The Governance of Hawaii: A Study of Territorial Administration

By Robert M. C. Littler | Go to book overview

CHAPTER XI
PUBLIC LANDS AND PUBLIC WORKS

Public lands.--Up to the middle of the last century the system of land tenure in Hawaii was feudal in nature, quite similar, in its general plan, to that in continental Europe during the tenth century. The ultimate title to all the territory was in the king. Upon his accession he parceled out the lands among his principal retainers according to their rank and influence, and when Kamehameha brought the Islands under his control he emulated William the Conqueror in taking all the land for himself and then dividing it among the faithful. No transfer could take place without the consent of the king; there was no such thing as a fee simple title. In general the land was divided first into large units, called ahupuaas, which contained a sea fishery (kai), some upland (kula), and some mountain land (kuahiwi). These ahupuaas were subdivided by the chiefs among their retainers, who subdivided their areas among their retainers, until the final tenant often held his land at fourth or fifth hand. The tenant paravail, lowest in the series, held his land at will and was subject to ouster at a moment's notice.

With the coming of the white man, it became evident that this plan would not serve. So King Kamehameha III, to his everlasting glory, decided that all claimants to land, including himself, should resign their claims, and that titles should be made out anew. This was done in what is known as the Grand Mahele, or Great Division, of 1848, from which all land titles in Hawaii are dated. The entire terrain was divided into three classes of land: one went to the chiefs, one was set aside for the support

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The Governance of Hawaii: A Study of Territorial Administration
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Stanford Books in World Politics ii
  • Title Page iii
  • Preface vii
  • Table of Contents xv
  • 1- Chapter I the Islands of Hawaii 1
  • Bibliography 14
  • Chapter II- An Independent Nation 16
  • Bibliography 28
  • Chapter III- Hawaii and the Union 29
  • Bibliography 51
  • Chapter IV- The Plan of Government 53
  • Bibliography 63
  • Chapter V- Races and the Government 64
  • Bibliography 81
  • Chapter VI- Parties and Elections 82
  • Bibliography 94
  • Chapter VII- The Legislature 95
  • Bibliography 106
  • Chapter VIII- The Executive Branch 107
  • Bibliography 121
  • Chapter IX- Health and Welfare 122
  • Bibliography 131
  • Chapter X- Education 132
  • Bibliography 146
  • Chapter XI- Public Lands and Public Works 147
  • Bibliography 154
  • Chapter XII- Conservation, Agriculture, and Business 155
  • Bibliography 163
  • Chapter XIII- Finance 165
  • Bibliography 176
  • Chapter XIV- Law and Legal Administration 177
  • Bibliography 186
  • Chapter XV- Honolulu General Government 187
  • Bibliography 193
  • Bibliography 202
  • Chapter XVII- County Government 203
  • Bibliography 210
  • Chapter XVIII- Federal Government in Hawaii 211
  • Bibliography 217
  • Chapter XIX- An Appraisal 218
  • Bibliography 227
  • Appendix A- Hawaiian Pronunciation 229
  • Appendix B 231
  • Appendix C 232
  • Appendix D 235
  • Chapter Iii. the Executive 250
  • Index 273
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