The Culture Of The Hawaiian Islands By The Time Captain Cook Discovered Hawaii

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It is human nature to fight for what you believe in, we all want to. But It is also human nature, for some of us, to know when to pick your battles. After all, nobody wants to be on the losing team and while most of us pull for the underdog, we all tend to bet on a winner. Some prefer to stand on principle and die fighting, others will choose to hedge their bets while getting behind the proven winner. By the time Captain Cook discovered Hawaii, the nation had already seen its share of bloodshed, warring factions jockeying for control of the islands, a long held religion and many cultural norms already dismantled. The arrival of “western” culture only accelerated the social and economic changes on the Hawaiian Islands, many of these changes were not only excepted but encouraged by the indigenous hierarchy. In other words, the Hawaiian people made the decision’s that led to Mahele, a process that took place over a period of ten years in which the Hawaiian Kingdom of its own accord shifted from essentially “serfdom’’ to an Anglo “fee simple” system of private land ownership. Stuart Banner argues three significant developments resulted in the Mahele and ultimately Hawaii’s annexation by the United States; fear of inevitable annexation or colonization, land grabs by the King and Chiefs themselves and a fundamental lack of understanding on the part of the maka 'ainana or common people.

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