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Ke Kaulike He Ha‘awina Kīwila—Civics Hawaiian Style

Lesson #3: Overthrow of the Hawaiian Monarchy
The overthrow of the Hawaiian monarchy created both villains and heroes. Well known, but how well understood are the intentions of Prince Kūhiō? He possessed the courage and foresight to go from depravity of entitlement to imprisonment to political office. Was his land act created to save lives or give possession? Could this be the type of leadership needed today?
This lesson will lend itself to an understanding of the past, present and future, as students grow a deeper understanding of Robert William Wilcox and Prince Jonah Kūhiō Kalaniana‘ole. The character study format can be used to draw comparisons or similarities between a variety of community leaders and provide students the futuristic forum to answer two of the top ten questions of the world:
6. What kind of economic structures can best support a shift to sustainable living?
7. How should we re-invent the political process so that people feel that they have a voice?

Lesson Objectives

  • Students will develop a character study and contrast of Prince Kuhio and Robert William Wilcox’s political decisions.

  • Students will examine and discuss the relevance of political leadership.

  • Students will write and articulate their vision of the type of leadership needed in Hawai‘i.

Lesson Materials Required

  • Textual handouts (provided)

  • Projector

  • Presidential speeches (provided)

  • Guest speakers (Political official like a council member; cultural specialist like a member of the Royal Order of Kamehameha)

Language Arts
Standard 6: Oral Communication: CONVENTIONS AND SKILLS: Apply knowledge of verbal and nonverbal language to communicate effectively in various situations: interpersonal, group, and public: for a variety of purposes
LA.11.6.1 Participate in a small group (e.g., organize sessions and information, complete a grade-appropriate task, evaluate the group's accomplishments)
Standard 5: Writing: RHETORIC: Use rhetorical devices to craft writing appropriate to audience and purpose.
LA.11.5.1 Develop ideas and details in writing to address a specific purpose and audience
Social Studies, MHH

Standard 2: Historical Understanding: INQUIRY, EMPATHY AND PERSPECTIVE- Use the tools and methods of inquiry, perspective, and empathy to explain historical events with multiple interpretations and judge the past on its own terms

Benchmark SS.9MHH.2
Standard 3: History: MODERN HAWAIIAN HISTORY-Understand important historical events in Modern Hawaiian History

Benchmark SS.9MHH.3.1

Ike Ho‘okō (Applied Achievement Pathway) - We envision generations who demonstrate academic, social and cultural excellence that supports families, communities and future generations: Helping generations attain academic, social and cultural excellence through a supportive environment of high expectations
Ike Pilina (Relationship Pathway) - We envision generations that have respectful, responsible, and strong relationships in service to akua, āina, and each other: Nurturing respectful and responsible relationships that connect us to akua, ‘āina, and each other through the sharing of history, genealogy, language and culture.

Ōlelo No‘eau:

E alu! E alu! E kuilima!

Up! Together! Join Hands!

Teacher Note: Teachers may use the ‘Ōlelo No‘eau or the quote for journal writing or as a cue for class discussions. Invite

students to discuss how this ‘Ōlelo No‘eau relates to lesson activities.

Have the ability to:

  • Be responsible for one’s own learning

  • Understand that it is essential for human beings to work together

  • Be involved in complex thinking and problem solving

  • Recognize and produce quality performance and quality products

  • Communicate effectively

  • The ability to use a variety of technology effectively and ethically

This lesson is created to provide students with the opportunity to better understand the attributes of a leader and their contributions to society. Students learn about the influences on a person’s life that contribute to their personal character and legacy.
Materials are provided to support the study of leaders from Hawaiian history. Some activities are available to help students interview people positively impacting society today, and articulate their vision for a leader of the future.



  • Past: Facilitate a collaborative method, like small group or popcorn reading, to read the brief biological sketches of both Prince Kuhio and Robert William Wilcox.

  • Introduce and explain the use of the character study worksheet and explain the value of its ability to show similarities and differences of the two lives.

