Friday, March 6, 2009

Nationalist Movements in modern-day Hawaii and Puerto Rico

This week we are exploring the reasons that the US government sought colonial rule over regions of the Caribbean and South Pacific at the turn of the 20th century. The legitimacy of US authority over commonwealths like Puerto Rico, Guam, Samoa and even the statehood of Hawaii remain controversial issues in modern society. This week's blog asks that you read some articles on contemporary nationalist movements and analyze the call for independence that is becoming a strong political movement among indigenous people in these areas.

Actively read the following articles on independence movements in Hawaii and Puerto RicoA)Hawaii

B) Puerto Rico
Summarize the articles and explain the reasons why Puerto Rican and Hawaiian nationalists feel their homelands should be granted full independence by the US government.

In your opinion, would autonomy and self-rule benefit the people of Hawaii and Puerto Rico or exacerbate poverty and other problems that exist in these areas today? Explain using support from the article, your knowledge of history and any outside sources that you may use to further research this assignment. If you read other sources, be sure to cite the URL or newssource in your post.

minimum 250 words, please comment on the post of one of your peers.Due Monday 3/9 before class.


Brianne said...

The article about Hawaii talks about the native Hawaiians want to be independent from the United States. They feel that that should be able to do things to their island without having to ask the United States government. A couple of years ago Hawaii wanted to put in a casino since they have many vacationers there, but they had to ask for the United States government first. Hawaii said they want to be able to have a nation-within-a-nation like Native Americans have, but they have still not yet been granted that. The article said that when people from the US go through the towns in Hawaii natives scream nasty things at them. They are not welcome. Puerto Rico is not a state in the United States of America, yet they still have to follow American laws. They are not represented in congress, so they don’t have a voice or a say in what goes on at all. The US also had their military stationed in Puerto Rico and they killed some innocent people, and when Puerto Rico wanted them gone the US wouldn’t pull them out. Hawaii is lucky to be a state because they might not agree with everything that the US does but they still do get a say in government, are protected by the military, and receive money. On the other hand Puerto Rico may be better off with out the US in their lives since they don’t have a say and have to follow the rules, that make them loose money during spring break when people cant drink their until their twenty-one. They do not receive money from the US government and do not receive all of the benefit that states do. Hawaii is lucky to be a state but Puerto Rico can do fine on its own or it should become a state.
-Brianne Hannafey
-March 6, 2009

Dana Pistilli said...

The article “Rebuilding a Hawaiian Kingdom” is about Hawaiians wanting to be distant from America. They do not consider themselves a state anymore. Out of all the states in America, Hawaii is the dirtiest and has the most unemployment as well as most high school drop outs. Polls have been asked to the Hawaiians about sovereignty and most of them agree to it. On the other hand, this article shows that Hawaiians want nothing to do with the United States government. They try to make tourists and visitors uncomfortable by screaming rude things to them. Casinos and more villages were requested to be put in Hawaii. This request had to be questioned to the United States government. Hawaiians feel they should be granted full independence from America because they have to constantly check up with the government for changes that occur.

As Brianne said, Puerto Rico is not one of the states in America but they do have to follow our laws. Some of the laws they have to follow are common wealth, such as taxes and currencies. Puerto Rico is not one of our states and is not included in Congress. This means that they do not have a chance to voice their opinion about what goes on. When there was military in Puerto Rico and few were caught innocent, they were killed. America would not leave, but Puerto Rico was requesting them to. Puerto Rico should be granted full independence from America because they only follow certain laws. If they were to be included in Congress and meetings at the United Nations, then there might be some disagreement with Puerto Rico not being part of America.

Self-rule would help Puerto Rico more than Hawaii. The United States doesn’t seem to be doing much benefit to Puerto Rico. The only thing that America is doing is bringing tax upon the people. Hawaiians, on the other hand, are lucky as Brianne said to be a state of the United States. Being an independent country might not be the best idea. This is because they already have so many problems, such as poverty and school dropouts. What will happen when they are independent, needing money and supplies?

katie said...

