King Kamehameha V Essay

1237 words - 5 pages

"Onipaʻa!" meaning firm, steadfast, and determined is the motto in which King Kamehameha V, Lot Kapuaiwa, tried to live his life by and rule Hawaiʻi by. He started the beginning of change in Hawaii in 1863 when he became ruler. Kamehameha V's main contributions to the Hawaiian society during his reign was the new constitution of 1864, reviving Hawaiian traditions, and saving the health of the Hawaiian people.
Kamehameha V's real name is Lot Kapuāiwi Kalanimakua Aliʻiōlani Kalani Kapuapaikalaninui. He was born on December 11, 1830 in Honolulu, Oʻahu and lived until December 11, 1872. Lot ruled Hawaii from 1863-1872; but when Lot died, he didn’t have an heir to give his kingdom too. His mother is Elizabeth Kīnaʻu and his father is Mataio Kekūanāoʻa. He has three brothers, David Kamehameha, Moses Kekūāiwa, Alexander Liholiho and his sister Victoria Kamāmalu. Kamehameha V is trying to rule the Hawaiian Kingdom like his grandfather Kamehameha The Great. Growing up, Lot admired his grandfather Kamehameha I and always desired to rule as he did.
During Lot's childhood, Hawaii was going through a rough time politically. A lot of the political power was to the foreigners and how they wanted the kingdom to be run. That is why in 1864, he abolished the old Constitution of 1852 and wrote his own. But before he wrote his own constitution, he tried to make changes to the Constitution of 1852 but the delegates could not come to an agreement. First, he wanted 3 articles of the old constitution changed; the abolishment of the Office of Kuhina Nui, limit the power of the Privy Council, and that voters must be literate and own property. The delegates could not agree upon the last change about the voter qualifications. Therefore the king said, "In my estimation this article is the most crucial of them all. If it is not accepted, my government ceases to be a monarchy and instead becomes a republic. I, therefore, declare the Constitution of 1852 abrogated. I shall grant a new one to take its place." He then wiped out the power of the delegates and thus the start of writing his own constitution. The new constitution restored the power to the king and not the individuals and the government. He made sure that the constitution followed his rules and beliefs just like his grandfather did. The Constitution of 1864 was signed on August 20 and lasted for 23 years. After it was signed, 2 parties were made, one party favoring the new constitution and the other party favoring the old one. The party that favored the new constitution was mostly made up of Hawaiian people and the few foreigners who supported the king. The second party was made up of Americans who opposed the king and his cabinet. The two different parties caused a lot of tension between the US and Hawaii. All Lot wanted to do with the new constitution was to make sure that their small island kingdom stayed an independent nation and to prevent it from being annexed.
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