Kamehameha III - Reign

Reign

Kauikeaouli was only about 11 when he ascended to the throne on June 6, 1825. It had been 11 months after the death of Liholiho, who died in London. For the next seven years, from 1824 to 1832, real political power was in the hands of his stern stepmother and regent, Queen Kaʻahumanu. When Kaʻahumanu died in 1832, she was replaced as regent by Kauikeaouli’s half-sister, Elizabeth Kīnaʻu, who took the title Kaʻahumanu II. On March 15, 1833 he declared the regency ended, but retained Kīnaʻu in the kuhina nui office as more of a Prime Minister. Kīnaʻu died when Kauikeaouli was only 25, and the young king found himself consumed by the burdens of kingship.

When Kauikeaouli came to the throne, the native population numbered about 150,000, which was already less one third of the Hawaiian population at the time of Captain Cook’s arrival to Hawaii in 1778. During his reign, that number would be halved again, due to a series of epidemics.

Read more about this topic:  Kamehameha III

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