Difference between revisions of "374-375"
Revision as of 22:54, 7 December 2005
- American Union are urged by an interest of their own deeper than that of any other portion of the inhabitants of the earth-by a virtual right of conquest, not over the freedom of their brother man by the brutal arm of physical power, but over the mind and heart by the celestial panoply of the gospel of peace and love."
It can not be other than a proud reflection of the American people that the free institutions of the United States gave origin and impulsive zeal, as well as guidance, to the good men who laid these foundations of civil government in Hawaii upon written constitutions, supported by the oaths of those in authority and loyally sustained by those of the people who are virtuous and intelligent. Nor can the American people condemn the firm adhesion of those whose rights are guaranteed by constitutional law in Hawaii to the demand that is now made for the maintenance of its permanent integrity. If nothing but a decent respect for our national example was in question, if there was no question in Hawaii that concerned the people of the United States except that of a relapse of that Government into absolute monarchy, if there was no degradation of society involved in this falling away, no destruction of property and liberty in contemplation, there would still be enough in the conditions now presented there to excite the most anxious interest of our people. Citizens of the United States with wisdom, charity, Christian faith, and a love of constitutional government, have patiently, laboriously, and honestly built up Hawaii into a civilized power under a written constitution, and they can justly claim the sympathy and assistance of all civilized people in resisting its destruction, either to gratify a wanton lust of absolute power on the part of the Queen, or the abuse of its authority in fostering vice and rewarding crime. The facts of recent history present broadly and distinctly the question between an absolute and corrupt monarchy in Hawaii, and a government in which the rights and liberties guaranteed by a written constitution shall be respected and preserved. The facts do not show that the people who built up this constitutional system and have based upon it wholesome laws and a well balanced and well guarded plan of administration have had any desire to abrogate the organic laws, corrupt the statute laws, or to dethrone the Queen. In every phase of their dealings with these questions their course has been conservative, and the defense of their lives, liberty, and property, and the honest administration of the government has been the real motive of their actions. They are not, therefore, to be justly classed as conspirators against the Government. That they turn their thoughts toward the United States and desire annexation to this country could not be denied without imputing to them the loss of the sentiment of love and reverence for this Republic that is utterly unknown to our people.
On Monday, the 16th of January, 1893, Hawaii was passing through the severe ordeal of a trial which was conducted by the people who arrayed themselves on the side of the Queen and those who were organized in opposition to her revolutionary purposes. The Queen seems to have abandoned the controversy into the hands of the people, and made no effort to suppress the meeting of the citizens opposed to her revolutiouary proceedings by calling out her troops to disperse the meeting or to arrest its leaders. Both the meetings were quiet and orderly but the meeting at the arsenal was intensely earnest, and men were heard to express their opinions freely and without interruption at both meetings, and they came to their resolutions without disturbance. When
these meetings dispersed, the Queen's effort to reject the constitution of 1887 had been approved by the one meeting held on the palace grounds and composed almost entirely of native Kanakas; the other meeting had resolved to establish a provisional government, and formed a committee to proceed with its organization. The Queen, though thus strongly indorsed by her native-born subjects, as she calls them, did not venture any arrests of the alleged revolutionists, but, evidently conscious that the revolution which she had endeavored to set on foot had failed of efficient support, she did not use her troops or the police or any other power in the direction of asserting her royal authority. The meeting of the people at the arsenal was followed by organization, the arming of the citizens, the strong array of forces, and a determined spirit of success which has materialized into an established government that has continued to exist for more than a year, practically without any opposition in Hawaii, and with the recognition of many great powers, including the United States. These events show, beyond reasonable dispute, the acceptance by the people of Hawaii of the judgment and determination of the meeting at the arsenal that the Queen had abdicated, that her authority had departed, that she and her ministers had submitted to the inevitable, and that they retained no longer any substantial ground of hope or expectation that the Queen would be restored to her former office.
The question whether such a state of affairs as is shown by the undisputed facts in this case constitute an abdication and created an interregnum was passed upon in England with more care, because of the serious results that followed the decision, than seems to have been bestowed upon a like controversy in any other country.
The people of Great Britain have many liberties that are firmly established in the traditions of that country, and on many occasions they have asserted their rights, as the basis of governmental power, with great determination and success. In 1688, when James II was on the throne, his severe conduct, exercised through the judiciary of the Kingdom and in other ways, and a strong adhesion to the Catholic religion, caused the people of Great Britain to accuse him of an intention to violate their unwritten constitution. He was a great and powerful king, and had accomplished very much for the glory and honor of England. But the people of England held him to an observance of the spirit of his oath of loyalty to the constitution of that country, and, when they became satisfied that he had made an effort to subvert it, they in their Parliament passed upon the question of his abdication and held that his intention and effort to violate the constitution robbed him of his title to the crown and opened the door to the establishment of a new dynasty. Blackstone, in speaking of these events, says:
- "King James II succeeded to the throne of his ancestors, and might have enjoyed it during the remainder of his life but for his own infatuated conduct which, with other concurring circumstances, brought on the revolution in 1688.
- "The true ground and principle upon which that memorable event proceeded was an entirely new case in politics, which had never before happened in our history-the abdication of the reigning monarch and the vacancy of the throne thereupon. It was not a defeasance of the right of succession and a new limitation of the crown by the King and both Houses of Parliament; it was the act of the nation alone upon the conviction that there was no king in being. For, in a full assembly of the lords and commons, met in a convention upon the