  • Have students discuss their beliefs for the purpose of Prince Kuhio’s introduction of the Land Act.

THINGS TO REMEMBER: (What worked well; what needs to be changed):





  • Bring in additional resources to read and review, and then discuss issues around the lives of these two men and the Land Act. Consider inviting speakers to class who are cultural resource people from Alu Like, Inc., kupuna teaching in elementary schools, Kumu from hula halau, people from the Hawaiian Civic Clubs, Hawaiian lawyers, I.e.: Kapua Sproat from EarthTrust, or judges, teachers, cultural practitioners, politicians or college students and professors informed in Hawaiian history. Help them focus on a topic of relevance.

  • Share any appropriate videos available about this period in history.

  • Have students prepare a series of questions related to issues of the Island for their speaker. Specifically, have students inquire into their vision for Hawai`i.

  • In their groups or pairs, using symbols, art, and words, have students create a visual image (poster, chart) of the visions of Prince Kuhio and William Wilcox, answering the question:

  • What did these two men want Hawai‘i to be like, economically, politically, and culturally. Ask students to weave in their own vision for Hawai’i, linking past, present, and future.

Videos are available through school and public libraries.

THINGS TO REMEMBER: (What worked well; what needs to be changed):



Materials & Notes


  • Provide class with copies of Barack Obama’s “Yes We Can” speech. Find Online copies at: www.obamaspeeches.com

  • Show students famous filmed speeches and have them list the speaker’s visions for America.

  • Discuss similarities and differences to the visions of the historical men being studied.

  • When finished, ask students to write their own speech with similar themes (ex, I Have a Dream for Hawai‘i, When it comes to Hawai‘i, Yes we Can, etc.)

  • Film all speeches if possible for future use in the students’ culminating projects.

  • Have students create a poem utilizing the rules and style of a poetry slam using the content of their speech. This is another great opportunity for students to be creative and voice a vision.

  • See resources below and show examples of slam poetry presentations as a model.

  • Video tape student poetry presentations and think about audiences that might benefit from hearing these presentations; set up this experience for students.

  • Share that competitions are held and see if students create an interest in this form of expression. (Check out Youth Speaks website.)

See page 11 below for further information and resources on “Slam Poetry”
Jamaica Osorio sharing her poem at the White House is a powerful presentation to view. Google “Jamaica Osorio White House” to find a variety of links to view her poem entitled Kumulipo.

THINGS TO REMEMBER: (What worked well; what needs to be changed):


The Overthrow and Leadership

Who You?”

Character Study of

Timeline reference: Hawai`i, 1848 Great Mahele and the U.S. Mexico cession

The timeline can be used to show the scope of colonization by the U.S. and other world powers.

Prince Jonah Kuhio

Source of photos:
Source of reading: Biography Hawai‘i: Five Lives— A Series of Public Remembrances

Let us begin by pondering what it meant to be a Hawaiian Prince of 20th Century Hawai‘i.
Prince Jonah Kūhiō Kalaniana‘ole was genealogical heir to the mana (spiritual power) of deified high chiefs, the human embodiment of ancestral Hawaiian gods of the universe. At the dawn of the 20th Century, Prince Kūhiō faced the urgency and despair of his people on the brink of extinction.
From 1900 to 1920 the number of pure Hawaiians had declined from 29,799 to 23,700. The life expectancy of Hawaiians was only 30.2 years in 1910, and had increased to only 35 years by 1920. In 1925, the infant mortality rate was 136 per 1,000 live births, compared to only 39 per 1,000 for Caucasians. These years also witnessed the growing urban ghettoization of Hawaiians, disenfranchised from their lands.
The number of Hawaiians living in Honolulu increased to 17,500 in 1920, where they faced increasing competition from the 13,400 Chinese and 24,500 Japanese who lived in the city. They lived in crowded tenement rooms, sharing a common kitchen, bath, and toilet facilities where viruses and diseases spread rapidly. In 1911, cholera claimed Hawaiian lives, and by 1918 tuberculosis spread throughout Honolulu. Prince Kūhiō described the problems of poor Hawaiian families in the Honolulu tenements as follows: We find that the people who live in the tenement houses in this city are nearly all Hawaiians. . .These Hawaiian families living in the tenements are poor, they do not own an inch of land in their own country.



