Excerpt From this Document
- The missionaries started to arrive in Hawaii by the early 1820’s. These missionaries came by invitation of Henry Opuakahaia of 1809 and the Hawaiian Alii. The Hawaiian people had heard about the “Torch of Life” of Jesus Christ and were searching for a new spiritual way. So as the Christian faith came in 1820 and thousands were taught “The Way” and found peace in the Christian faith.
- They came to Hawaii to try to spread Christianity throughout the islands and help the natives become more civilized, since the missionaries did not see the natives as civilized people. Their main goal was to destruct the old Hawaii beliefs in multiple gods and in the legends/myths and instead have the natives read the Bible and conform to believing in Christianity.
- The missionaries who came to Hawaii in the earliest years were a majority from New England in the Northeast of the United States. The missionaries put the Hawaiian language to written form, helping the Hawaiian people to read and write in their own language. Schools were established throughout the islands as rapidly as possible. By 1831, only 11 years after the missionaries' arrival, some 52,000 students had been enrolled. Themissionaries introduced western medicine and undertook the Kingdom's first modern census, which was used to help count the population. And the missionaries are credited to helping Hawaii become and remain an independent nation at a time when Hawaii was starting to be invaded by other foreign countries who wanted to control Hawaii.
- King Kamehameha died five months before the missionaries sailed but they had no knowledge of his death before their departure. In less than the span of one year from his death, and as the missionaries were at sea, the Kapu system had been dissolved, and a civil war had taken place. Since the kapu system was disappearing and that was the religious backbone of the Hawaiian society, the native Hawaiians felt lost and chaos was all around. This circumstance made it very easy for the native Hawaiians to accept the missionaries when they came to Hawaii wanting to spread Christianity. The Hawaiians were looking for peace and a new way and Christianity became their new religion.
- Besides their preaching, the missionaries became active in other areas. They healed the sick, and they built churches and schools. They taught natives to read and write, even creating a written alphabet for the Hawaiian language. They translated the Bible and published them along with hymnbooks and textbooks.
- The Americans had an influence on the way the natives dressed, especially the women. Before the coming of the missionaries, women generally wore several layers of cloth wrapped around the waist, barely reaching below the knees, and with little or nothing above the waist. Once the newcomers made their objections known, the Hawaiians changed their fashions with little complaint.
- Interests of the missionaries were not limited to religion and social reforms. They became involved in the government and became advisors to kings and other people in the government. They even helped to make new laws two. In addition, they encouraged the King to turn his government into a democracy. A democracy is where the people vote on representatives that help run the government and make laws. A democracy also helps protect the rights and freedoms of the people.
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Goes with gallery walk, but as one reading. I give this out after the gallery walk activity as a way to summarize.