Hawaii's struggle for annexation
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The Hawaiian Islands have long played an important role in the history of the United States. In December, 1842, the Hawaiian king sent his emissaries to America for the purpose of requesting that the United States formally recognize the independence of the Islands. Action on our part was necessary, or the Hawaiian agents would undoubtedly carry their mission to Europe where they would probably gain the recognition refused by the United States. President Tyler had no precedent to follow, but he decided to adopt a conservative attitude towards the Islands. He stated that the United States government desired "no particular advantages, no exclusive control over the Hawaiian government, but is content with its independent existence and anxiously wishes for Its security and prosperity." Tyler went on to insist that the other powers follow the same course, or the United States would formally protest. Tyler thus "extended the fundamental principles of the Monroe Doctrine into the Pacific and applied them to the Hawaiian Kingdom." These basic concepts have governed American relations with Hawaii until its final annexation, with the exception of the expansionist policies adhered to by Marcy and Blaine. Thus, the United States had early adopted a protective attitude towards Hawaii. Our government early realized that Hawaii was the crossroads of the Pacific, and that they possessed a strategic commercial and naval importance "which could not be ignored by any nation concerned with future expansion in that area." At this time the Islands were important as a source of supplies and as a way-station in the long voyages from the United States to China, and they were also an outpost for the early whalers. Admiral Mahan later proclaimed that the Hawaiian Islands are a position "powerfully influencing the commercial and military control of the Pacific (where) the United States...has the strongest right to assert herself."