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Old 08-15-2013, 03:49 PM
 
Location: Volcano
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This is a piece of Hawaiian history I don't know much about. I was surprised to learn that there was so much popular support for the Union cause. And the part the war played in ending the Pacific whaling trade and boosting Hawai'i's sugar economy have never been as clear to me. Interesting article.

Quote:
Almost 5,000 miles and half an ocean away from the killing fields of Gettysburg, Chickamauga, or Spotsylvania, Hawaii and Hawaiians might be assumed to have not played a role in the Civil War. Yet regardless of proud protestations of neutrality by the Hawaiian monarchy – the islands were not American territory at the time – many of the islands’ residents participated in the conflict, on both sides. And for good reason: though they lived on one of the most geographically isolated island chains in the world, Hawaiians kept abreast of international events, knowing that the outcome of the war could greatly affect Hawaii as well.

http://opinionator.blogs.nytimes.com...d-hawaii/?_r=0
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Old 08-15-2013, 04:27 PM
 
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Interesting! America tends to take what it wants, doesn't it?
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Old 08-16-2013, 06:46 PM
 
Location: Earth
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Very interesting. Thanks.
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Old 08-17-2013, 10:16 PM
 
Location: Middle of the valley
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I can either close this up or move it to Great Debates.
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Old 08-17-2013, 10:59 PM
 
Location: mainland but born oahu
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This is an example that we need to take a look at history and learn from it, instead of whistling in the dark hoping that if we ignore our ills then they will disappear. Fore if we don't look and change, we are doom to repeat history, like whats happening know. The solution isnt in our electted officials but each person and society. Great post. Sorry to hijack i feel its important to always offer a possible solution. Mahalo.
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Old 08-17-2013, 11:41 PM
 
Location: Volcano
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mikala43 View Post
I can either close this up or move it to Great Debates.
Please just delete the hijacks and let the thread resume where it went off course. It's a part of Hawaiian history that is not generally well known, which is why I posted it.

Part of what I found so interesting about this account is that it helps to explain the fairly fast conversion of Puna agriculture from coffee to sugar. I've always wondered why the coffee farms were ripped up and replaced with sugar cane, but the rich profits from supplying the Union with non-boycotted sugar obviously gave a huge boost to the Hawaiian industry.

I was also surprised by how significant this period was in ending the whaling trade, due to the attacks by the steamship Shenandoah.
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Old 08-18-2013, 01:04 AM
 
Location: Volcano
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Default The sandalwood trade and whaling

This is interesting... before the whaling industry was the sandalwood trade in the early 1800s. The Chinese paid handsomely for this fragrant wood, known to native Hawaiians as ‘iliahi, and Kamehameha received 25% of the proceeds. After his death the huge sums of money involved led to wholesale dissipation and corruption of the chiefs, which led to a real Hawaiian first in December, 1826... the imposition of the first general tax in the kingdom. And if you thought the IRS was tough on tax evaders, read what happened to Hawaiians who did not pay...

Hawaiian Time Machine: The Hawaiian Sandalwood Trade

But the sandlewood forests played out quickly in Hawai'i, and by 1830 the sandalwood market had collapsed in the face of cheaper and better competition from India.

Crossing this economic arc, the whaling industry was ramping up as sandlewood was going down, and it became a key industry in the islands from about 1820 to 1870. Starting with two ships stopping for provisions in 1819, traffic increased to sixty in 1822, and 596 in 1846. I never before heard of the connection between whaling and the cattle business on the Big Island:

Quote:
"By this time many foreigners had settled in the islands and gone into business. Blacksmiths and carpenters worked to repair ships. Businesses sprang up to provide entertainment for the hundreds of sailors who went ashore. People grew crops and sold fresh fruits and vegetables and firewood to the ships.

Salted meat was needed by the ships for long voyages because meat which has been salted lasts a long time without spoiling. Parker Ranch on the island of Hawaii was started in the 1830s to provide meat for the ships.

The Hawaiian government also made money from the whaling trade. Foreign ships had to pay for permission to dock in Hawaii. The trade goods these ships brought to Hawaii were taxed before they could be sold."

http://kaizenwong.angelfire.com/whaling_reading.pdf
And this piece tells more about how the whaling trade brought disease as well as business to Hawai'i.

