@Regrann from @billyragingwolf - In order to understand Queen Liliuokalani's reign, we should first get an understanding of what Hawaii was like at the time. Hawaiian King Kamehameha conquered and united the Hawaiian Islands in 1810, establishing the Kingdom of Hawaii. By this time, many white missionaries and settlers from America were already flocking to Hawaii. American missionaries attempted to Westernize the islands, while other settlers commercialized the islands by getting involved in business and the profitable sugar trade.
In 1875, Hawaii and the U.S. signed a Reciprocity Treaty that allowed free trade of Hawaiian sugar to the U.S. The Hawaiian sugar merchants became wealthier and more powerful and began asserting themselves in Hawaiian politics. Also during this time, Hawaii's rulers, including Liliu's brother, King Kalakaua, became embroiled in corruption. The non-native minority was tired of listening to a king. A white militia group called the Honolulu Rifles forced King Kalakaua to sign the Bayonet ConPaion. This stripped away many of the King's powers, forced white businessmen into the royal cabinet, and limited native voting rights. After this, only literate rich men could vote, which disenfranchised most of Hawaii's native population. This was the state of Hawaii when Liliuokalani took the throne in 1891.
Queen Liliuokalani immediately sought ways to undo the Bayonet Constitution. Unsurprisingly, this angered the wealthy white faction, who did not want the monarch to regain any powers. To make matters worse, just before she took the throne, the U.S. passed the McKinley Tariff, which ended free trade for the sugar merchants. The loss of sugar profits sent the islands into a recession. Powerful businessmen realized the best way to get another preferential trade agreement was for Hawaii to become part of the U.S. Plus, they could get rid of the monarchy they detested.
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