My Hawaiin Side Essay, Research Paper
I?ve been many places in my life of 18 years. I?ve done many things, seen many people. I participate in family functions, am involved with the State Tribes Tournament team (http://www.gamebb.com/stt/), and have been involved with numerous other clubs and teams. Basketball, soccer, chess, tennis; you name it, I?ve probably done it. I traveled frequently with my parents until age 12, when I was old enough to say I was tired of it. There was one place I hadn?t been, however, one place I wanted to go to. It was Hawaii.
Ever since I was little, I always turned my parents down when they gave me the opportunity to go to Hawaii. I made up some stupid excuse, none of which I can remember. I don?t know why I did it, either. My father?s side of the family has all lived there at one time or another, and not seeing what could have shaped my current family in my current opinion was asinine on my part. Why didn?t I go to find this? That all changed, however, in the summer of 1999, when I visited Hawaii for the first time. One thing interested me very much, and I have chosen to write this paper after it. It is the Hawaiian monarchy.
I didn?t know it until my later years, but my aunt was a caretaker at Queen Emma?s Palace on Oahu. Many people are interested in this, a group in fact, and I am one of them. No, I don?t belong to any formal membership-type groups about this subject, but rather like to learn about it on my own. Being an introvert by nature, I appreciate this.
I remember visiting Queen Emma?s palace on Oahu with my parents. We drove up in our rental car, a Ford Taurus I believe, and I was amazed to see how small the palace was. It was no bigger than two classrooms, with a new gift shop added to the side. We entered the palace, and were stunned to find not Hawaiian-style furnishings, but rather traditional Victorian d?cor. I was captivated. I had no clue that the royal family of Hawaii would live in such small housing. I had many questions for the guide, most of which I can?t remember. The one thing I do remember, however, was the story about Queen Emma?s son and the extravagant toys he had from Europe (mechanical toys, like hand-made stereoscopes, etc.), even though he only lived four years. It reminded me of myself, when my mother would go away for business and bring back souvenirs of the place. This is another item that interested me on this topic.
Few people even know that there was a monarchy in Hawaii. They think, ?Oh, it?s just a state.? The truth to that is much greater, however. The general public doesn?t realize that before Hawaii became a state in 1959 the little chain of islands in the Pacific was really a commonplace of trade, wealth, and all the happenings that come with a royal family. Hawaii?s first king was Kamehameha I, who lived from 1758* to May 8, 1819. Although not born a king, Kamehameha, a ruthless fighter, and his cousin were appointed co-rulers of the island of Hawaii. After war, Kamehameha became the soul ruler in 1792 and went on to unite Lanai, Molokai and Maui. In 1810 he incorporated Kauai and Niihau. He died in Kailua on May 8, 1819 as ruler of the Hawaiian Islands.
A second interesting fact about the family would be their acquisition of arms for their wars. To gain control of Maui and Oahu, Kamehameha needed a superior force to overtake the other chiefs? forces. The King received arms from Captain Vancouver of England, who was in search of a stable partner in trade. With these arms, Kamehameha was able to overthrow the control of the other islands and control them. Now, it may be obvious that he?d get his arms from Britain, but I find it interesting. This is probably because Kamehameha didn?t actually bring the British into the war, but used their weapons, a sign of independence. This independence was lost after the monarchy ceased to exist, however.
The third thing I learned in my research and will point out is that of Queen Emma. Born January 2, 1836, she was one of the brightest monarchs in the history of the Hawaiian royal family. She married the next King, Kamehameha IV, which was questioned because she was partly of Caucasian descent. She avidly raised money to support a bankrupt Hawaii, and succeeded by making friends in Europe. Within a month, she raised $13,000 for a new hospital! I myself am not charitable by nature, but this one feat does amaze me. With inflation and all, this is many millions of dollars, all from a foreign group of supporters whom have never met this person before. This is in my opinion a large feat, one only that could be derived from such a great queen.
The Hawaiian culture hasn?t shaped my life too greatly, although in some ways it has. It could be one of the reasons I don?t go at a fast pace, but rather a slow and relaxed one. I try not to take life seriously, but more in a fun manner. This is the Hawaiian culture, mind you, and not the culture of the interest in the Hawaiian monarchy. It?s hard to admire a group of people that you don?t know and have only read about. I will say this, however: The Hawaiian monarchy is certainly the most fascinating of all I?ve read about. They are traditional, but very original.
?Hawaii.? Encarta. 1999 ed.
Hawaiian Monarchy (Online) http://www.hawaiibusiness.com/hrl/monarchy.html, April 19
Kamehameha?s Birth. (Online) http://www.ksbe.edu/history/kk1birth.html , April 17
Kamehameha, Kings of Hawaii. (Online) http://www.optonline.com/comptons/ceo/02547_A.html, April 19
Moriarty, Michael. The Birth Place of Kamehameha I. (Online) http://www.kohala.net/historic/kbirthplace/, April 19
Queen Emma Biography (Online) http://gecko.queens.org/qmc/about/history/emmabio.html, April 19
The Royal Family of Hawaii (Online) http://www.geocities.com/Athens/Aegean/7545/Hawaii.html, April 3
Wisniewski, Richard. The Rise and Fall of the Hawaiian Kingdom. Honolulu: Pacific Basin, 1979.