The Unique Path to Statehood for Hawaii

TLDR Hawaii's journey to statehood was shaped by its unique history and geography, including the arrival of Captain James Cook, the unification of the Hawaiian Islands, the influence of westerners, the annexation as a U.S. territory, and the eventual achievement of statehood in 1959.

Timestamped Summary

00:00 Hawaii became a state in a unique and controversial way, unlike any other state in the Union.
02:15 Hawaii's unique history and geography, as the most remote archipelago in the world, played a significant role in its path to statehood.
04:13 The story of modern Hawaii begins in the 18th century with the arrival of Captain James Cook and the unification of the Hawaiian Islands by King Kamehameha I, who used European weapons to consolidate his kingdom but also brought diseases that decimated the native population.
06:17 In the 19th century, westerners, particularly Americans, exerted more influence in Hawaii through the arrival of missionaries, businessmen, and the purchase of Hawaiian land, leading to the shrinking population of native Hawaiians and a period of instability marked by rebellions and the stripping of voting rights from non-native Hawaiians.
08:17 In 1898, Hawaii was formally annexed as a U.S. territory, despite the illegal and violent overthrow of the Hawaiian monarchy, and its importance grew during World War II after the attack on Pearl Harbor.
10:13 After World War II, there was a movement for Hawaii to achieve full statehood, but resistance in Congress, particularly from southern Dixie Crats, delayed the process; however, Hawaii's bid for statehood was unique because it had a larger population and economy than several existing states.
12:11 Hawaii officially became a state on August 21, 1959, after a referendum in which 93% of the electorate voted in favor of statehood.
Categories: History Education

Browse more History