Homelessness in Hawaii
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How the forced signing of the Bayonet Constitution 0f 1887 contributed to today’s homelessness in Hawai’i’s. The roots of Hawai’i’s homelessness problem can be traced to the forced signing of the Bayonet Constitution. King David Kalakua was forced to sign the constitution of 1887, which sharply curtailed his powers and diminished the Native Hawaiians’ voice in Government. The Constitution extended voting privilege to foreign residents while imposing a high property ownership or income requirement — which excluded most of the Native Hawaiians. Meanwhile, vast tracks of Hawaiian land (including Pearl Harbor) were taken from their rightful owners without compensation by the new government and traded to the United States in exchange for a reduction of the sugar tariff. On August 12, 1898 the Sovereignty of Hawai’i was formally transferred to the United States in a ceremony at `Iolani Palace. The American plantation owners had finally achieved their goal of freedom from the import tariffs. Simultaneously, wealthy people from the western coast of the USA are moving in increasing numbers to the islands, driving up the cost of living and the price of housing. No longer being able to afford houses, house payments, rent, or even food, thousands upon thousands are driven to become homeless in their own homeland.
Before Hawai’i became a tourist location for millions of people around the world, a dark and shady past engulfed what was once a monarchy ruled by the people of the nation. The Bayonet Constitution took away 75% of the native Hawaiian population’s right to vote in their own elections. As native Hawaiians, as well as Asian immigrants who legally obtained Hawaiian citizenship, were deprived of their suffrage. Americans and other Europeans in Hawai’i were given full voting rights without the need for Hawaiian citizenship. Large-scale cultivation of sugar was displacing the taro fields and fish ponds that provided the native food supply. An…


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