I am listening to WPR hearing the story of HAWAII whose Queen stepped down instead of subjecting her people to the overwhelming force of a war she could not win. She wrote a letter to the US president, thinking he would immediately restored her but instead they put her in prison. Eventually her prison was one room of the palace where she used to reside. Her ladies demanded to be imprisoned with her and one of them was allowed to be with her. They spent their time quilting.
I am reading about this queen — I guess I could not call it a matriarchy but an egalitarian society –termed primitive by the white invaders.
The 1887 Constitution of the Kingdom of Hawaiʻi stripped the Hawaiian
monarchy of much of its authority, disenfranchising most of the native population and initiating a transfer of power to American, European and native Hawaiian elites. It became widely known as the Bayonet Constitution for the use of intimidation by the armed militia which forced King Kalākaua to sign it or be deposed. The document created a constitutional monarchy like that of the United Kingdom
, stripping the King of most of his personal authority, empowering the Legislature and establishing cabinet government.
Asians, including subjects who previously enjoyed the right to vote, were specifically denied suffrage simply on the basis of race. Only Hawaiian
, American, and European males in Hawaiʻi were granted full voting rights if they met the economic and literacy thresholds. At the time this constitution came into effect, native Hawaiians, both full and part, accounted for less than one-half of the total population, yet enjoyed significant electoral advantage because of the disenfranchisement of Asians.
SO WHEN DID WOMEN GAIN THE RIGHT TO VOTE? BEFORE OR AFTER THE BAYONET CONSTITUTION? CAN THERE BE VOTING AND A QUEEN WITH WOMEN DISENFRANCHISED?
"In 1890 the McKinley Tariff had been passed by the U.S., which severely restricted the primary market for Hawaiian-produced sugar, and the Ha'oles began machinations to have Hawaii annexed. Lili'uokalani was aware of this intention. Under all constitutions, including the Bayonet Constitution, the ruler of the Kingdom was empowered to create law by signing a Constitution and by edict. To regain autonomy in her Kingdom, Lili'uokalani herself wrote the a new constitution setting aside the provisions of the Bayonet Constitution and restoring authority and power to the reigning Hawaiian aristocracy and restoring the franchise of native Hawaiians in 1892.
A committee of "public safety" composed of newly disenfranchised Hawai'i-born citizens of American parents (Ha'oles), foreign nationals and the naturalized citizens forced Lili'uokalani to step down from the throne on January 17, 1893. .....
In 1985 a cache of weapons was "discovered" buried in the gardens of Lili'uokalani's Washington Place home. Upon discovery of the cache, Lili'uokalani was arrested. While under arrest she was forced to sign a document of absolute abdication, denying any claim to the throne for herself and any heirs or claimants for all time. In a humiliating military tribunal in her former throne room in Iolani Palace, she was convicted of her alleged knowledge of the attempted revolution, though she denied any knowledge of Hawaiian royalists to restore the monarchy. She was fined $5,000 dollars and sentenced to five years hard labor. The sentence to hard labor was commuted to confinement in one upstairs bedroom in Iolani Palace. Lili'uokalani was allowed one lady-in-waiting during the day, but no visitors.http://womenshistory.about.com/od/rulers19thcentury/a/liliuokalani_3.htm
Lili'uokalani remained at Washington Place until she died at age 79 in 1917 from complications of a stroke. In a Deed of Trust in 1909, which was later amended in 1911, Lili'uokalani entrusted her estate to provide for orphan and destitute children in the Hawaiian Islands, with preference for Hawaiian children. This led to the founding of the Queen Lili'uokalani Children's Center.
In 1993, 100 years after the overthrow, President Clinton signed a Congressional resolution (Public Law 103-150) in which the United States government formally apologized to the Native Hawaiian people.
During her imprisonment in Iolani Palace, Lili'oukalni translated the Kumulipo, the Creation Chant, which tells the beginning of all life for Hawaiians, during her imprisonment in the Iolani Palace, in 1895. Her motive for publishing the translation may have been a refutation of the argument put forward by the pro-annexation partisans who imprisoned her that Hawaiians were ignorant savages who had no culture prior to the arrival of Captain Cook.
The Kumulipo not only tells the story of creation and the genealogy of the royal Hawaiian line but also explains the relationship between Hawaiians and nature around them and why they must remain in harmony with creation in order to survive."