In the summer of 1887 a small group of conspirators representing about five hundred mostly Caucasian residents and citizens of the Hawaiian Kingdom forced King David Kal√Ękaua to sign a new constitution of their own design that explicitly humiliated him and the largely Native Hawaiian electorate. In the political rallies that followed, Natives who supported the new constitution and who exhorted Hawaiians to rally around it were ridiculed by opponents, who nevertheless were often divided over whether to boycott the coming elections or to try and take over the government through the vote and remove the most egregious clauses from the constitution. As the recent reconciliation hearings in Hawai'i have demonstrated, the tension between participating in practical politics and nurturing a defiant national spirit persists today and continues to afflict and enliven the issues of nationhood and identity.


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pp. 359-379
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