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Brief History of Hawaii
1. Captain Cook

An English captain, James Cook, docked briefly at one of the Hawaiian Islands by accident during a trade voyage on a late day in 1778. He didn’t stay in Hawaii at that time. However, the captain returned to the Pacific Island next year. He and his followers found a suitable anchorage this time, and stayed for a while. This coming of Western people and civilization changed the Hawaiian islands dramatically.

2. A Western invention: Guns

The prominent Western invention for Hawaii was guns. When Cook arrived in Hawaii, several chiefs of each island were fighting for their territory. Kamehameha, a chief of the Hawaii Island, used Western guns to intimidate the other chiefs and become the first ruler of a united island kingdom. The united islands commenced to function as one independent country.

3. New disease and people

The sailors brought new diseases to the islanders with no natural immunity against them. When Cook landed, the Hawaiian population was approximately 800,000. In the middle 1800s, only 70,000 remained. Measles, venereal, smallpox, and even leprosy had emerged (Linnea, 1999, p. 11). However, within 30 years, Honolulu became a major port. Western merchants, professional men, and diplomats soon arrived. Also, delegations of both Protestant and Catholic missionaries came to the kingdom. Eventually, the missionaries plotted a coup d’etat and carried it out.

Pictures of the people

  Captain James Cook, the first Westerner credited with discovering the islands (Linnea, 1999, p. 10).
  MMC 5015 Survey of Electronic Publishing, Prof. David E. Carlson
College of Journalism and Communications, University of Florida
2003 Spring Semester Project by Yucca Shimizu
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d. E-mail: yucca@ycbs.com