Captain James Cook came to the Hawaiian Islands in 1778.
The British explorer Captain James Cook first came to the Hawaiian Islands in 1778. He was an officer of the British Navy. His first two voyages to the South Pacific were several years and spanned a quarter of the globe. This brought the attention to the existence of Polynesia to the rest of the world. His third voyage was to take him to the Pacific north of the equator. This was to look for a Northwest Passage. Cook did not find this passage. Instead, on his way to the north, he found the Hawaiian archipelago. It was the last of his discoveries.
In January 1778, Cook first touched the Hawaiian Islands. This was at the island of Kauai and Niihau toward the western end of the chain. A year later, he went farther east to Kealakekua Bay on the Big Island of Hawaii. During both these times, the Hawaiians were celebrating the Makahiki festival. Cook's sails resembled the Hawaiian god, Lono, coming from the sea. For more than two weeks, Cook and his men were honored by the Hawaiians. Everywhere they went, crowds would follow them. The priests of Lono, honored him with the most sacred rituals.
Cook decided to leave Kealakekua Bay when the Makahiki was coming to an end. However, one of Cook's ships, the Resolution, had a damaged mast and needed to be repaired. Meanwhile, the Makahiki was over, it was now time to honor another god, Ku, the God of War. The Hawaiians knew the Lono would not come back twice. On February 13, 1779, the Hawaiians stole a cutter from the ship because they wanted the iron. Cook went ashore the next morning with a number of his men, to take the great Hawaiian chief captive. There was some opposition and a great struggle. Cook killed a man with his musket, and seconds later, he was stabbed to death near the water's edge.
Soon seafarers, traders and the first missionaries came to the Hawaiian Islands. The missionaries brought Christianity from its New England Congression. They were interested in educating the Hawaiian people. In 1820, a missionary group arrived on a ship named Thaddeus. They believed they had better knowledge and skills than the Hawaiian people. They established an organized Christian religion, schools, printing presses and books. Therefore, the Hawaiian language was almost eliminated at that time. The missionaries established Punahou School, a private institution for the children of the missionaries and Hawaiian nobility.
Missionaries came to Hawaii intending to teach the Hawaiian people.
Sugar cane was an important crop which Caucasians brought to Hawaii.
In the second part of the nineteenth century, businessmen, trading companies and the sugar plantation became a part of Hawaii's makeup. This economic domination also was accompanied by political control. The western system of government was introduced to the Hawaiian leadership. Caucasians were also brought to Hawaii to work on the sugar plantations. However, they insisted on special treatment and were far more expensive than their Asian counterparts.
In 1898, there was an organization to replace the Hawaiian monarchy. As Hawaii was annexed into the United States, the western influence became even more eventful. The population of Caucasians rose five percent at the time of annexation to twenty five percent in 1940. The most significant rise was between the 1920s and 1930s. This was when many Caucasians came with the United States Armed Forces, mainly from the Navy. Both the Army and the Air Force later established bases in the years before World War II.
The military was mostly made up of single Caucasian men who originally came from the farmer and working class American society. They wanted to see the world and to protect the democratic way of life. On weekdays, they were confined to their ships, and on weekends they were allowed to come into town with liberty or shore passes. The officers, on the other hand, were often men from prestigious families. Their families often accompanied them on their military assignments.
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