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A page of the Ku’e Petitions that prevented Hawaii from being annexed by treaty.


The Newlands Resolution, was a joint resolution written and named after United States Congressman Francis G. Newlands. It was an Act of Congress to annex the Republic of Hawai'imarker and create the Territory of Hawai'i.

In 1898 President of the United States William McKinley signed the treaty of annexation for Hawaiimarker, but it failed in the senate after the 38,000 signatures of the Ku’e Petitions were submitted. After the failure Hawaii was annexed by means of joint resolution called the Newlands Resolution

It was approved on July 4, 1898 and signed on July 7 by William McKinley. In August of the same year, a ceremony was held on the steps of 'Iolani Palacemarker to signify the official transfer of Hawaiian sovereignty to the United States.

Larsen Case

Lance Paul Larsen vs. the Hawaiian Kingdom was a case in the World Courtmarker that challenged the Newlands Resolution under international law, the court did not decide on the legitimacy of the Resolution.


Lance Paul Larsen accused the Hawaiian Kingdom of not protecting him from traffic violations committed under US law (there were no vehicular laws in the Hawaiian Kingdom), with the intention of challenging the validity of the Newlands Resolution. The case was heard by the Permanent Court of Arbitration at the Hague, which allows for private parties to engage in arbitration, and has no legal authority. At a cost of $10,000 each, the parties involved hired three arbitrators. The arbiters of the case affirmed that there was no dispute they could decide upon, because the United States was not a party to the arbitration. As stated in the award from the arbitration panel, in the absence of the United States of America, the Tribunal can neither decide that Hawaii is not part of the USA, nor proceed on the assumption that it is not. To take either course would be to disregard a principle which goes to heart of the arbitral function in international law.

See also

  • Hawaiian Organic Act, approved in 1900 by Congress to adopt a form of government for the new territory, in supplement of the Newlands Resolution.


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