Millennial History

By Steve Jackson

The Pineapple State

On January 17, 1893, a group of American sugar planters led by Sanford Ballard Dole, the founder of the Dole Pineapple Corporation, overthrew the Hawaiian monarch Queen Liliuokalani and established a new provincial government in Hawaii. The coup was supported by John L. Stevens, the U.S. minister to Hawaii, and the U.S. Marines from the warship USS Boston. Stevens recognized the new government and proclaimed Hawaii a U.S. protectorate without permission from the U.S. government. President Grover Cleveland demanded restoration of Queen Liliuokalani to the throne, but Dole refused to step aside and instead proclaimed himself president of the independent Republic of Hawaii (interesting choice of words).  

   In 1897, President William Mc Kinley negotiated a treaty of annexation with the so-called Republic of Hawaii. in 1898, the Spanish-American War broke out, and the strategic use of the naval base convinced Congress to approve formal annexation (The larger event of a major war also quieted the storm of national protest over the forced annexation and the ousting of the queen of a heretofore independent region)   

    Two years later, Hawaii was organized into a formal U.S. territory and, in 1959, entered the United States as the fiftieth state. However there is still residual resentment against the mainland U.S. for the hijacking of Hawaii. Some Hawaiians refer to Americans and American tourists as haoles, a term of disrespect and degradation.This also raises a larger question: Who runs the US? The government or the corporations?. It seems that-both then and today-the corporate state calls the shots when it gets down to the nitty-gritty.  



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