In the early 19th century, the Polynesian people of the Hawaiian islands joined together, under the leadership of Kamehameha I, to establish the Kingdom of Hawaii. The kingdom was widely recognized as an independent nation, participated in international negotiations, and entered into six agreements of peace, friendship, and economic reciprocity with the United States.

But in 1893, Western businessmen overthrew the Hawaiian government and seized control of the islands, aided by the U.S. military and the U.S. diplomat posted in Honolulu. Five years later, the islands were formally annexed by the United States.

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