Select Statutes and Other Documents: Illustrative of the History of the United States, 1861-1898

By William MacDonald | Go to book overview

No. 130. Annexation of the Hawaiian Islands
July 7, 1898

IN January, 1893, Queen Liliuokalani of the Hawaiian Islands was forced to abdicate, and a provisional government was proclaimed, followed in July, 1894, by the establishment of a republic. The constitution of the republic expressly authorized a treaty of "political or commercial union" with the United States. A treaty of annexation, concluded in 1893, was withdrawn by President Cleveland. A second treaty was signed June 16, 1897, and ratified by the Senate of Hawaii. On the outbreak of the war with Spain the United States assumed to use the islands as a naval base. May 4, 1898, while the treaty of annexation was pending, Francis G. Newlands of Nevada introduced a joint resolution for annexation, the resolution being one of several similar propositions which had been submitted to Congress. The terms proposed by the resolution were substantially the same as those embodied in the pending treaty. The resolution was reported without amendment May 17, but was not taken up until June 11. On the 15th a substitute declaring against the acquisition of the islands by any foreign power, and guaranteeing their independence, was rejected by a vote of 96 to 204, and the resolution passed, the final vote being 209 to 91. The resolution was reported in the Senate June 17 without amendment, taken up on the 20th, and debated until July 6, when, by a vote of 42 to 21, it was agreed to. The formal transfer of the islands took place August 12. An act of April 30, 1900, provided a territorial form of government.

REFERENCES . -- Text in U.S. Statutes at Large, XXX, 750, 751. For the proceedings see the House and Senate Journals, 55th Cong., 2d Sess., and the Cong. Record. See also Senate Report 681 and House Report 1355. The report of the Hawaiian commission is Senate Doc. 16, 55th Cong., 3d Sess. On the earlier relations with Hawaii see Senate Report 227 and House Exec. Doc. 47, 53d Cong., 2d Sess.

Joint Resolution To provide for annexing the Hawaiian Islands to the United States.

WHEREAS the Government of the Republic of Hawaii having, in due form, signified its consent, in the manner provided by its constitution, to cede absolutely and without reserve to the United States of America all rights of sovereignty of whatsoever kind in and over the Hawaiian Islands and their dependencies, and also

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