Aloha Oè Lili'uokalani- Legacy of Hawaii's Last Queen

Essay by manderz542High School, 10th grade February 2004

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Queen Lili'uokalani was Hawaii's last monarchial figure in power. She worked hard to preserve the customs and well-being of her people, being one of her first priorities, during her reign. Being a descendant of chiefs that were treated like gods, she lived up to her heritage by serving as a figure of strength and honor.

Born in 1838, Lili'uokalini was sent to a school with 'Hawaii's elite children' to be educated by the American missionaries. She learned to adapt polite American customs, and was therefore knowledgeable in both Hawaiian and Western cultures. Being very accomplished as a child, she had a great love of music that led to her composition of over 160 songs later in her life, including the most famous, "Aloha Oè". At the age of 24 she married a man from a prominent family in Boston and moved into his plantation style house, Washington Place. She looked to composing as a refuge while her husband was out for long hours socializing.

When Lydia was 38, her brother, Kalakaua, became king and named her his successor. During his rule he tried to maintain true to Hawaiian customs while Honolulu was rapidly populating with whites, most of which involved in the sugar trade. In 1887, he was forced to sign a constitution by the missionary boys, progeny of the first American missionaries on the islands, that gave him virtually no power. The stress of this situation led to his death on January 1891, when Lili'uokalani became queen.

When 'in power', Lili'uokalani desperately wanted to implement a new constitution that restored the rights of a monarch and the rights of the Hawaiians. She tried hard, but her cabinet was against it. The media called the queen a revolutionary. The Committee of Safety was then formed by a group of...