Is Hawaii and Puerto Rico wanting to become independent from the United States any different from the United states wanting to be separate from England? The natives in Hawaii and Puerto Rico both feel that they are not part of America for various reasons. Hawaii and Puerto Rico natives feel that they have completely different cultures and life styles then Americans do. Not only is there a major culture difference but Americans in these place are not safe or wanted, Hawaiian natives scream out cat calls and curses to white American tourist and in Puerto Rico American solider stationed there killed natives to the land. At least Hawaii has some representation in the American system because it is a state, where as Puerto Rico is completely cut off and is not an American state so it is not represented in congress. Some might argue that Puerto Rico would not be able to survive with out American supplies but I think that Puerto Rico would learn the difficulties of being independent but it's a price to pay of being independent. In my opinion I believe that Hawaii and Puerto Rico should not be ruled by America for numerous reason. For instance Hawaii and Puerto Rico are both a large distance away from the whole of main part of America because of this distance it isolates these places. Next I believe that with the distance between the country and these islands, it makes them independent due to the vast difference they have different cultures and life styles so I think that the best way they can be represented is by their own people I think that the American system does not work for Hawaii and Puerto Rico due to the difference in cultures that have been created. Both Hawaii and Puerto Rico should have self-rule over themselves because their thirst for independence is one that the American people had nearly two centuries ago.
I disagree with Brianne, I think that Puerto Rico should not become an American state but should become it own country entirely. I do agree that were she says that Hawaii is luckier to be a state because at least their needs are respected by the American congress.

Katie McSherry
Block: H

Ho Lee said...
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Ho Lee said...

The article "Rebuilding a Hawaiian Kingdom" talks about natives of Hawaii yearning to be independent from American rule. The natives feel as though their land was wrongfully taken by the United States in 1983 when the United States had overthrown the Hawaiian monarchy. They feel as though they lost their culture along with their monarchy. The Hawaiians want to be considered a "nation inside a nation" like, Native Americans and Alaskans. Though, not all the land was given back by the government some Hawaiian activists were given acres of land to rule for themselves. Puerto Rico also wants to be liberated from American control. In both situations it is apparent that the people are willing to use violence seeing that a Puerto Rican figure head was assassinated by the FBI. The United States is trying to stop the uprising which seems probably inevitable since, the desire to be free doesn't dissolve. The citizens of Puerto Rico want to be liberated because; they receive no power in the American government. Puerto Rico doesn't have anyone representing them in the government. They also cannot participate in the voting for a new president. If Hawaii and Puerto Rico were to be liberated I believe that poverty would rise in both areas. America seems to be the link to why these areas receive income. Places like Hawaii and Puerto Rico are tourists attractions especially since, these places are apart of America. Both areas probably receive an abundant amount of income from tourism. By not being apart of the United States people would probably feel unsafe because, they would not be welcomed by the few natives that were once there. Also their economy would probably worsen because; in the Hawaii situation it seems that the villagers aren't teaching their children anything but native necessities and not things such as math. By being disconnected to the world their income would diminish. Though there are consequences in being a separate nation. I agree with Katie that America should not control Hawaii and Puerto Rico. The cultural differences between America and these two areas are too great for Americans to understand their culture. I also agree that due to the vast amount of distance separating America from Puerto Rico that it would be better to let Puerto Rico and Hawaii rule themselves.

Ho Lee
H Block

Vince said...

1). Summarize the articles and explain the reasons why Puerto Rican and Hawaiian nationalists feel their homelands should be granted full independence by the US government.

