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The Life and Times of Queen Lydia Liliuokalani

1. Queen Lydia Liliuokalani’s early life and education

Queen Lydia Liliuokalani was born in 1838 on the island of Oahu in the Kingdom of Hawaii. She was the daughter of high-ranking Hawaiian chiefess Analea Keohokalole and governor John Young. Liliuokalani was given the traditional Hawaiian name of Lili’uokalani which means “royal child” or “beloved child”. She was educated at the Royal School (now known as Lahainaluna School) which was established by King Kamehameha III for the children of Hawaiian nobility. Liliuokalani was a gifted musician and composer and wrote many popular Hawaiian songs, including “Aloha Oe” which is still sung today.

2. The Hawaiian monarchy and social hierarchy

The Hawaiian monarchy was a constitutional monarchy with a complex social hierarchy. The king or queen was the head of state and was assisted by a cabinet of ministers. The royal family lived in luxury and had many privileges, but they were also expected to uphold the strict kapu (laws) that governed Hawaiian society. Below the royal family were the chiefs, who governed their own districts, and below them were the commoners. Commoners were divided into three classes: kaukauali’i (landowners), maka’ainana (tenants), and ‘ohana (servants). Women had a lower status than men and children were not considered fully human until they reached the age of puberty.

3. The American Congregational Missionaries in Hawaii

The American Congregational Missionaries arrived in Hawaii in 1820 with the goal of converting the Hawaiian people to Christianity. They were successful in converting many Hawaiians, including King Kamehameha IV, who declared himself a Christian in 1825. The missionaries also introduced Western ideas about education, democracy, and civil rights to Hawaii. Many Hawaiians welcomed these changes, but some resisted them. Queen Emma, for example, preferred traditional Hawaiian values and refused to send her son Prince Albert to a missionary school.

4. King Kamehameha IV and Queen Emma

King Kamehameha IV ascended to the throne in 1855 after his brother King Kamehameha III died without an heir. Kamehameha IV married Queen Emma, a descendant of English royalty, in 1856. Together they had one son, Prince Albert Edward Kauikeaouli Leiopapa a Kamehameha, who was born in 1858.Sadly, Prince Albert died at just four years old from measles.Queen Emma later remarried John Owen Dominis, an American sailor whom she had met while he was shipwrecked on the Hawaiian island of Maui. Dominis became Governor of Oahu and also held several other important positions in the Hawaiian government.

5. John Owen Dominis and Albert Willis

In 1862, John Owen Dominis brought his stepson Prince Albert to live with him in Honolulu. Dominis enrolled Albert in the newly established Chiefs’ Children’s School which was open only to children of high-ranking Hawaiian chiefs (including Liliuokalani). Albert quickly became friends with Liliuokalani and they often played together at his home, which was adjacent to the school. The two also attended church together and Dominis often took them on outings around the island. It is believed that Dominis introduced Liliuokalani to Western ideas of democracy and civil rights, which would later influence her decision to overthrow the Hawaiian monarchy.

6. Liliuokalani as queen

Liliuokalani became queen in 1891 after her brother King Kalakaua died without an heir. As queen, she attempted to introduce a new constitution that would have increased the power of the Hawaiian monarchy and restored traditional Hawaiian values. However, this constitution was opposed by many Hawaiians, including the American Congregational Missionaries, who feared that it would strip away their civil rights. In 1893, a group of American businessmen overthrew Queen Liliuokalani in a bloodless coup d’etat and proclaimed Hawaii to be a republic. Liliuokalani was arrested and imprisoned in ‘Iolani Palace for eight months before she was released on bail.

7. The Annexation of Hawaii

In 1898, the United States annexed Hawaii after Congress passed a joint resolution authorizing the annexation. This resolution was largely motivated by the desire to acquire Hawaii’s strategic location in the Pacific Ocean as a base for the American military. Queen Liliuokalani opposed the annexation and lobbied against it both in Hawaii and in Washington, D.C., but she was ultimately unsuccessful. The Annexation of Hawaii marked the end of the Hawaiian monarchy and the beginning of American rule in Hawaii.
Queen Lydia Liliuokalani was the last monarch to rule the Kingdom of Hawaii before it was annexed to the United States of America. Liliuokalani was a gifted musician and composer, and wrote many popular Hawaiian songs, including “Aloha Oe” which is still sung today. The Hawaiian monarchy was a constitutional monarchy with a complex social hierarchy. The king or queen was the head of state and was assisted by a cabinet of ministers. The royal family lived in luxury and had many privileges, but they were also expected to uphold the strict kapu (laws) that governed Hawaiian society. The American Congregational Missionaries arrived in Hawaii in 1820 with the goal of converting the Hawaiian people to Christianity. King Kamehameha IV ascended to the throne in 1855 and married Queen Emma, a descendant of English royalty. In 1862, John Owen Dominis brought his stepson Prince Albert to live with him in Honolulu. Albert quickly became friends with Liliuokalani and they often played together at his home, which was adjacent to the school. Liliuokalani became queen in 1891 after her brother King Kalakaua died without an heir. As queen, she attempted to introduce a new constitution that would have increased the power of the Hawaiian monarchy and restored traditional Hawaiian values. In 1893, a group of American businessmen overthrew Queen Liliuokalani in a bloodless coup d’etat and proclaimed Hawaii to be a republic. Liliuokalani opposed the annexation of Hawaii by the United States, but she was ultimately unsuccessful. The Annexation of Hawaii marked the end of the Hawaiian monarchy and the beginning of American rule in Hawaii.

FAQ

Queen Lydia Liliuokalani's early years were spent primarily in Hawaii, where she was born and raised. She came from a noble Hawaiian family and had a privileged upbringing.

Queen Lydia Liliuokalani became queen of Hawaii after her brother, King Kalakaua, died in 1891. She was the last monarch of Hawaii before it was annexed by the United States in 1898.

Queen Lydia Liliuokalani's reign as queen was marked by many challenges, both internal and external. She faced opposition from within her own government as well as from the growing American presence in Hawaii. Ultimately, she was unable to prevent Hawaii's annexation by the United States.

Queen Lydia Liliuokalani lost her throne when she was overthrown in a coup d'état led by American businessmen in 1893. The new government established the Republic of Hawaii, which lasted until 1898 when Hawaii was annexed by the United States.

After being deposed as queen, Queen Lydia Liliuokalani lived a relatively quiet life in Honolulu. She wrote her memoirs and advocated for Hawaiian sovereignty until her death in 1917.

In her later years, Queen Lydia Liliuokalani continued to advocate for Hawaiian sovereignty and worked to preserve Hawaiian culture and traditions through her writing and activism.

Queen Lydia Liliuokalani is remembered today as a courageous leader who fought for Hawaiian independence until the end of her life

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