A Power in the World : The Hawaiian Kingdom in Oceania
Few people today know that in the nineteenth century, Hawaii was not only an internationally recognized independent nation but played a crucial role in the entire Pacific region and left an important legacy throughout Oceania. As the first non-Western state to gain full recognition as a coequal of the Western powers, yet at the same time grounded in indigenous tradition and identity, the Hawaiian Kingdom occupied a unique position in the late nineteenth-century world order. From this position, Hawaii's leaders were able to promote the building of independent states based on their country's model throughout the Pacific, envisioning the region to become politically unified. Such a pan-Oceanian polity would be able to withstand foreign colonialism and become, in the words of one of the idea's pioneers, "a Power in the World."