On July 6, 1887, King David Kalakaua signed a new constitution for the Kingdom of Hawaii. Kalakaua was forced to sign the law at gunpoint, and the document is nicknamed the “Bayonet Constitution.”The new constitution was written by a group of white businessmen and lawyers who wanted the kingdom to be part of the United States. This group, called the Hawaiian League, was supported by an armed militia called the Honolulu Rifles. Many members of the Hawaiian League were affiliated with Hawaii’s giant, lucrative sugar and pineapple plantations.The new constitution reduced the power of the Hawaiian monarchy, placing most legal authority in the hands of the legislature. The constitution also changed voting rights in the kingdom. Only men of Hawaiian, American, and European ancestry who met certain financial requirements could vote. (This disenfranchised thousands of Asian voters, and opened voting to thousands of non-citizens.)
Term Part of Speech Definition Encyclopedic Entry affiliate Verb
to associate or connect to something else.
family (genealogical) or historical background.
to add or incorporate land into an existing parcel, state, or nation.
person or organization responsible for making decisions.
knife-like tool that is attached to the muzzle (discharge point) of a gun.
member of a country, state, or town who shares responsibilities for the area and benefits from being a member.
system of ideas and general laws that guide a nation, state, or other organization.
to take away certain rights, usually voting.
having to do with money.
type of government with a king or queen as its leader, or the land ruled by that king or queen.
Encyclopedic Entry: kingdom legal Adjective
allowed by law.
group of people, usually elected, who make and change laws.
profitable or money-making.
group of armed, ordinary citizens who are called up for emergencies and are not full-time soldiers.
system of government in which national power is invested in one person, usually a king or queen.
large estate or farm involving large landholdings and many workers.
to lower or lessen.
to rule as a monarch.
something that is needed.
voting rights Noun
issues surrounding the legal right and ability to campaign and cast a vote in political elections.