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Hawai'iEight Hundred Years of Political and Economic Change$
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Sumner La Croix

Print publication date: 2019

Print ISBN-13: 9780226592091

Published to Chicago Scholarship Online: September 2019

DOI: 10.7208/chicago/9780226592121.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM CHICAGO SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.chicago.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright University of Chicago Press, 2022. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in CHSO for personal use.date: 25 June 2022

The Rise of Competing Hawaiian States

The Rise of Competing Hawaiian States

(p.39) Chapter Three The Rise of Competing Hawaiian States

Sumner La Croix

University of Chicago Press

This chapter sets forth the case that Hawaiʻi had the necessary food surpluses to form complex states, and then compares several theories developed to explain state formation in Hawaiʻi during the fifteenth and sixteenth centuries. A central question considered is why Hawaiian states were simultaneously fragile enough to have frequent usurpation while durable enough to support large military invasions across the ocean channels separating the Hawaiian islands. The chapter concludes by briefly considering advantages that states on the islands of Maui and Hawaiʻi had been accumulating in the 100–150 years prior to the late eighteenth-century European voyages that brought foreigners, diseases, trade, and Western ideas to Hawaiʻi.

Keywords:   Makahiki, archaic states, heiau, mana, ho‘okupu, innovation, geographical isolation, population growth, agricultural surplus, ahupua‘a

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