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The Last State, Hawaii Essay

1253 words - 6 pages

Americans were not the first nation to discover the group of islands now called Hawaii. Seafaring Polynesians, people of Polynesia, landed in Hawaii. Some Polynesians sailed to New Zealand and some went as far as the well known island called Easter Island. However, the first American to set foot on Hawaii is Captain James Cook. He arrived in Hawaii on January 18, 1778. He brought many goods to trade with the Hawaiian people and the people treated him well. James named Hawaii “Sandwich Islands” in the name of Earl of Sandwich; who was the first lord of the British Admiralty. Hawaii is the only state in the United States of America that is not connected to any other American state. Hawaii is last state that joined the United States, making it the fiftieth state on Aug. 21, 1959. Hawaii consists of a chain of 132 islands, with the main islands being Hawaii (the Big Island), Maui, Oahu, Kauai, Molokai, Lanai, Nihau, and Kahoolawe. Hawaii’s population is over 1.392 million people. However, Hawaii’s economy and agriculture are very unique, thus making Hawaii a very diverse state.
Hawaii’s economy started with trade. The first European trading ships that stopped at Hawaii to trade was in 1786. They were believed to be bringing furs from Oregon to China. However, the economy could not flourish so well without the help of pineapples and sugarcane fields. When the number of sugarcane fields started to increase, many immigrants were attracted because of the high amount of labour required for growing sugarcane. Plantations hired large numbers of Chinese, Japanese, Filipinos, Koreans, and Portuguese. However, the immigrants demanded their own food to be grown as well. This allowed the Chinese to replace poi, a thick gray paste from pounding taro root, with rice. Additionally, the Japanese brought their own cuisine, which included their favourite vegetables, noodle soups, and cooking techniques such as stir-frying. They also brought soybeans and successfully made soy sauce. Bento boxes, or packed lunches were easy for the Japanese to carry to the fields. Also, the Portuguese brought their cuisine, with a huge highlight on pork, tomatoes, peppers, souring agents and spices, and sausages. They also introduced a forno oven, which was a traditional Portuguese beehive oven; used to make “poa doce” which translated to “sweet bread”. Furthermore, the pineapple industry started when James Dole planted his first pineapple trees on the island of Oahu in 1901. In 1920, James bought the island of Lanai for a main purpose of producing enough pineapples to sell around the world. In 1950, James had the largest pineapple company in the world. Therefore, trade is what started Hawaii’s economy through goods and produce such as sugarcane and pineapples which made Hawaii diverse and unique.
Likewise, during the late 1700’s, cattle was introduced to Hawaii. Captain George Vancouver gave a simple gift of a few cattle to Chief Kamehameha I in the year of 1794. He recommended...

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