King David Kalakaua

(1836-1891)

WHO S/HE WAS:

King Kalakaua was the last reigning king of the Kingdom of Hawai’i. He served in office from February 12, 1874 until his death in San Francisco, California, on January 20, 1891.

WHAT S/HE SAID:

In 1899, in the wake of the Spanish-American War, Addams spoke-out against American imperialism:

Hula is the language of the heart, therefore the language of the Hawai'ian people.

WHY S/HE MATTERED:

Around 1887, Kalakaua came into conflict with a group of planters and prominent Hawaiians—the Hawaiian League—who wished to annex Hawaii to the United States. That same year, members of the league, armed with guns, assembled together and forced Kalakaua at gunpoint to sign the new constitution. This new constitution, nicknamed the Bayonet Constitution of 1887, removed much of the king's executive power and deprived most native Hawaiians of their voting rights.

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