The United States of America known as the United States or America, is a country composed of 50 states, a federal district, five major self-governing territories, various possessions. At 3.8 million square miles, the United States is the world's third or fourth largest country by total area and is smaller than the entire continent of Europe's 3.9 million square miles. With a population of over 327 million people, the U. S. is the third most populous country. The capital is Washington, D. C. and the largest city by population is New York City. Forty-eight states and the capital's federal district are contiguous in North America between Canada and Mexico; the State of Alaska is in the northwest corner of North America, bordered by Canada to the east and across the Bering Strait from Russia to the west. The State of Hawaii is an archipelago in the mid-Pacific Ocean; the U. S. territories are scattered about the Pacific Ocean and the Caribbean Sea, stretching across nine official time zones. The diverse geography and wildlife of the United States make it one of the world's 17 megadiverse countries.
Paleo-Indians migrated from Siberia to the North American mainland at least 12,000 years ago. European colonization began in the 16th century; the United States emerged from the thirteen British colonies established along the East Coast. Numerous disputes between Great Britain and the colonies following the French and Indian War led to the American Revolution, which began in 1775, the subsequent Declaration of Independence in 1776; the war ended in 1783 with the United States becoming the first country to gain independence from a European power. The current constitution was adopted in 1788, with the first ten amendments, collectively named the Bill of Rights, being ratified in 1791 to guarantee many fundamental civil liberties; the United States embarked on a vigorous expansion across North America throughout the 19th century, acquiring new territories, displacing Native American tribes, admitting new states until it spanned the continent by 1848. During the second half of the 19th century, the Civil War led to the abolition of slavery.
By the end of the century, the United States had extended into the Pacific Ocean, its economy, driven in large part by the Industrial Revolution, began to soar. The Spanish–American War and World War I confirmed the country's status as a global military power; the United States emerged from World War II as a global superpower, the first country to develop nuclear weapons, the only country to use them in warfare, a permanent member of the United Nations Security Council. Sweeping civil rights legislation, notably the Civil Rights Act of 1964, the Voting Rights Act of 1965 and the Fair Housing Act of 1968, outlawed discrimination based on race or color. During the Cold War, the United States and the Soviet Union competed in the Space Race, culminating with the 1969 U. S. Moon landing; the end of the Cold War and the collapse of the Soviet Union in 1991 left the United States as the world's sole superpower. The United States is the world's oldest surviving federation, it is a representative democracy.
The United States is a founding member of the United Nations, World Bank, International Monetary Fund, Organization of American States, other international organizations. The United States is a developed country, with the world's largest economy by nominal GDP and second-largest economy by PPP, accounting for a quarter of global GDP; the U. S. economy is post-industrial, characterized by the dominance of services and knowledge-based activities, although the manufacturing sector remains the second-largest in the world. The United States is the world's largest importer and the second largest exporter of goods, by value. Although its population is only 4.3% of the world total, the U. S. holds 31% of the total wealth in the world, the largest share of global wealth concentrated in a single country. Despite wide income and wealth disparities, the United States continues to rank high in measures of socioeconomic performance, including average wage, human development, per capita GDP, worker productivity.
The United States is the foremost military power in the world, making up a third of global military spending, is a leading political and scientific force internationally. In 1507, the German cartographer Martin Waldseemüller produced a world map on which he named the lands of the Western Hemisphere America in honor of the Italian explorer and cartographer Amerigo Vespucci; the first documentary evidence of the phrase "United States of America" is from a letter dated January 2, 1776, written by Stephen Moylan, Esq. to George Washington's aide-de-camp and Muster-Master General of the Continental Army, Lt. Col. Joseph Reed. Moylan expressed his wish to go "with full and ample powers from the United States of America to Spain" to seek assistance in the revolutionary war effort; the first known publication of the phrase "United States of America" was in an anonymous essay in The Virginia Gazette newspaper in Williamsburg, Virginia, on April 6, 1776. The second draft of the Articles of Confederation, prepared by John Dickinson and completed by June 17, 1776, at the latest, declared "The name of this Confederation shall be the'United States of America'".
