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48 Hastings Const. L.Q. 319 (2020-2021)
American Imperialism in Hawai'i: How the United States Illegally Usurped a Sovereign Nation and Got Away with It

handle is hein.journals/hascq48 and id is 321 raw text is: American Imperialism in Hawai'i:
How the United States Illegally Usurped a
Sovereign Nation and Got Away With It
by Noelani Nasser*
In 1778, England's Captain Cook first landed on the Hawaiian Islands.
Since then, the Native Hawaiians have struggled to maintain their indigenous
identity as distinct from the outside world and indigenous to Hawai'i. In the
one thousand years preceding this early invasion, Native Hawaiians
established unique political structures and cultural identities that were not
present in England or the newly independent United States. Following the
United States' overthrow of the Hawaiian monarchy in 1893, the United
States quickly enacted legislation that severely impacted the Native
Hawaiians. This paper will discuss historical events in Hawai'i from 1778
to the twenty-first century that demonstrate the atrocities and injustices of
American imperialism that prevented the Native Hawaiians from profiting
from the islands' rich lands in a period of immense economic growth,
stemming largely from agricultural developments. As a result of Americans
seizing the Hawaiian lands for their own economic benefit and their
subsequent disregard for the plight of an entire indigenous culture and
people, Native Hawaiians are left by the wayside. American imperialism
systematically disregarded the value of this native group's culture and
history and now only calls for remembering Native Hawaiians when it serves
the interests of furthering their imperial agenda.
[T]he Hawaiian Islands . . . [make up a] nation state that is under a
strange form of occupation by the United States resulting from an illegal
military occupation and a fraudulent annexation.' This powerful and
* J.D. Candidate 2021, University of California, Hastings College of the Law; B.A. 2015,
University of California, Los Angeles. Special thanks to Professor Frank Wu, Mazin Nasser,
and Eli Love for their guidance, feedback, and support.


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