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King David Kalakaua

King David Kalakaua

Birth
Honolulu, Honolulu County, Hawaii, USA
Death 20 Jan 1891 (aged 54)
San Francisco, San Francisco County, California, USA
Burial Honolulu, Honolulu County, Hawaii, USA
Memorial ID 10954 · View Source
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Hawaiian Monarch. Born David Laʻamea Kamananakapu Mahinulani Naloiaehuokalani Lumialani Kalākaua, the son of High Chiefs Analea 'Annie' Keohokālole and Caesar Kaluaiku Kapa'akea. He was named as eligible to succeed the throne by royal decree of King Kamehameha III, and enrolled in the Chief’s Children’s School at age four. At 16, he began a study of law, and by 1856, he was serving on the staff of King Kamehameha IV. He became leader of the political group, Young Hawaiians, who believed in Hawaii for Hawaiians. In December 1872, King Kamehameha V died without having designated an heir, and an election was held to determine his successor, Kalakaua made a bid for the throne but lost to William Lunalilo. The new king died after only a year in office, and a new election in 1874 saw him victorious, defeating Emma, the widow of Kamehameha IV. Later that year, he sailed to the United States where he negotiated the Reciprocity Treaty of 1875, which eliminated the tariff on sugar and other Hawaiian products, resulting in a boom in the sugar industry and a period of Hawaiian prosperity. Upon his return, he commissioned the construction of Iolani Palace; with both electricity and indoor plumbing, it cost the unprecedented sum of one third of a million dollars. His cabinet was filled largely with native Hawaiians, angering European settlers who were cut out of power. In 1881, he took a trip around the world to encourage immigration and to achieve greater international recognition for the Kingdom of Hawaii as a legitimate and sovereign nation. In a March meeting with the Japanese Emperor at the Imperial Palace, the king received the Grand Cordon of the Order of the Chrysanthemum. He was received as an equal at the courts of Japan, China, Siam, Singapore, Burma, India, Egypt, France, England, Belgium, Spain, Portugal, Austria, and Germany. At home, he became the motivator of a Hawaiian cultural renaissance, re-popularizing the once banned hula which he called " ...the heartbeat of the Hawaiian people" and other traditional Hawaiian crafts, songs, and chants. He favored a return to an ancient social order, customs, and ideas, but indulged in extravagance and allowed corruption. In 1887, a minority of subjects and foreign nationals, met to organize a takeover, these so-called Honolulu Rifles threatened the king if he did not accept a new Cabinet Council. In July 1887, a new constitution was forced upon him by the members of this new cabinet. Called the Bayonet Constitution, it did not have consent or ratification of the Legislative Assembly, but was a document of duress that made the monarchy little more than a figurehead position. He yielded to demands to give the United States the right to use Pearl Harbor and maintain a naval coaling and repair station there. The political struggle between the king and his opposition continued, punctuated by an armed insurrection in 1889. His health failing, he sailed to San Francisco for treatment in 1991. He succumbed to Bright’s disease complicated by uremia. He named his sister his successor. In 1971, in an event named in his honor, the first competitive Merrie Monarch Festival hula took place in Hilo, Hawaii.

Bio by: Iola


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  • Maintained by: Find A Grave
  • Added: 15 Jul 2000
  • Find A Grave Memorial 10954
  • Find A Grave, database and images (https://www.findagrave.com : accessed ), memorial page for King David Kalakaua (16 Nov 1836–20 Jan 1891), Find A Grave Memorial no. 10954, citing Royal Mausoleum, Honolulu, Honolulu County, Hawaii, USA ; Maintained by Find A Grave .