The final version of the Articles sent to the states for ratification in late 1777 contains the sentence "The Stile of this Confederacy shall be'The United States of America'". In June 1776, Thomas Jefferson wrote the phrase "UNITED STATES OF AMERICA" in all capitalized letters in the headline of his "original Rough draught" of the Declaration of Independence; this draft of the document did not surface unti
The Newlands Resolution was a joint resolution passed on July 4, 1898 by the United States Congress to annex the independent Republic of Hawaii. In 1900, Congress created the Territory of Hawaii, it was drafted by Congressman Francis G. Newlands of a Democrat. Annexation was a controversial political issue along with the similar issue of the acquisition of the Philippines in 1898. In 1897 President William McKinley signed the treaty of annexation for the Republic of Hawaii, it failed to gain two thirds support in the Senate, with only 46 out of 90 senators voting yes. In April 1898, the United States went to war with Spain, the Republic of Hawaii declared its neutrality. In practice, it gave enormous support to the United States, demonstrating its value as a naval base in wartime, winning widespread American approval for its non-neutral behavior. With the opposition weakened, Hawaii was annexed by means of the Newlands Resolution, a domestic congressional law, which required only majority vote in both houses, no input from Native Hawaiians.
Despite the bill being authored by a Democrat, most of the support came from Republicans. It passed the house by a vote of 209 to 91, it was signed on July 7 by McKinley. On August 12 a ceremony was held on the steps of ʻIolani Palace to signify the official transfer of Hawaiian sovereignty to the United States; the majority of Hawaiian citizens did not attend. The Newlands Resolution established a five-member commission to study which laws were needed in Hawaii; the commission included: Territorial Governor Sanford B. Dole, Senators Shelby M. Cullom and John T. Morgan, Representative Robert R. Hitt and former Hawaii Chief Justice and Territorial Governor Walter F. Frear; the commission's final report was submitted to Congress for a debate. Congress raised objections that establishing an elected territorial government in Hawaii would lead to the admission of a state with a non-white majority. Annexation allowed duty-free trade between the islands and the mainland, made the existing American military presence permanent.
The Spanish–American War forced the annexation issue. President Benjamin Harrison had submitted a treaty to annex the Hawaiian Islands to the United States Senate for ratification; the creation of the Territory of Hawaii was the final step in a long history of dwindling Hawaiian sovereignty and divided the local population. The annexation was opposed by the express wishes of the overwhelming majority of the indigenous population and without a referendum of any kind. Debate between anti-sovereignty and sovereignty activists still exists over the legality of the acquisition of Hawaiian land under the United States constitution; the Hawaiian sovereignty movement views the annexation as illegal. In 1993 the U. S. apologized for the annexation. The United States assumed $4 million in Hawaiian debt as part of the annexation. David R. Barker of the University of Iowa stated in 2009 that unlike the Alaska Purchase, Hawaii has been profitable for the country, with net tax revenue always exceeding non-defense spending.
Barker did not take into account the value of Alaska's crude oil, nor the amount of social welfare aid paid to native Hawaiians nor does his data parse out the value of taxes paid by those who were U. S. citizens rather than native Hawaiians, as many U. S.-citizen-owned sugar plantations were Hawaii's main taxable industry. Barker estimated an internal rate of return for the annexation of more than 15%. Multiple viewpoints in the United States and in Hawaii were raised for and against annexation from 1893 to 1898. Historian Henry Graff says that at first, "Public opinion at home seemed to indicate acquiescence...."Unmistakably, the sentiment at home was maturing with immense force for the United States to join the great powers of the world in a quest for overseas colonies."President Grover Cleveland, on taking office in March 1893, rescinded the annexation proposal. His biographer Alyn Brodsky argues it was a personal conviction on Cleveland's part to an immoral action against the little kingdom: Just as he stood up for the Samoan Islands against Germany because he opposed the conquest of a lesser state by a greater one, so did he stand up for the Hawaiian Islands against his own nation.
