The Hawaiian Constitution of 1840: Acquiescence to or Defiance of Euro-American Pacific Colonialism?
MetadataShow full item record
PublisherThe University of Arizona.
RightsCopyright © is held by the author. Digital access to this material is made possible by the University Libraries, University of Arizona. Further transmission, reproduction or presentation (such as public display or performance) of protected items is prohibited except with permission of the author.
AbstractThe Hawaiian Constitution of 1840 has often been portrayed as the inescapable end-result of missionary led efforts to overthrow traditional Hawaiian ways of life. This thesis argues that the Constitution was in fact the result of deliberate steps taken by the Hawaiian leadership to defend against growing European and American colonialism in the Pacific. Further, this work will demonstrate that while the Hawaiians adopted the trappings of Euro-American government, the institutions they used to govern themselves remained primarily Hawaiian. Primary source material will be used to detail the process by which the Constitution was written and conduct an in-depth analysis of many of the structures embodied in the Constitution. Contemporary Hawaiian diplomatic efforts will also be discussed as a way of contextualizing the Constitution's place in the midst of colonial ventures and as proof that the Hawaiians were engaged in several efforts to protect their sovereignty.
Degree ProgramGraduate College
American Indian Studies