a 'Committee of Public Safety' and strengthened the militia to assure the 'safety' of families and property. 

 

 

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Travel

South Korea & China

March 2016

 

 

South Korea

 

 

I hadn't written up our trip to South Korea (in March 2016) but Google Pictures gratuitously put an album together from my Cloud library so I was motivated to add a few words and put it up on my Website.  Normally I would use selected images to illustrate observations about a place visited.  This is the other way about, with a lot of images that I may not have otherwise chosen.  It requires you to go to the link below if you want to see pictures. You may find some of the images interesting and want to by-pass others quickly. Your choice. In addition to the album, Google generated a short movie in an 8mm style - complete with dust flecks. You can see this by clicking the last frame, at the bottom of the album.

A few days in Seoul were followed by travels around the country, helpfully illustrated in the album by Google generated maps: a picture is worth a thousand words; ending back in Seoul before spending a few days in China on the way home to OZ. 

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Fiction, Recollections & News

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 Chapter 1 - The Party

 

 

 

This morning Miranda had an inspiration - real candles!  We'll have real candles - made from real beeswax and scented with real bergamot for my final party as a celebration of my life and my death. This brief candle indeed!

In other circumstances she would be turning 60 next birthday.  With her classic figure, clear skin and dark lustrous hair, by the standards of last century she looks half her age, barely thirty, the result of a good education; modern scientific and medical knowledge; a healthy diet and lifestyle and the elimination of inherited diseases before the ban on such medical interventions. 

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Opinions and Philosophy

A Dismal Science

 

 

Thomas Carlyle coined this epithet in 1839 while criticising  Malthus, who warned of what subsequently happened, exploding population.

According to Carlyle his economic theories: "are indeed sufficiently mournful. Dreary, stolid, dismal, without hope for this world or the next" and in 1894 he described economics as: 'quite abject and distressing... dismal science... led by the sacred cause of Black Emancipation.'  The label has stuck ever since.

This 'dismal' reputation has not been helped by repeated economic recessions and a Great Depression, together with continuously erroneous forecasts and contradictory solutions fuelled by opposing theories.  

This article reviews some of those competing paradigms and their effect on the economic progress of Australia.

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