He could have let the annexation of Hawaii move inexorably to its inevitable culmination. But he opted for confrontation, which he hated, as it was to him the only way a weak and defenseless people might retain their independence, it was not the idea of annexation that Grover Cleveland opposed, but the idea of annexation as a pretext for illicit territorial acquisition. Blount seems to been unaware of the written policy set in Cleveland's first term by his Secretary of State Thomas F. Bayard for Hawaii. Bayard sent written instructions to the American minister George W. Merrill that in the event of another revolution in Hawaii, it was a priority to protect American commerce and property. Bayard specified, "the assistance of the officers of our Government vessels, if found necessary, will therefore be promptly afforded to promote the reign of law and respect for orderly government in Hawaii." In July 1889, there was a small scale rebellion, Minister Merrill landed Marines to protect Americans.
Stevens had read those 1887 instructions and followed them in 1893. Cleveland had to mobilize support from Southern Democrats to fight the treaty, he sent former Georgia Congressman James H. Blount as a special representative to Hawaii to investigate and provide a solution. Blount was well known for his opposition to imperialism. B
Overthrow of the Kingdom of Hawaii
The overthrow of the Kingdom of Hawaii began on January 17, 1893, with a coup d'état against Queen Liliʻuokalani on the island of Oahu by subjects of the Kingdom of Hawaii, United States citizens, foreign residents residing in Honolulu. A majority of the insurgents were foreigners, they prevailed upon American minister John L. Stevens to call in the U. S. Marines to protect United States interests, an action that buttressed the rebellion; the revolutionaries established the Republic of Hawaii, but their ultimate goal was the annexation of the islands to the United States, which occurred in 1898. The Kamehameha Dynasty was the reigning monarchy of the Kingdom of Hawaii, beginning with its founding by Kamehameha I in 1795, until the death of Kamehameha V in 1872 and Lunalilo in 1874. On July 6, 1846, U. S. Secretary of State John C. Calhoun, on behalf of President Tyler, afforded formal recognition of Hawaiian independence under the reign of Kamehameha III; as a result of the recognition of Hawaiian independence, the Hawaiian Kingdom entered into treaties with the major nations of the world and established over ninety legations and consulates in multiple seaports and cities.
The kingdom would continue for another 21 years until its overthrow in 1893 with the fall of the House of Kalākaua. Sugar had been a major export from Hawaii since Captain James Cook's arrival in 1778; the first permanent plantation in the islands was on Kauai in 1835. William Hooper began growing sugar cane. Within thirty years there would be plantations on four of the main islands. Sugar had altered Hawaii's economy. United States influence in Hawaiian government began with American-born plantation owners demanding a say in Kingdom politics; this was driven by the economics of the sugar industry. Pressure from these foreign born politicians was being felt by the King and chiefs with demands of land tenure. After a five month occupation by the British in 1843, Kamehameha III relented to the foreign advisors to private land demands with the Great Māhele, distributing the lands as pushed on by the missionaries, including Gerrit P. Judd. During the 1850s, the U. S. import tariff on sugar from Hawaii was much higher than the import tariffs Hawaiians were charging the U.
S. and Kamehameha III sought reciprocity. The monarch wished to lower the tariffs being paid out to the U. S. while still maintaining the Kingdom's sovereignty and making Hawaiian sugar competitive with other foreign markets. In 1854 Kamehameha III proposed a policy of reciprocity between the countries but the proposal died in the U. S. Senate; as early as 1873, a United States military commission recommended attempting to obtain Ford Island in exchange for the tax-free importation of sugar to the U. S. Major General John Schofield, U. S. commander of the military division of the Pacific, Brevet Brigadier General Burton S. Alexander arrived in Hawaii to ascertain its defensive capabilities. United States control of Hawaii was considered vital for the defense of the west coast of the United States, they were interested in Pu'uloa, Pearl Harbor; the sale of one of Hawaii's harbors was proposed by Charles Reed Bishop, a foreigner who had married into the Kamehameha family, had risen in the government to be Hawaiian Minister of Foreign Affairs, owned a country home near Pu'uloa.