The articles "Rebuilding a Hawaiian Kingdom" by Tomas Alex Tizon, and "FBI Witch Hunt Stokes Puerto Rican Independence Movement" by Jessica Pupovac are about how the United States does not officially own the outer islands of the US because they conquered them with a coup de tat. Some of these islands include Hawaii, Puerto Rico, Guam, and Samoa. Many of the arguments are based on how the US just sort of "moved in" without permission. Its like walking into another persons home and announcing "This is now mine". Its not legal, and your sure that something will happen to make them get out of the house, but they wont budge, and have a military to back them up. That’s just like the islands. Without an army, the inhabitants of the islands had to contend with them. These settlements are only used to benefit the US. Hawaii is the most valuable of all the islands. Being so far out in the middle of the Pacific, halfway to Asia, and a check-point for huge ships that want to travel across vast oceans, but need to fill up on gas. Hawaii is also a valued tourist location due to widespread popularity and advertisement. Also, a valued patriotic memorial to the veterans of WWII at Pearl Harbor. The ancient ancestors of the islands complain that US police and residents interfere too much with their way of life. Hawaiian and Puerto Rico nationalists feel their homelands should be granted full independence from the US government because they feel they have been treated unfairly, and their ancient culture and traditions have been severely severed. The nationalists feel that they have the right to be independent from the US because they have shown they can govern themselves, they can manage a society on their own, and can successfully upkeep an economy on a global scale.

2). In your opinion, would autonomy and self-rule benefit the people of Hawaii and Puerto Rico or exacerbate poverty and other problems that exist in these areas today? Explain using support from the article, your knowledge of history and any outside sources that you may use to further research this assignment. If you read other sources, be sure to cite the URL or news source in your post.

Well, either of these choices can mean a euphoria or a depression for the country. Since the US currently governs these countries, its quite clear that the ancestors people yearn for independence. These countries economies vary, but are overall, weak. The policing system of these countries works, but to an extent. If a riot erupt, they usually last hours and cause thousands of dollars of damage. Crime is usually relatively high, but this is due to high unemployment and low education levels. Categorically speaking:

Under US control:
Crime is relatively high. Education is relatively low. College rates are almost non-existent. Social order is usually under decent control. Wealth is structured into two main groups-poor/poverty or wealthy. Poverty devastates many areas of these islands. Inhabitants want independence. Resident create tax money for gov. Adds more land under America's belt. Since its an island, expect plenty of tourism. Crop output-not many, but are exotic spices. Drugs are a problem in these islands. Government stability is moderate-strong. Economy is slow but grows at a steady past. Overall: Worth it for the money and extra land, but continues to increase tension between inhabitants and residents.

Without US control:
Crime would be based on culture, but mostly low. Education might be allowed, but not formal, only traditional. Colleges would not be an option for many, but not all. Social order would be under strong control, under the guidance of a leader. Wealth would be based on culture, but overall spread out evenly. Poverty would be scarce, because all of the islands resources go to the inhabitants. Inhabitants would be joyous because they could finally celebrate their culture. Crops would rarely be traded to other nations. Taxes would be non-existent. Tourism based on how open culture allows. Drugs are non-existent. Governments are non-existent, usually a traditional governmental system. Economy is non-existent, but only regulated under culture. Overall: A peaceful country, isolation, would live the same way for many years, but the US would have to be pretty generous to give away all that land.

In my opinion, autonomy and self rule would most definite benefit the inhabitants of Hawaii and Puerto Rico, but the loss of these valuable lands would not appeal to the eye of American politics. They will most certainly not release all of the lands under their control, but with proper actions, the people of these islands might persuade the government enough to split the islands 50/50. This would be an acceptable solution to all islands.

Student Response:

I totally agree with Katie about how she compares the independence of America from England and the independence of Puerto Rico/Hawaii to America. Unfortunately, we both know that America had to fight for its lands back. Obviously, the Hawaiians and Puerto Ricans can't match nuclear bombs, stealth fighters, tanks and helicopters. But we all live in a more civilized world now. With proper legislation and formal civil contending, the islands can truly become free again.

Vince Arcello
H Block

PeAcHyRoC92 said...

