The annexation of Hawaii is one of the most divisive and controversial issues in American politics today. Presently with thousands of protesters blocking construction projects in Hawaii (as of 2019), and many legal challenges going on in Hawaii surrounding the hype around the question of whether or not Hawaii was legally or illegal annexed by the USA in 1898.
First of all we should establish was annexation is. I will cite a few sources.
Annexation, a formal act whereby a state proclaims its sovereignty over territory hitherto outside its domain. Unlike cession, whereby territory is given or sold through treaty, annexation is a unilateral act made effective by actual possession and legitimized by general recognition.
*click here for the full article*
The Law of Annexed Territory
Political Science QuarterlyVol. 11, No. 4 (Dec., 1896), pp. 672-693 (22 pages)Published by: The Academy of Political Science
A lot of academic activists like Dr. David Sai or Dr. William Chang cite that there “was no treaty of annexation” between Hawaii and the USA.
When in fact that is not true. How they get to this conclusion, is that they ignore the formation and international recognition of the Republic of Hawaii.
However according to international law, the Republic Of Hawaii was internationally recognized, and what’s more is that the Republic of Hawaii was internationally recognized by ALL of the former Hawaiian Kingdom’s treaty partners. (see the definition of Annexation)
Letters of Recognition of the Republic of HawaiiThese are 20 letters of recognition of the Republic of Hawaii by 20 nations, in 4 continents in 11 languages.
Now we get to the treaty. You can read the entire treaty here;
Not that a treaty is necessary as per the international laws, and examples of annexation. However, there was, in fact, a treaty.