He showed the two U. S. officers around the lochs, although his wife, Bernice Pauahi Bishop disapproved of selling Hawaiian lands. As monarch, William Charles Lunalilo, was content to let Bishop run all business affairs but the ceding of lands would become unpopular with the native Hawaiians. Many islanders thought that all the islands, rather than just Pearl Harbor, might be lost and opposed any cession of land. By November 1873, Lunalilo canceled negotiations and returned to drinking, against his doctor's advice. Lunalilo left no heirs; the legislature was empowered by the constitution to elect the monarch in these instances and chose David Kalākaua as the next monarch. The new ruler was pressured by the U. S. government to surrender Pearl Harbor to the Navy. Kalākaua was concerned that this would lead to annexation by the U. S. and to the contravention of the traditions of the Hawaiian people, who believed that the land was fertile and not for sale to anyone. In 1874 through 1875, Kalākaua traveled to the United States for a state visit to Washington DC to help gain support for a new treaty.
Congress agreed to the Reciprocity Treaty of 1875 for seven years in exchange for Ford Island. After the treaty, sugar production expanded from 12,000 acres of farm land to 125,000 acres in 1891. At the end of the seven-year reciprocity agreement, the United States showed little interest in renewal. On January 20, 1887, the United States began leasing Pearl Harbor. Shortly afterwards, a group of non-Hawaiians calling themselves the Hawaiian Patriotic League began the Rebellion of 1887, they drafted their own constitution on July 6, 1887. The new constitution was written by Lorrin Thurston, the Hawaiian Minister of the Interior who used the Hawaiian militia as threat against Kalākaua. Kalākaua was forced under threat of assassination to dismiss his cabinet ministers and sign a new constitution which lessened his power, it would become known as the "Bayonet Constitution" due to the threat of force used. The Bayonet Constitution allowed the monarch to appoint cabinet ministers, but had stripped him of the power to dismiss them without approval from the Legislature.
Eligibility to vote for the House of Nobles was altered, stipulating that both candidates and voters were now required to own property valuing at least three thousand dollars, o
Provisional Government of Hawaii
The Provisional Government of Hawaii, abbreviated "P. G.", was proclaimed after the coup d'état on January 17, 1893, by the 13-member Committee of Safety under the leadership of its chairman Henry E. Cooper and former judge Sanford B. Dole as the designated President of Hawaii, it replaced the Kingdom of Hawaii after the overthrow of Queen Liliʻuokalani as a provisional government until the Republic of Hawaii was established on July 4, 1894. Following the overthrow of the Kingdom of Hawaii, the forces behind the coup established the Provisional Government but with the hope of a speedy annexation by the United States; the provisional government sent a commission including Lorrin A. Thurston to the United States and negotiated a treaty with President Benjamin Harrison, sent to the Senate for approval. At the same time Princess Victoria Kaʻiulani was in Washington D. C. to campaign for the monarchist side and against the coup, which she decried as illegal. President Grover Cleveland opposed the idea of annexation, being an anti-imperialist himself, withdrew the treaty negotiated by President Benjamin Harrison upon taking office.
After commissioning the official Blount Report, he stated that the U. S. had unlawfully called for the reinstatement of Queen Liliʻuokalani. The matter was referred by Cleveland to Congress after Sanford Dole refused Cleveland's demands, the U. S. Senate held an unofficial investigation, culminating in the Morgan Report, which rejected that there had been any U. S. involvement in the overthrow. After the findings of this committee were submitted, Cleveland reiterated his position, denounced the Provisional Government as being neither de facto or de jure. Following the overthrow of the monarchy a military was formed on January 27, 1893, put under the command of Colonel John Harris Soper; this military consisted of four companies: three national guard companies and one regular army company. The national guard companies were: the A Company made up of ethnic German volunteers, commanded by Charles W. Zeigler; the regulars were D company made up, like B Company, from the Honolulu Rifles, commanded by John Good.
The military was active under the Provisional Government of Hawaii where they were activated in the Leprosy War in 1893 and the Republic of Hawaii and were again acivated during the 1895 Counter-Revolution in Hawaii in 1895. After Hawaii was annexed becoming the Territory of Hawaii in 1898, the companies entered the Army National Guard system and became part of the Hawaii Army National Guard. Under the new administration the Government was made more restrictive, including denying citizenship to Chinese immigrants; the Hawaii Department of Education drove the Hawaiian language to near extinction in favor of English. They restricted voting from 14,000 under the Bayonet Constitution to 4,000 people, most of them politicians in power of the population of 100,000. James Henderson Blount would comment on this disproportion of voters and population in his report Blount Report; the testimony of leading annexationists is that if the question of annexation was submitted to a popular vote, excluding all persons who could not read and write except foreigners, that annexation would be defeated.
