Hawaii is a state in the United States, located on an archipelago in the central Pacific Ocean southwest of the continental United States, southeast of Japan, and northeast of Australia. The state was admitted to the Union on August 21, 1959, making it the 50th state. Its capital is Honolulu on the island of Oahu.
A substantial native population existed before European contact in 1778. Contemporaneously, the native chiefs were unified under one monarch in 1810. Western influence expanded via Christian missionaries and settlers throughout the 19th century.
By the 1870s, the death of the reigning monarch allowed American and European business interests to force a new constituion on the monarchy. Subsequent attempts by Hawaiian monarchs to reassert their autonomy were thwarted in 1893 when a company of Marines landed in Hawaii. A short-lived republic was created until Hawaii was officially annexed by the U.S. in 1898.
Hawaii in Days of InfamyEdit
Hawaii fell to the Empire of Japan a following a successful attack on Pearl Harbor on December 7 1941, bringing the United States into World War II. By 1942, the Japanese had subdued the remaining American resistance on the islands and also installed a puppet government under Stanley Owana Laanui, who had agreed to become the monarch of the reconstituted Kingdom of Hawaii.
The Japanese occupation of Hawaii was harsh particularly for American prisoners of war who were imprisoned in camps, where they were worked to death. The citizenry was subject to the whims of the occupiers. Curfews were imposed, rationing was at a bare minimum, and civilians and POWs alike were expected to bow to Japanese soliders as they passed on the street.
In June, 1942, the United States sent a fleet of three aircraft carriers and assorted troopships and destroyers to retake the islands. The Japanese navy met the Americans, sinking two of the carriers (the Saratoga and the Yorktown) and forcing a retreat. Embarassed, the United States continued its production. In 1943, the United States returned, with a massive fleet, comprised of some 7 aircraft carriers, 5 light carriers, close to a dozen escort carriers, several destroyers, and troop carriers. This invasion proved to be the end of Japanese rule in Hawaii, as the Japanese naval contingent was destroyed, and the Japanese supplyline, already taxed, was broken completely. American forces landed at Oahu, and after a period of bitter fighting, were able to subdue Japan's ground forces. Many of Japan's most able military officers were killed.
Hawaii then became the launching pad for the American war effort in the Pacific theater.
Hawaii in Southern VictoryEdit
Prior to the Great War, the Sandwich Islands were a British colony in the Pacific Ocean. Pearl Harbor was located in one of these islands and was a key naval base for any major power. The question was which power: Britain, Japan, or the United States?
In August 1914, the Sandwich Islands were taken from the British Royal navy by the American Pacific Fleet (minus the North Pacific Squadron in Seattle) along with a regiment of Marines and a US Army division. Following that, the Islands became a strategically important U.S. base well into the next war.
At least some of the islands' Polynesian inhabitants were displeased with the change and felt a lingering sypathy for the former British adminstration. Sam Carsten, then a sailor on leave, suspected that a Polynesian nobleman with whom he had a casual converstaion on the shore was spying for the British. Carsten reported his suspicions, which were confirmed - leading to the Polynesian being executed and Carsten being promoted.
During the Pacific War (1932-34), the Empire of Japan launched attacks on the Sandwich Islands, but made no sizeable gains. However, the Japanese executed a successful air raid on the city of Los Angeles on the American west coast while President Hosea Blackford was visiting it on a campaign stop in late 1932. The war was ended early in 1934 by President Herbert Hoover.
In the ensuing Second Great War, Japan attempted to use Midway as a base to invade the Islands but was defeated by the United States and instead withdrew from the Entente and invaded the British colonies of Hong Kong, Malaya, Singapore and reportedly even India.
Hawaii in The Two GeorgesEdit
In line with the British Empire's strong tendency to rule territories as protectorates rather than outright colonies - manifested on a larger scale in China and the Ottoman Empire - Hawaii was made a British protectorate, with the native Royal Family retaining its throne and a considerable amount of autonomy.
The British "Advisors" stationed at the Hawaiian court resisted pressures by missionaries and businessmen to annex the islands outright and open them to mass European immigration, or to enforce more puritanical sexual mores upon the locals - with the result that the islands' population remained predominantly Polynesian, keeping much of its traditional way of life though also becoming Westernised in many ways which were deemed indispensable for survival.
While many of the whites who did come to reside in islands were North Americans, the Hawaiian Kings and Queens persistently rejected any idea of being in any way subordinated to the North American Union, a powerful neighbour increasingly pursuing its own interests. Rather, the Hawaiians preferred to deal directly with London, so as to preserve the maximum of political and economic freedom of manouver.
Hawaii in The War That Came EarlyEdit
On Saturday January 11, 1941, local time Hawaii was attacked by forces from the Empire of Japan. The attack was part of an overall military operation, which also saw Japanese attacks on Manila, Indonesia, and British Malaya. Comparatively speaking, the attack on Hawaii was minor, as American forces were able to respond quickly, whereas in Manila, where it was Sunday morning, January 12, local time, American forces were caught completely off-guard. Still, Japanese forces were able to sink an aircraft carrier, a battlewagon, and destroy some of the fuel stores. Though later on the attack proved to be much more devastating than many thought. Millions of gallons of fuel had burnt up, still sending up puffs of smoke months later. Thousands of engineers were needed to repair the damage done by the Japanese. Halfway during 1941, Hawaii became a launching pad for the Pacific fleet.