In the 1820's, U.S. ships began arriving in Hawaii with some frequency, bringing traders and missionaries. Many of the missionaries came from New England to convert Hawaiians to Christianity. Soon, the missionaries and their families began to settle down and raise sugarcane. The start of a big boom in the sugar industry began here.
We can't let her take this opportunity from us.
King Kalakaua negotiated a treaty in 1875 that allowed Hawaiian sugar to enter the U.S. tax free. This made Hawaiian sugar cheaper than sugar from other places. The treaty gave a real boost to the Hawaiian sugar industry.
I'm finally annexing Hawaii!
King Kalakaua died in 1891 and his sister Liliuokalani became queen. Liliuokalani was a Hawaiian nationalist who wanted to do away with the bayonet constitution. She tried to fortify the islands through a political movement called Oni Pa'a (Stand Firm)
We're a state now!
In January 1893, Queen Liliuokalani announced her plan to restore the Hawaiian monarchy. In response, members of the business community plotted to overthrow her. They wanted the islands to be governed as a territory of the United States.
President Grover Cleveland put the annexation treaty on hold. Whether to annex Hawaii or not was at a standstill until Wiliam McKinley took office. Mckinley favored annexation and Congress narrowly voted its approval in 1898.
Hawaii remained a territory until granted statehood as the fiftieth state in 1959. Nearly 33 years later, Congress apologized in 1993 for the U.S. role in overthrowing Liliuokalani.