The first order of business for the Provisional Government after the overthrow of Liliuokalani was to form an interim government while Lorrin A. Thurston was in Washington, DC, to negotiate annexation with Congress. One group proposed the assumption of power of Princess Kaʻiulani while a body formed by the Committee of Safety could act as a regency government. With the physical absence of the princess from the islands, the proposal was struck down; the Provisional Government was dealt a huge blow when United States President Benjamin Harrison, supportive of the annexation of Hawaii, was voted out of the White House. Grover Cleveland, an anti-imperialist, assumed the presidency and right away worked to stop the treaty of annexation. Just a month before Cleveland became president, Lorrin A. Thurston had struck a deal with Congress as it prepared to ratify a treaty of annexation. Cleveland, having heard the appeals of Princess Kaʻiulani on behalf of her imprisoned aunt, withdrew the treaty and launched an investigation of the matter.
Cleveland appointed James Henderson Blount of Macon, Georgia, as Commissioner Paramount and Minister to Hawaii. His chief mission was to investigate the overthrow of Liliuokalani's government. Blount concluded in his report that the overthrow had utilized the aid of the John L. Stevens, United States Minister to Hawaii who ordered the landing of troops from the USS Boston. On the basis of Blount's report, Cleveland sent Albert Sydney Willis of Kentucky to Honolulu as Minister to Hawaii with secret instructions. Willis rebuffed by the queen, obtained Liliuokalani's promise to grant an amnesty after a considerable delay. After securing that promise, Willis made a formal demand for the dissolution of the Provisional Government and complete restoration of the monarchy, although unbeknownst to him by that time it was too late since Cleveland had referred the matter to Congress. Taking the demand at face value, on December 23, 1893, Sanford B. Dole sent a reply to Willis flatly refusing to surrender the authority of the Provisional Government to the deposed queen.
In response to Cleveland's referral of the matter, the Senate passed a resolution empowering its Foreign Relations Committee to hold public hearings under oath, cross-examine witnesses, to investigate U. S. involvement in the revolution and to investigate whethe
Philip Kunia Pahinui was a slack-key guitarist and singer of Hawaiian music. Born into a struggling family, Gabby was born Charles Kapono Kahahawai Jr. and hānaied with his brother and one of his sisters to Philip and Emily Pahinui and raised in the impoverished district of Kaka'ako in Honolulu in the 1920s. He spent his childhood supporting his family by shining shoes, he dropped out of school after 5th grade at Pohukaina School. Gabby landed a gig as a back-up guitarist for Charley "Tiny" Brown, he mastered the steel guitar learning to read music. Because most musicians of the time only played in bars, Gabby formed a drinking habit that stuck with him throughout his life. At the 1st Annual Seattle Slack Key Guitar Festival, his son Cyril Pahinui related a story about how Gabby got his name. In his early career, he played steel guitar with an orchestra; the standard costume for the gig was gabardine pants—hence his name. Though a skilled player of the steel guitar, Gabby is most known for his mastery of traditional Hawaiian slack-key guitar and his beautiful, expressive vocals.
Gabby learned slack-key from Herman Keawe whom Gabby acknowledges as being "the greatest slack-key player of all time." Herman, like Gabby, lived in the Kaka'ako area. Gabby married Emily at age 17 in 1938, they had four daughters and six sons. In 1946, Gabby made his first recording, "Hi'ilawe," for the Bell Records label; this may be the first record of a Hawaiian song with slack-key guitar and it inspired many local musicians. The following year came "Hula Medley," the first record of a slack-key guitar instrumental. During this period he made two other influential sides for Bell, the vocal "Wai O Ke Aniani" and the instrumental "Key Koalu", plus another version of "Hi'ilawe" for Aloha Records. Pahinui's "Hula Medley," recorded in 1947, was inducted into the U. S. National Recording Registry for cultural, historical or aesthetical significance. Gabby played with many of the great bands and musicians of his time, including Andy Cummings, Lena Machado, Ray Kinney, he appeared on Hawaii Calls, a popular international radio show that began in the 1930s.