Davianna Pōmaika‘i McGregor

Assuming the highest elected position in Hawai‘i, as Delegate of his people in the U.S. House of

Representatives from 1902 through 1922, the Prince rallied his contemporary Hawaiian leaders around a plan for the “rehabilitation” of the Hawaiian people.

On November 13, 1914, the Prince invited two hundred Hawaiians to a meeting at his Waikïkï residence. They agreed to form the ‘Aha Hui Pu‘uhonua O Nā Hawai‘i, an organization which devised the original plan to rehabilitate Hawaiians upon the ceded Crown and Hawaiian Kingdom lands under the Hawaiian Homes Commission Act.4
In December 1918, Prince Jonah Kūhiō and the ‘Aha Hui Pu‘uhonua organized a meeting of forty Hawaiian leaders at Honolulu’s Young Hotel to form yet another organization to work for the Hawaiian rehabilitation plan. Together the ‘Aha Hui Pu‘uhonua O Nā Hawai‘i and the Hawaiian Civic Clubs combined forces for the passage of the Hawaiian Homes Commission Act.
What did the Prince have in mind? A letter which he circulated to U.S. Senators in 1920 described the intent and purpose of this Act: The Hawaiian Race is fast becoming a minority element among the races of the Territory. The mortality rate among the Hawaiians is exceedingly high as compared to the other races and if conditions exist as they do today the Race will become extinct in a very short period of time. After extensive investigation and survey on the part of various organizations organized for the purpose of rehabilitating the race, it was found that the only method in which to rehabilitate the race was to place them back upon the soil.
The Hawaiians were a seafaring and agricultural people. Their entire life was spent in the outdoors. But with the coming of civilization conditions were changed, the Hawaiians on account of their lack of business experience, and otherwise, were forced into the crowded tenements of the cities and towns and were subjected to all the evils of modern civilization. Disease and the change in their living conditions weakened their vitality to such an extent that today they are susceptible to all diseases and their resistance being very low the death rate is high. Under the provisions of this bill, by placing the Hawaiians upon the soil, away from the cities and towns, it is certain that they will again retain their former vitality and in the course of years the race will increase, and become a majority element in the land of their birth.
On July 9, 1921, the Hawaiian Homes Commission Act passed both houses of Congress and was signed into law.
On January 7, 1922, six months after he had succeeded in having the Hawaiian Homes Commission Act passed, Prince Jonah Kūhiō Kalaniana‘ole passed away.
Let us close by reflecting upon the loss of the Prince of Hawai‘i. The leaders who were Kūhiō’s contemporaries in the ‘Aha Hui Pu‘uhonua O Nā Hawai‘i and Hawaiian Civic Clubs concentrated their efforts on implementing the Hawaiian Homes Program. Kūhiō and these leaders were born under the Hawaiian monarchy, had risked their lives to restore the monarchy in 1895, and had served time, at hard labor, in the Provisional Government’s and Republic’s prisons. They continued to maintain an adversarial and competitive relationship to the haole elite. The next generation of Hawaiian leaders who assumed political office in the 1930s were trained in private and public schools under the American school system and were assimilated to accept Western values. The death of Prince Kūhiō left a vacuum in the leadership of the Hawaiian politicians. His passing marked the beginning of a new period of cooperation and collaboration between the part-Hawaiians and the haole elite which was finally disrupted by rise of the Hawaiian nationalist movement in the 1970s.
Biography Hawaii- East-West Road, Henke Hall 325, University of Hawai‘i at Mānoa, Honolulu, Hawai‘i 96822; telephone/fax: 808 956-3774; biograph@hawaii.edu. Documentary Lives & Public Events
WILCOX, Robert William (1855—1903)

Source: Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia.  The text of this article is licensed under the GFDL.