Quote:
"Some of the most influential businesses in modern Hawaiian history got their start from the capitalist opportunities of this period. Hawai‘i also saw the loss of young Hawaiian men who traveled aboard these ships to the northwest coast of America and other destinations, never to return.

Prior to the arrival of whaling crews, Kānaka Maoli had a much different relationship to the whale. Whale ivory that washed ashore was considered sacred. One of the most powerful symbols of status was the whale tooth lei or lei niho palaoa. The beaches of Kualoa on O‘ahu were a major collection point for whale ivory and as such this ‘āina was considered the spot to control in order to possess all of O‘ahu."

+ Hawaii Alive | Topics: Early Hawaiian Society +
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Old 08-18-2013, 02:22 AM
 
Location: mainland but born oahu
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Great thread Open, Mahalo for the history, learned something new.
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Old 08-19-2013, 10:22 PM
 
Location: Ormond Beach, FL
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Gavan Daw's book Shoal of Time, is a good Hawaiian history book that covers from Capt Cook to statehood. It covers the economy and politics in the islands and the colorful characters that took part.
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Old 08-20-2013, 06:04 PM
 
Location: Volcano
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hawaiian by heart View Post
Great thread Open, Mahalo for the history, learned something new.
Thanks. I'm fascinated to find that such a distant war in another country, that Hawai'i was not involved in, played such a big role in the development of the kingdom, then the territory, and eventually the state we now know it to be.

Here's another interesting piece, hosted by the National Park Service:

Quote:
Thirty years before being overthrown in 1893, the island nation of Hawai’i was a tropical utopia which included scores of foreign-owned plantations harvesting sugar, rice, and even cotton in some regions.
The vast immigration of white settlers to the islands came at a price, however, in the form of newly introduced diseases to the citizenry. Throughout the 1840s and 1850s, illnesses such as smallpox and measles claimed up to twenty percent of the Hawaiian population.
-----
Sugar and other products once exported by the newly-formed Confederacy was confined thanks to the establishment of the Union naval blockade on southern ports.Hawaiian-grown sugar soon replaced much of this southern sugar through the duration of the conflict. By the end of the war, over thirty extremely prosperous plantations were in operation and expanded to new levels previously unheard of before the war’s commencement. A steep United States tariff on foreign imports did not prevent many Hawaiians from becoming incredibly wealthy during this period of increased trade.

NPS, The American Civil War, About the Civil War
And since Hawai'i was a foreign country, those tariffs applied to Hawaiian sugar. But considering the huge increase in the price of sugar occasioned by the increased demand, it was no wonder that other crops got ripped out and sugar cane planted in its place.

Sugar cane was one of the canoe plants, grown in Hawai'i since about 600 AD. It was already established when Captain Cook arrived, but not heavily grown. Large scale planting of sugar cane did not begin until the early 1800s.

Quote:
Industrial sugar production started slowly in Hawaii. The first sugar mill was created on the island of Lanaʻi in 1802 by an unidentified Chinese man who returned to China in 1803. The first sugar plantation, known as the Old Sugar Mill of Koloa, was established in 1835 by Ladd & Co. and in 1836 the first 8,000 pounds (3,600 kg) of sugar and molasses was shipped to the United States.

By the 1840s, sugar plantations gained a foothold in Hawaiian agriculture. Steamships provided rapid and reliable transportation to the islands, and demand increased during the California Gold Rush. The land division law of 1848 (known as The Great Mahele) displaced Hawaiian people from their land, forming the basis for the sugar plantation economy. In 1850, the law was amended to allow foreign residents to buy and lease land. Market demand increased even further during the onset of the American Civil War which prevented Southern sugar from being shipped northward. The price of sugar rose 525% from 4 cents per pound in 1861 to 25 cents in 1864.

Sugar plantations in Hawaii - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Wow, with that kind of crazy money floating around, it's no wonder that corruption set in, destabilizing the Hawaiian government, and setting the stage for the last chapters of the Hawaiian monarchy.
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