Acquisition of the Hawaiian Islands : a step in the territorial and commercial expansion of the United States
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During the Middle Ages, the rulers of the countries of Europe were little interested in colonial or commercial expansion. The questions which interested them were those relating to the increase of the royal power or the consolidation of their kingdoms. The centralization of the governments, however, enabled the nations to take part in the great colonizing activity following the era of discovery. The seventeenth, eighteenth, and nineteenth centuries saw the flags of Europe penetrate into every sea in search of new possessions and new markets. The United States, born of this movement, was late in entering this race, but no sooner was it independent than it began to be a factor in the struggle. From the Purchase of Louisiana in 1803 to the present, territory has been added to the extent of several times the original area. It is with a part of this commercial and territorial expansion that this thesis treats, the acquisition of Hawaii by the United States.