The desire for expansion and the rise of imperialism was a major goal for many countries during the 19th century. During the time of the 1830’s to the beginning of World War I many countries in Europe began expanding their borders to those of other countries. Britain had its start with the smuggling of Opium in China, thus resulting in English colonization in China, and the start of the Opium Wars. European powers such as Britain, France, and Spain began to take lands from Africa in order to gain natural resources and great prosperity for their countries. Other nations tagged along in this lucrative idea and thus the “Scramble for Africa” begun. During this quest to colonize Africa European countries activated on competing with one another in order to become superior over the other nations. Taking over African lands, transforming the cultures of many tribes, and using the natives as slaves were tactics used by many European countries. Sound familiar? It should because the United States was also apart in taking over native lands and expanding its borders. From the creation of Jefferson’s westward expansion including purchasing Louisiana to the annex of Hawaii, the United States has managed away of taking control over lands that do not belong to them. As always, the United States was included in this larger extension to moving into other nations and the articles in the blog illustrate how both present-day Hawaii and Puerto Rico natives reflect on the lands they lost nearly 100 years ago. These two documents represent the impact that American expansion has had on other countries, and the desire for some citizens of Hawaii and Puerto Rico to become independent from American authority. Will the American flag decrease to 49 stars in counting? This seems to be the plan for some of the residents in Waimanalo, Hawaii, a housing place on the island that holds nearly 80 inhabitants. The residents who dwell in this area believe that the United States government should not be allowed to have control over Hawaii and make it a state because of the villainous methods of the United States back in the late 1800’s. Before the seize of Hawaii, the United States had been involved with island by trading goods. The trading between the United States and Hawaii had become so strong that during the 1890’s Hawaii’s economy fell. After the crashing of its economy, Hawaii was granted tariff free admission to America’s markets. However, as Hawaii became more dependent on America for its trade, the island of Hawaii was struck with the McKinley Tariff, a system which increased the height of tax on imported goods by about half. This decreased the amount of exports in Hawaii and resulted in white Americans overriding the native government. This is why present-day Hawaiian citizens such as Kanahele and his residents believe that the United States government should have not have control over the island. Many citizens in Waimanalo desire to gain back territory like the American Indians as well as Native Alaskans. Many residents in this area of Hawaii do not welcome tourists because of America’s harsh treatment to the civilization and custom of the land. Many rebel against the methods of the United States government and have even demonstrated their desire to exclude themselves from the rest of the country. This article speaks on how many citizens in this inhabitation coop with each other by being self sufficient in the community trying to keep the culture of Hawaii alive even if the island is still apart of United States soil. The article on Puerto Rico also relates to the Hawaii editorial by pointing out the desire for independence. Puerto Rico is not even a state in America rather it is identified as a common wealth. In one section of the article Susan Tipograph stated "There certainly is a history of the federal government using grand jury subpoenas to cast a wide net investigation into political movements,” "There is a particular history of that in relationship to the Puerto Rican independence movement." Her reference is to that of America when the United States had conflict with Cuba. The United States has had Puerto Rico under its control since 1898 and is forced to follow American regulations, however they have no representation in Congress. I agree with Katie when she talks about the distance between both Hawaii and Puerto Rico they are not even connected to the United States and wise, so why include them in United States government. United States involvement in foreign affairs goes completely against the Monroe Doctrine, which states the U.S. will stay out of foreign issues. It is extremely unfair for citizens in Hawaii and Puerto Rico to be involved with other nations and institute their laws in other areas because it is unjust and extremely radical.

Racquel Wood

Simit Christian said...

According to "Rebuilding a Hawaii Kingdom” by Tomas Alex and “FBI Witch Hunt Stokes Puerto Rican Independence Movement” by Jessica Pupovac, America is still still a highly imperialist country. The inclusion of Puerto Rico and Hawaii into the American nation clearly shows American domination. Despite Anti-American resistance from both of the aforementioned countries, the U.S. fights back and limits protests by implementing the FBI, and continuing to ignoring Hawaiian and Puerto Rican views.

