Hawaii is a paradise, known for its tropical landscapes and beaches of stunning hues. The islands are also home to rich natural resources, including sugar cane, pineapples, coffee and macadamia nuts. But its most valuable asset is tourism, which brings in over 10 million visitors each year and accounts for more than half of the state’s economy.

Hawaii’s unique geographical position also makes it a cultural hot spot. It is the most diverse state in terms of ethnicity, with the majority of residents claiming some type of Asian ancestry. The Hawaiian population includes people with roots in China, Japan, Korea and the Philippines. The state also has a large Native Hawaiian population, with an estimated 20 percent of residents claiming to be of Hawaiian or other Pacific Islander descent.

Originally inhabited by Polynesians, Hawaii was first settled by humans as early as 1000 AD. The Polynesians arrived in Hawaii by sea and cultivated the land, building their first luakini heiau (sacred places for worship and human sacrifice). Over the centuries, the Hawaiian kingdom was unified under king Kamehameha I, who established a monarchy and introduced Christianity to the islands.

In the 1850s, plantation agriculture became a key economic driver in the island chain and a demand for workers began to rise. The first wave of immigrants arrived from China, but later, more workers came from Japan, Korea and the Philippines. In addition to bringing in new labor, these migrants helped develop the cuisine of Hawaii, which now features an array of cultural influences.

In 1896, after President William McKinley won the United States presidential election, there was increased pressure to annex (take full control of) Hawaii into the United States. This move was met with resistance from Queen Liliuokalani and the Native peoples of the islands, who feared that their lands would be taken over by white colonizers.

The annexation process was formalized in the Newlands Resolution on June 15, 1898, which passed in Congress and approved the annexation of the islands. In a series of court cases, Queen Liliuokalani fought to regain her power, but her efforts were in vain.

Today, Hawaii is a popular vacation destination with tourists from the United States and around the world. The islands are renowned for their beautiful beaches, spectacular scenery and active volcanoes. They are also a top location for outdoor activities such as snorkelling, scuba diving, surfing and biking.

Each of the islands has a distinct personality, and you can choose which one to visit based on your preferences. For example, Maui is a good choice for those who want to explore the outdoors with its hiking trails and waterfalls or to take in a local luau at night. On the other hand, Oahu is considered the capital of the state and has a more urban feel. It is also home to some of the best shopping and dining in Hawaii.

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