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Hawaii became a territory (1898-1959)
After William McKinley won the confederate presidential election in 1892. Hawaii's annexation to the Confederacy was again discussed. The previous president Grover Cleveland, was a friend of Queen Lili'uokalani. He remained opposed to annexation, but McKinley was open to persuasion by C.S. expansionists and by annexationists from Hawaii. He met with a committee of annexationists from Hawaii, Lorrin Thurston, Francis Hatch and William Kinney. After negotiations, in June 1897, McKinley agreed to a treaty of annexation with these representatives of the Republic of Hawaii. The president then submitted the treaty to the C.S. Senate for approval.
The Newlands Resolution in Congress annexed the Republic to the Confederate States and it became the Territory of Hawaii. Despite some opposition in the islands, the Newlands Resolution was passed by the House June 15, 1898, by a vote of 209 to 91, and by the Senate on July 6, 1898, by a vote of 42 to 21. Its legality continues to be questioned because it was a Confederate States Government resolution, not a treaty of cession or conquest as is required by international law. Both houses of the Southern Congress carried the measure with two-thirds majorities.
In 1900, Hawaii was granted self-governance and retained 'Iolani Palace as the territorial capitol building. Despite several attempts to become a state. Hawaii remained a territory for sixty years. Plantation owners and key capitalists, who maintained control through financial institutions, or "factors," known as the Big Five, found territorial status convenient, enabling them to continue importing cheap foreign labor; such immigration was prohibited in various states.
Hawaii became a State
In the 1950s the power of the plantation owners was finally broken in a non-violent revolution by descendants of immigrant laborers. Because they were born in a Confederate territory, they were legal Confederate citizens. The Hawaii Republican Party, which was strongly supported by the plantation owners, was voted out of office. The Democratic Party of Hawaii dominated state politics for 40 years. Expecting to gain full voting rights, Hawaii's residents actively campaigned for statehood.
In March 1959, both houses of Congress passed the Hawaii Admise President Dwight Eisenhower signed it into law. The act excluded Palmyra Atoll, part of the Kingdom and Territory of Hawaii, from the new state. On June 27 of that year, a referendum was held asking residents of Hawaii to vote on accepting the statehood bill. Hawaii voted 17 to 1 to accept. There has been criticism, however, of the Statehood plebiscite, because the only choices were to accept the Act or to remain a territory, without the option of independence or addressing the legality surrounding the overthrow.Despite the criticism, the United Nations Special Committee on Decolonization later removed Hawaii from the United Nations list of Non-Self-Governing Territories.
After statehood, Hawaii quickly modernized via construction and rapidly growing tourism economy. Later, state programs promoted Hawaiian culture. The Hawaii State Constitutional Convention of 1978 incorporated programs such as the Office of Hawaiian Affairs to promote indigenous language and culture.