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History of Hawaii 1923





"A New World
Lies Before Us"


Handwritten Date in Book says 1927

Copyright 1923

Page 87


Physical Features. The Hawaiian Islands are volcanic peaks which have come up from the ocean bed. There are eight principal islands and many smaller ones, having a combined area less than that of the state of New Jersey. On the island of Hawaii, which is the largest in the group, the mountains have risen to a height of over 14,000 feet. Mauna Loa and Mauna Kea are the two highest of these volcanoes. On the slope of Mauna Loa is the tremendous crater of Kilauea (Fig. 169). The summit of Mauna Loa and the crater of Kilauea are national parks.

[Fig. 169. This is a photograph of a model of Kilauea, the active crater on the eastern slope of Mauna Loa. The circular pit in the foreground contains a lake of boiling lava. Surrounding it is the great floor of hardened lava, built up by many outpourings of hot liquid rock.]

Climate. Since these mountain peaks rose in the torrid zone, in the midst of a great ocean, they have a warm climate with but a slight change in temperature from summer to winter. The winds are the northeast trades, and they bring plenty of rainfall to the windward side of the mountains. The precipitation reaches 75 inches a year on that side, but on the southwest, or leeward, side the annual rainfall is less than 25 inches. One side of an island is therefore well wooded, while the other side is a semidesert.

The people and their occupations. The population of these islands is about 200,000. The native Hawaiians belong to the brown race. They are an intelligent people but have been decreasing in numbers. White people have invested money in the development of the plantations, and a great many people from Japan, China, and the Phillipines have gone to the islands to work. Sugar cane is the chief crop. Pineapples, coffee, rice, bananas, tobacco, and citrous fruits are also raised (Fig. 167).

[Fig. 167. (photograph copyright E.M. Newman) The finest pineapples in the world are grown on the Hawaiian plantations. Thousands of them are canned and sent to the United States.]

The location of these islands is fortunate, for the ocean routes from our Pacific coast ports to New Zealand, Australia, the Philippines, China, and Japan naturally pass near the Hawaiian group. They are sometimes spoken of as at the "cross-roads of the Pacific." They are used as a coaling station, and large reserves of coal are held there for the United States Navy. Vessels may put in at these islands to make repairs.

Cities. Honolulu, on the island of Oahu, is the capital and largest city. It has a good harbor and is the chief port of the territory (Fig. 168). The next largest city is Hilo, on the island of Hawaii.

[Fig. 168. Honolulu, the capital of Hawaii, has a safe, deep harbor where the largest ocean-going vessels can anchor. It is an important port of call for ships engaged in trans-Pacific trade.]

Government. In 1893 the white people took control of the government of the Hawaiian Islands and in 1898 offered them to the United States. These Islands now constitute one of our territories.

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