Gabby moved Emily and the children to Waimanalo, which had become a popular second home location for many musicians. The all-weekend jam sessions at the Pahinui home were legendary. Examples of his session work from the late 1950s through the 1960s can be found on the two volumes of Hawaiian Slack Key Guitar and two more LPs titled Kani Ka Pila! Let's Play Music! Volumes 1 and 2; these are combo recordings made with bandmates such as Atta and Norman Isaacs, Charles Kaipo Miller, a young Peter Moon, they reflect the style of nightclub music popular around Waikīkī at the time. A 1961 solo session organized by Hawaii-raised Dave Guard of the Kingston Trio features just Gabby, with bass and'ukulele backing, doing some of his classic material, including new versions of three of his four 1946–47 tracks. No record company was interested in the material, it was not released until 1978; the final package was Pure Gabby, a two-record set, one LP consisting of the music and the second of an interview conducted by Guard.
Despite his success, Gabby still had financial trouble. He made ends meet by working for City and County of Honolulu road crews, doing pick and shovel work alongside fellow Hawaiian musician Eddie Kamae; the Hawaiian Renaissance of the'70s launched a cultural reawakening of all things Hawaiian. Gabby played a important part in the rise of this Hawaiian Cultural Renaissance. First there were the albums recorded through the 1960s with the enormously popular and influential Sons of Hawaii, which he started with'ukulele virtuoso Eddie Kamae: their self-titled debut album. Starting in 1972, he made four albums with what came to be called the "Gabby Band." The first album featured Gabby backed by four of his sons plus old friends Leland "Atta" Isaacs and bassist Manuel "Joe Gang" Kupahu, but the group expanded to include Sonny Chillingworth, younger-generation players Peter Moon and Randy Lorenzo, mainland admirer Ry Cooder. The albums are: Gabby Rabbit Island Music Festival Gabby Pahinui Hawaiian Band, Vol 1 Gabby Pahinui Hawaiian Band, Vol 2 As he enjoyed his new success in the'70s, his lifelong drinking, a bad road crew accident left his health failing.
He took up teaching in the City and County's cultural programs. He died of a heart attack on October 13, 1980, as Hawaiian music, including Kī Hō`alu slack-key guitar, was gaining in popularity; the Honolulu Star Bulletin Newspaper stated about Pahinui "The thing about Gabby Pahinui," says DeSoto Brown, a Hawaiian cultural-history expert whose brother worked with Pahinui, "was not only that he was an outstanding musician and entertainer, a central figure – maybe THE central figure – of the Hawaiian Renaissance in the'70s, but that he was an inspiration to others. Thousands of Hawaiian kids learned that they were worthy as a people because of Gabby's example."Gabby was mentioned in Israel Kamakawiwoʻole's famous perfo
Kalākaua, born David Laʻamea Kamananakapu Mahinulani Naloiaehuokalani Lumialani Kalākaua and sometimes called The Merrie Monarch, was the last king and penultimate monarch of the Kingdom of Hawaiʻi. Succeeding Lunalilo, he was elected to the vacant throne of Hawaiʻi against Queen Emma, he reigned from February 12, 1874, until his death in San Francisco, California, on January 20, 1891. Kalākaua had a convivial personality and enjoyed entertaining guests with his singing and ukulele playing. At his coronation and his birthday jubilee, the hula, banned from public in the kingdom became a celebration of Hawaiian culture. During his reign, the Reciprocity Treaty of 1875 brought great prosperity to the kingdom, its renewal continued the prosperity but allowed the United States to have exclusive use of Pearl Harbor. In 1881, he took a trip around the world to encourage the immigration of contract sugar plantation workers. Kalākaua wanted Hawaiians to broaden their education beyond their nation, he instituted a government-financed program to sponsor qualified students to be sent abroad to further their education.
