Hawaiian Kingdom v.2; 1854-74;Twenty Critical Years

by Ralph S. Kuykendall

Hawaiian Kingdom v.2; 1854-74;Twenty Critical Years Synopsis

The colorful history of the Hawaiian Islands, since their discovery in 1778 by the great British navigator Captain James Cook, falls naturally into three periods. During the first, Hawaii was a monarchy ruled by native kings and queens. Then came the perilous transition period when new leaders, after failing to secure annexation to the United States, set up a miniature republic. The third period began in 1898 when Hawaii by annexation became American territory. The Hawaiian Kingdom, by Ralph S. Kuykendall, is the detailed story of the island monarchy. In the first volume, Foundation and Transformation, the author gives a brief sketch of old Hawaii before the coming of the Europeans, based on the known and accepted accounts of this early period. He then shows how the arrival of sea rovers, traders, soldiers of forture, whalers, scoundrels, missionaries, and statesmen transformed the native kingdom, and how the foundations of modern Hawaii were laid. In the second volume, Twenty Critical Years, the author deals with the middle period of the kingdom's history, when Hawaii was trying to insure her independence while world powers maneuvered for dominance in the Pacific. It was an important period with distinct and well-marked characteristics, but the noteworthy changes and advances which occurred have received less attention from students of history than they deserve. Much of the material is taken from manuscript sources and appears in print for the first time in the second volume. The third and final volume of this distinguished trilogy, The Kalakaua Dynasty, covers the colorful reign of King Kalakaua, the Merry Monarch, and the brief and tragic rule of his successor, Queen Liliuokalani. This volume is enlivened by such controversial personages as Claus Spreckels, Walter Murray Gibson, and Celso Caesar Moreno. Through it runs the thread of the reciprocity treaty with the United States, its stimulating effect upon the island economy, and the far-reaching consequences of immigration from the Orient to supply plantation labor. The trilogy closes with the events leading to the downfall of the Hawaiian monarchy and the establishment of the Provisional Government in 1893.

Hawaiian Kingdom v.2; 1854-74;Twenty Critical Years Press Reviews

[Kuykendall's three volumes are] classics of Pacific history.-- Journal of Pacific History A trilogy of magnificent conception.-- Library Journal The indispensable work of traditional Hawaiian historiography.-- The Nation

Book Information

ISBN: 9780870224324
Publication date: 1st January 1953
Author: Ralph S. Kuykendall
Publisher: University of Hawai'i Press
Format: Hardback
Pagination: 320 pages
Categories: History of the Americas, Local history,

About Ralph S. Kuykendall

Ralph S. Kuykendall was professor emeritus of history and Honorary Doctor of Humane Letters at the University of Hawaii when he died in 1963, at age 78. He came to the Islands in 1922 at the invitation of the Historical Commission of the Territory of Hawaii, bringing with him an extensive background of historical experience and training on the mainland. After serving as executive secretary of the Historical Commission until 1932, he joined the department of history at the University of Hawaii. Other published works by Kuykendall include A History of Hawaii; Hawaiian Diplomatic Correspondence in the Archives of the Department of State, Washington, ...

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