Thomas Alex defines Hawaii beyond its tourist business and tropical islands. Alex describes the residential Hawaii as completely distinct world. Even though the population on the Hawaiian Islands is relatively low, they have a unique culture and identity. Furthermore, Hawaiian individuals, mostly laborers, are facing poverty and economic depression. Nevertheless, a majority of Hawaiian, or at least partially Hawaiian, people want independence from the U.S. Separatists expect their country’s economy to flourish once sovereignty is achieved.

Similarly, Puerto Rico has also seen organized resistance to American ownership. Puerto Rico is also in the midst of an economic mess, according to Pupovac. Since the 1898 Treaty of Paris, the U.S. has maintained control of Puerto Rico. However, Puerto Ricans have no representation in congress, Electoral College, or the right to vote for a president, unlike Hawaii. Moreover, certain Puerto Rican lands are being used for U.S. military purposes.

Regardless, the overpowering authority of the U.S., Pan-Hawaiian and Pan-Puerto Rican movements have not ceased. Unfortunately, the U.S. has done severely limited these movements, considering them as radical rebellions. Bumpy Kanalhele for example, a prominent independence movement leader, who highly valued Hawaiian traditions; Kanahele was easily negotiated with to end the construction of houses on a certain beach. This effort was meant to act out against the U.S. and the Hawaiian government for complying with American demands.

Additionally, the Puerto Rican Boricua Army, a militant group which uses its forces to gain power, hoping to eventually gain independence. Although the violence ended over a decade ago, the U.S. has continued to hunt the members of this organization, using subpoena’s to intimidate them. The Boricua Army reacted by denying and resisting the subpoena’s, which sadly led to several arrests. The F.B.I.’s efforts to investigate the army, also known as the Los Macheteros, have only incited more discontent toward the U.S. The death of Filiberto Ojeda Rios, a result of an intentional F.B.I. shooting, sparked even more anger toward America. Pupovac claims that people gathered on the street to honor Rios as martyr and a Puerto Rican nationalist.

America’s behavior toward Puerto Rico and Hawaii is unethical and unlawful. The first amendment offers American residents, including Puerto Ricans and Hawaiians, to have freedom to assemble and criticize the government, which is exactly what some them are doing, but the F.B.I. along with the U.S. government illegitimately, especially when both support the arrests of independence seekers. Both of the aforementioned countries have chiefly existed under another imperialist power, either Spain or the U.S., and transitioning into independence would be a costly and troublesome. Even though gaining independence would be extremely risky, economically and politically, for Hawaiians and Puerto Ricans, voicing their opinions should not be prevented.

Simit Christian said...

-In Response to Vincent-

You make a valid point suggesting that the U.S. is acting selfishly, especially after considering the American Revolution, but I want to address that neither Puerto Rico or Hawaii would make any gains towards independence through violence because it would only make them appear as dangerous radicals. Instead both countries should use Martin Luther's and Gandhi's peaceful, yet powerful methods to achieve success and separate from the U.S.

Aleksandra said...

Both "Rebuilding a Hawaiian Kingdom” by Tomas Alex and “FBI Witch Hunt Stokes Puerto Rican Independence Movement” by Jessica Pupovac introduce the muted opinions of Hawaiian and Puerto Rican nationalists. Through their eyes, the reporters aim to convince Americans of their countries continued imperialistic behavior in a negative manner.

"Rebuilding a Hawaiian Kingdom" focuses on the objection of many natives to the establishment of their land a a market for tourism, somehow commercializing it to to fit the definition of "exotic" in the eyes of those tourists. It introduces Kanahale, who received a 45 acre parcel in the Koolau Mountains. The eighty Hawaiian natives who live there pride themselves on being one of the very few (if not only) places in a Hawaii that is under native rule. Kanahale is hailed as a hero to many, as he represents the quiet cries for sovereignty from the United States. His fellow patriots make up eighty percent of the Hawaiian native population, who believe Hawaii should return to its position as an independent country. Many people United States interference hurt their economy and is responsible for the high poverty rate. Kanahale summarizes their views and deeps hopes when he says, "Standing here on your land, not owing anything to anybody, not being afraid of anyone, knowing you fought the right fight with attitude." Calls for revolt are rising; is a new Hawaii revolution inevitable?