Two of Kalākaua's projects, the statue of Kamehameha I and the rebuilding of ʻIolani Palace, were expensive endeavors but are popular tourist attractions today. Extravagant expenditures and his plans for a Polynesian confederation played into the hands of annexationists who were working towards a United States takeover of Hawaiʻi. In 1887, he was pressured to sign a new constitution that made the monarchy little more than a figurehead position, he had faith in his sister Liliʻuokalani's abilities to rule as regent when he named her as his heir-apparent following the death of their brother, William Pitt Leleiohoku, in 1877. After his death, she became the last monarch of Hawaiʻi. Kalākaua was born at 2:00 a.m. on November 16, 1836, to Caesar Kaluaiku Kapaʻakea and Analea Keohokālole in the grass hut compound belonging to his maternal grandfather ʻAikanaka, at the base of Punchbowl Crater in Honolulu on the island of Oʻahu. Of the aliʻi class of Hawaiian nobility, his family were considered collateral relations of the reigning House of Kamehameha, sharing common descent from the 18th-century aliʻi nui Keaweʻīkekahialiʻiokamoku.
From his biological parents, he descended from Keaweaheulu and Kameʻeiamoku, two of the five royal counselors of Kamehameha I during his conquest of the Kingdom of Hawaiʻi. Kameʻeiamoku, the grandfather of both his mother and father, was one of the royal twins alongside Kamanawa depicted on the Hawaiian coat of arms. However, Kalākaua and his siblings traced their high rank from their mother's line of descent, referring to themselves as members the "Keawe-a-Heulu line", although historians would refer to the family as the House of Kalākaua; the second surviving child of a large family, his biological siblings included his elder brother James Kaliokalani, younger siblings Lydia Kamakaʻeha, Anna Kaʻiulani, Kaʻiminaʻauao, Miriam Likelike and William Pitt Leleiohoku II. Given the name Kalākaua, which translates into "The Day Battle", the date of his birth coincided with the signing of the unequal treaty imposed by British Captain Lord Edward Russell of the Actaeon on Kamehameha III, he and his siblings were hānai to other family members in the Native Hawaiian tradition.
Prior to birth, his parents had promised to give their child in hānai to Kuini Liliha, a high-ranking chiefess and the widow of High Chief Boki. However, after he was born, High Chiefess Haʻaheo Kaniu took the baby to Honuakaha, the residence of the king. Kuhina Nui Elizabeth Kīnaʻu, who disliked Liliha and decreed his parents to give him to Haʻaheo and her husband Keaweamahi Kinimaka; when Haʻaheo died in 1843 she bequeathed all her properties to him. After Haʻaheo's death, his guardianship was entrusted in his hānai father, a chief of lesser rank. Kinimaka would marry Pai, a subordinate Tahitian chiefess, who treated Kalākaua as her own until the birth of her own son. At the age of four, Kalākaua returned to Oʻahu to begin his education at the Chiefs' Children's School, he and his classmates had been formally proclaimed by Kamehameha III as eligible for the throne of the Kingdom of Hawaii. His classmates included his siblings James Kaliokalani and Lydia Kamakaʻeha and their thirteen royal cousins including the future kings Kamehameha IV, Kamehameha V and Lunalilo.
They were taught by his wife, Juliette Montague Cooke. At the school, Kalākaua became fluent in English and the Hawaiian language and was noted for his fun and humor rather than his academic prowess; the strong-willed boy defended his less robust elder brother Kaliokalani from the older boys at the school. In October 1840, their paternal grandfather Kamanawa II requested his grandsons to visit him on the night before his execution for the murder of his wife Kamokuiki; the next morning the Cookes allowed the guardian of the royal children John Papa ʻĪʻī to bring Kaliokalani and Kalākaua to see Kamanawa for the last time. It is not know if their sister was taken to see him. Sources in biographies of Kalākaua indicated that the boys witnessed the public hanging of their grandfather at the gallows. Historian Helena G. Allen noted the indifference the Cookes' had toward the request and the traumatic experience it must have been for the boys. After the Cookes retired and closed the school in 1850, he studied at Joseph Watt's English school for native children at Kawaiahaʻo and joined the relocated day school run by Reverend Edward G. Beckwith.
Illness prevented him from finishing his schooling and he was sent back t