Robert William Kalanihiapo Wilcox, nicknamed the Iron Duke of Hawaii, was a native Hawaiian revolutionary, soldier and delegate to the United States Congress for the Territory of Hawaii. He was considered a menace to both the government of the Kingdom of Hawaii under Kalakaua and the Republic of Hawaii under Sanford Dole, for his participation in what are now known as the Wilcox rebellions.


Wilcox was born in 1855 on the island of Maui. His father was a native of Newport, Rhode Island, and his mother was a native of Maui, related to King Kaulahea II, who reigned over Maui about 1700. His parents sent him to Haleakala Boarding School in the town of Makawao. Upon completion of his studies, Wilcox became a teacher at a Maui country school.

Military career

In 1880, Wilcox was elected to the royal legislature in Honolulu on the island of Oahu. He represented the citizens of Wailuku and its neighboring Maui towns. In 1881, Wilcox left the island for Turin, Italy to study at the Royal Military Academy. By the time he completed his training in 1885, he achieved the rank of sub-lieutenant of artillery. Impressed with his military skills, Italian officials sent Wilcox to the Royal Application School for Engineer and Artillery Officers.

Planned Rebellion of 1888

In 1887, in the Kingdom of Hawaii, King David Kalakaua had signed the Bayonet Constitution stripping the rights of Asians to vote in elections, and placing income and property requirements on voters limiting the electorate to wealthy native Hawaiians, Americans, and Europeans. Wilcox had been studying abroad at the expense of the Kingdom, and the Reform Party which took power in 1887 ended the costly program. On August 29, 1887, Wilcox received his orders to return home. Returning to Hawaii in October, he began a career as a surveyor with the patronage of Charles B. Wilson, but soon quit. Wilcox along with Charles Wilson and Sam Nowlein, participated in planning a coup to replace Kalakaua with Liliuokalani, but the plot was never executed. On February 11, 1888, Wilcox left Hawaii for San Francisco, intending to return to Italy with his wife.

Rebellion of 1889

Instead of returning to Italy, Wilcox took up residence in San Francisco, California, and worked as a surveyor while his wife earned extra money teaching French and Italian. When he decided to return to Hawaii in the spring of 1889, his wife, Gina Wilcox, refused to go with him, and took their daughter back to Italy.

Wilcox planned and executed an attempt to have Kalakaua sign a new constitution on July 30, 1889. Kalakaua, apparently aware of the plot, avoided the palace, afraid that the rebellion would replace him with Liliuokalani. Stymied, Wilcox was finally confronted by the Honolulu Rifles. After a pitched battle, Wilcox surrendered. He was tried for treason but acquitted. Following his uprising, Wilcox was elected to the royal legislature where he served from 1890 to 1894.
Rebellion of 1895

Following the overthrow of the Hawaiian monarchy, Wilcox was brought into a conspiracy in support of the queen to effect a counter-revolution against the newly created Republic of Hawaii. The key conspirators in the plans for rebellion were Sam Nowlein, head of the Queen's guard, Charles T. Gulick, advisor to both Kalakaua and Liliuokalani, and William H. Rickard, a sugar planter of British parentage. Royalist and republic forces clashed at the base of Diamond Head on January 6 and 7, 1895. Another skirmish took place in Moiliili on January 7. Manoa was the scene of action on January 9. Casualties were minor, the only fatality being C. L. Carter, a member of a prominent island family. The royalists were quickly routed and Wilcox spent several days in hiding before being captured. All royalist leaders had been arrested by January 16, when the Queen was taken in custody at Washington Place and imprisoned in Iolani Palace. Wilcox was arrested and tried for treason. He was sentenced to death but was pardoned by Sanford B. Dole.