“FBI Witch Hunt Stokes Puerto Rican Independence Movement” by Jessica Pupovac covers the increasing demand for independence among Puerto Ricans, who are Unites States citizens but are not represented equally in government. Again, many believe a revolt is inevitable as oppression is rarely resolved peacefully. Oppression comes in the form of denying freedom, as the United States government is accused of incriminating those in the independence movement for little other reason. Carlos Alberto, for example, is still in jail after twenty seven years. His crime? Seditious conspiracy, planning to overthrow the government. Jose Lopez summarized American actions in Puerto Rico best when he said, "Sometimes, the more you repress people and try to stifle dissent, you create more consciousness, and it has the opposite effect that the government would want.”

So the question becomes, should Hawaii and Puerto Rico be "disconnected" from American ties?

Simit hits it right on the head (nose or dot... I forgot how the saying goes) when he says a combination of imperialism and unequal treatment of natives is unlawful. The amendments state that everyone is created equal. Hence, everyone is equally competent to decide whether they belong to a country or not. When eighty percent of the native Hawaiian population resents the presence of Americans and tourists, their desire should be acknowledged. If people are discontent, they resolve their conflicts through war generally. As Katie pointed out, the American revolution made the United States into the nation it is today. Of course, it also suffered through it own loses as economic depression struck. The same would happen to Hawaii and Puerto Rico. However, high morale and the taste of independence would allow them to bounce back and thrive. Hawaiian schools systems would use the local language, which is now still a barrier between locals and the tourists. A universal language would improve the literacy rate and provide a sound foundation for the economic future. The same could happen with Puerto Rico. Disgruntled citizens do not make good ones. Even if their country fails, they would have only themselves to blame. The United States has plentiful problems and resources and people on the continental lands. The views of the "White Mans Burdens" can no longer apply as they contradict all the social equality efforts of the last century. Therefore, the bottom line becomes- give the people what they want.

Aleksandra Makowska

laurelhaim said...

In the article about Hawaii, natives speak about becoming an independent nation, separate from the United States. Hawaiians feel as if, America came in and took their land, and on their island should be allowed to do what they want. Hawaiians have put in a vote that must be passed, allowing them to become like Native Americans, or the Native Alaskans, part of a nation with-in a nation. States like Nevada fear that Hawaii will put up casinos, bringing Nevada's state revenue down. Hawaii would like to build casino's for the multiple vacationers, but the government will not allow it. Hawaii's requests have not yet been granted, but will continue fighting and rebelling against tourists. Puerto Rico, although not a state, is under American control. Puerto Rico is a commonwealth of America, they do not pay federal taxes, do not have representation in the government, but still receive America's financial support. Puerto Rico is home of American troops, who have killed innocent people. When Puerto Rican officials requested America to pull their troops out, America did not comply. Every few years, Puerto Rico is given the choice, remain a commonwealth, become an independent nation, or become a state, and every time majority votes that Puerto Rico remains a commonwealth. Although Hawaii, does not like being a state, Hawaii is given a say in the government unlike Puerto Rico. If Puerto Rico does not like Americas rule, shouldn't the people vote to become an independent nation? Hawaiians receive military support, and would be better remaining a state. Forming a new nation now, may make them a target for foreign capture. I disagree with Brianne. Puerto Rico is better off being a commonwealth of America. They receive financial suppoert, and if they are dropped, Puerto Rico could enter one of the biggest depressions.

Ms. Francis said...

Brianna - G
Dana - G - thoughtful reflection, but more concrete detail would enhance this blog
Katie- G+: Interesting argument, I wish you had provided more examples to support your main ideas
Ho - E - insightful and relevant work