*take nothing for granted!
Unless otherwise indicated all photos © Richard McKie 2005 - 2015

Who is Online

We have 178 guests and no members online

Translate to another language

Coup and Annexation

 

 

In January 1893 the Cruiser USS Boston was in Honolulu Harbor and her captain was being entertained by the US Government Minister (and Envoy Extraordinary) to the Kingdom, John Leavitt Stevens and local businessmen from the Committee of Safety.

Stevens had been a journalist and was an advocate of the doctrine of 'Manifest Destiny' that had been used to justify the seizing of Indian territory and the westward flow of settlers in the US.  Later it would justify the extension of American power across the Pacific to Japan (Read More...) and the Philippines. 

Advocates believed that Divine Providence had set America the task of spreading their founding beliefs, democratic institutions and technologies across the continent and then outwards to the world.  Like The Blues Brothers, they were on a mission from God.  Similar 'manifest destinies' would later be claimed by International Communism and by the Nazis under the doctrine of Lebensraum.

So in that American 'can do ' spirit and after a couple of drinks, on the afternoon of January 16 Stevens directed the captain of the Boston to provide 162 armed sailors and Marines to come ashore and support the local militia of the Committee of Safety as they deposed the Queen, raised the US flag and declared the Republic of Hawaii.

When news of the coup reached President Cleveland's administration in Washington an enquiry was initiated. It concluded that the monarchy had been illegally overthrown by force with the complicity of a United States Minister.  Cleveland's State of the Union address included the statement: "Upon the facts developed it seemed to me the only honorable course for our Government to pursue was to undo the wrong that had been done by those representing us and to restore as far as practicable the status existing at the time of our forcible intervention."  Thus the US would emulate the British restoration of 1843.

Yet the provisional government refused to step down.  Instead they formally established the 'Republic of Hawai'i ' on US Independence Day, July 4, 1894, with Sanford Dole, a missionary descendent, as President.  They then sat back to await forcible intervention by the United States to restore the Monarchy.

The following year an attempt was made by Hawaiian  monarchists to restore the Queen but it was put down with extreme prejudice and she was put under house arrest. To get an amnesty for arrested loyalists she relinquished her claim to the throne. Japan protested both the overthrow and the brutality with which the counter revolution was put down. The Monarchy had the support of the most Japanese Hawaiians who were among those opposing increasing US influence.  Might Japan attempt to invade?  Might that, possibly invented threat, force the US to support the rogue Republic?

Meanwhile sugar prices had collapsed when the US opened its markets to other producers - making the reciprocity agreement worthless.  The economy was in ruins.

The golden days of sugar were gone but soon other crops like macadamias from Australia and pineapples from South America would take its place. The Dole name, after cousins of Stanford, would become famous for fruit worldwide.

Three years after President Cleveland had threatened to restore the Monarchy the illegal Republic's luck changed for the better.

In 1898 the sinking of the Maine in Havana triggered the Spanish-American War and high on the new President McKinley's list of Spanish assets to seize, supposedly in reprisal for one ship, was the entire country of the Philippines.  Now the United States would need a naval base from which to extend US naval power across the Pacific.

The long sought Annexation was promptly put into effect and to hell with lingering doubts over legality.  Just days after Annexation the first US troops arrived.  Hawaii became a territory of the US and the miscreant Sanford Dole its first Governor.

 


Camp McKinley August 16 1898 - 4 days after Annexation - US Army Museum

 

 

Add comment


Security code
Refresh


    Have you read this???     -  this content changes with each opening of a menu item


Travel

China

 

 

I first visited China in November 1986.  I was representing the New South Wales Government on a multinational mission to our Sister State Guangdong.  My photo taken for the trip is still in the State archive [click here].  The theme was regional and small business development.  The group heard presentations from Chinese bureaucrats and visited a number of factories in rural and industrial areas in Southern China.  It was clear then that China was developing at a very fast rate economically. 

Read more ...

Fiction, Recollections & News

Now I am seventy

 On the occasion of an afternoon tea to mark this significant milestone...

 

When I was one, I was just begun;
When I was two, I was nearly new;
When I was Three, I was hardly me;
*
*
*

But then I was sixty, and as clever as clever;
Wouldn't it be nice to stay sixty for ever and ever?

(With apologies to AA Milne)

 

Hang on!  Now I'm seventy?  How did that happen? 

Read more ...

Opinions and Philosophy

A Carbon Tax for Australia

 12 July 2011

 

 

It's finally announced, Australia will have a carbon tax of $23 per tonne of CO2 emitted.  This is said to be the highest such tax in the world but it will be limited to 'about 500' of the biggest emitters.  The Government says that it can't reveal which  these are to the public because commercial privacy laws prevent it from naming them. 

Some companies have already 'gone public' and it is clear that prominent among them are the major thermal power generators and perhaps airlines.  Some like BlueScope Steel (previously BHP Steel) will be granted a grace period before the tax comes into effect. In this case it is publicly announced that the company has been granted a two year grace period with possible extensions, limited to its core (iron and steelmaking) emissions.

Read more ...

Terms of Use                                           Copyright