After the Newlands Resolution was adopted in 1898 and the Hawaiian Organic Act created the office of Delegate to Congress for the new territory, Wilcox organized a campaign to get elected. Helping transform previously anti-annexation native Hawaiian political clubs into the Hawaiian Independent Party (later called the Home Rule Party), he advocated for "Equal rights for the People". He hoped that his seat in Washington, DC could be used to advocate for native Hawaiians, a community he feared would be neglected by the American government. Wilcox served in Congress from November 6, 1900 to March 3, 1903, and was succeeded by Prince Kuhio (Republican) after the Home Rule Party tore itself apart.

Robert had a knack at marrying royal women his first wife was an Italian Baroness and his second wife a Hawaiian princess. Robert's first wife was Baronesa Gina Sobrero, eldest daughter of Baron Lorenzo Sobrero of Piedmont and the Princess Victoria Colona Stigleano of Naples. His daughter from his first marriage died shortly after his breakup with Baronesa Gina Sobrero. Robert's second wife was Princess Theresa Owana Kaohelelani Laanui of the Kamehameha Dynasty. They had a son, Prince Robert Kalanikupuapaikalaninui Wilcox and two daughters, Princess Virginia Kahoa Kaahumanu Kaihikapumahana Wilcox and Princess Elizabeth Kaakualaninui Wilcox.

The same year he left Congress, Wilcox died on October 23. He was buried at the Honolulu Catholic Cemetery. In 1993, a bronze statue of Wilcox was unveiled at Fort Street Mall. The statue now stands prominently in downtown Honolulu at Wilcox Park, also named in his honor.







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Poetry Slams offer students a chance to share their beliefs about something important through a creative way that hones their thinking as well as speaking skills. Incredible oratory skills were strongly present in historical Hawai‘i, so this form of communicating important messages seems to be a unique fit for students from these islands. Below is some information that will help you learn more about Poetry Slams.
“One of the most vital and energetic movements in poetry during the 1990s, slam has revitalized interest in poetry in performance. Poetry began as part of an oral tradition, and movements like the Beats and the poets of Negritude were devoted to the spoken and performed aspects of their poems. This interest was reborn through the rise of poetry slams across America; while many poets in academia found fault with the movement, slam was well received among young poets and poets of diverse backgrounds as a democratizing force. This generation of spoken word poetry is often highly politicized, drawing upon racial, economic, and gender injustices as well as current events for subject manner.
A slam itself is simply a poetry competition in which poets perform original work alone or in teams before an audience, which serves as judge. The work is judged as much on the manner and enthusiasm of its performance as its content or style, and many slam poems are not intended to be read silently from the page. The structure of the traditional slam was started by construction worker and poet Marc Smith in 1986 at a reading series in a Chicago jazz club. The competition quickly spread across the country, finding a notable home in New York City at the Nuyorican Poets Café.” http://www.poets.org/viewmedia.php/prmMID/5672
From Poetry Slam Inc:

What is a poetry slam? A poetry slam is a competitive event in which poets perform their work and are judged by members of the audience. Typically, the host or another organizer selects the judges, who are instructed to give numerical scores (on a zero to 10 or one to 10 scale) based on the poets' content and performance.
What are the rules? Though rules vary from slam to slam, the basic rules are:

  • Each poem must be of the poet's own construction.

  • Each poet gets three minutes (plus a ten-second grace period) to read one poem. If the poet goes over time, points will be deducted from the total score.

  • The poet may not use props, costumes or musical instruments;

Of the scores the poet received from the five judges, the high and low scores are dropped and the middle three are added together, giving the poet a total score of 0-30.

For further information on how to create poetry slams, visit:

For information on poetry slam opportunities and workshops in Hawaii, contact YouthSpeaks Hawaii:

http://www.youthspeakshawaii.org/ info@YouthSpeaksHawaii.org call: (808) 387-9664.
For Video examples of poetry slam presentations visit:


KE KAULIKE- He Ha’awina Kīwila – Civics Hawaiian Style High School Lesson #3 Overthrow-Hawaiian Monarchy

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