White Enough to Be American? Race Mixing, Indigenous People, and the Boundaries of State and Nation

By Lauren L. Basson | Go to book overview

3 Annexed
Americans

Robert Wilcox,
Home Rule, and
Self-Government
in Hawaii

In 1898, the United States annexed its first overseas territory. Hawaii, located far across the ocean from the North American continent, became an official part of the United States of America. Why did the United States annex Hawaii? What implications did this decision have for the changing boundaries of the nation and state?

The previous chapter discussed a case in which policymakers chose not to annex a contiguous, continental territory. They resisted recognizing or treating the Northwest Territories’ mixed-race leader, Louis Riel, as a U.S. citizen despite his legal status as such. The concerns of U.S. authorities with protecting white dominance by maintaining positive relations with other white-dominated states; restricting national membership and, to the extent possible, state citizenship to whites; and limiting the boundaries of the state to include only white-dominated territories outweighed their desire to annex additional lands.

This chapter examines a case in which the opposite conditions applied. Hawaiian annexation was an extremely controversial issue among U.S. policymakers. After several failed efforts, however, members of the U.S. Congress finally annexed Hawaii via a joint resolution. Two important factors contributed to this outcome. First, proponents of Hawaiian annexation convinced members of Congress that Hawaii was in danger of domination by Japan. While Japanese domination was, in fact, highly unlikely, U.S. congressmen responded strongly to the perceived threat of a non-European, nonwhite power taking control of Hawaii. Second, although white men of U.S. ancestry constituted a tiny minority of the population in Hawaii, they possessed most of its land and wealth, controlled its government, and developed political and economic institutions that shared many similarities with those in the United States. This political and economic domination by a white elite of U.S. descent persuaded some congressmen that Hawaii would be relatively easy to assimilate into the United States.

The expansion of U.S. national and state boundaries that occurred as a result of Hawaiian annexation contributed to changes in how Americans viewed themselves and their state. The annexation of Hawaii promoted an increasingly abstract definition of what it meant to be American. Americanism itself became a form of intangible property as the material connections that tied the definition of American to the North American continent

-95-

Notes for this page

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items
Notes
Cite this page

Cited page

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA 8, MLA 7, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Note: primary sources have slightly different requirements for citation. Please see these guidelines for more information.

Cited page

Bookmark this page
White Enough to Be American? Race Mixing, Indigenous People, and the Boundaries of State and Nation
Table of contents

Table of contents

Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this book

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Help
Full screen
Items saved from this book
  • Bookmarks
  • Highlights & Notes
  • Citations
/ 238

matching results for page

    Questia reader help

    How to highlight and cite specific passages

    1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
    2. Click or tap the last word you want to select, and you’ll see everything in between get selected.
    3. You’ll then get a menu of options like creating a highlight or a citation from that passage of text.

    OK, got it!

    Cited passage

    Style
    Citations are available only to our active members.
    Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA 8, MLA 7, APA and Chicago citation styles.

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

    1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

    Cited passage

    Thanks for trying Questia!

    Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

    Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

    Buy instant access to save your work.

    Already a member? Log in now.

    Search by... Author
    Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

    Oops!

    An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.