The Kingdom of Hawaiʻi originated in 1795 with the unification of the independent islands of Hawaiʻi, Oʻahu, Maui, Molokaʻi, and Lānaʻi under one government. In 1810 the whole Hawaiian archipelago became unified when Kauaʻi and Niʻihau joined the Kingdom of Hawai‘i voluntarily and without bloodshed or war. Two major dynastic families ruled the kingdom: the House of Kamehameha and the House of Kalākaua.
The Kingdom won recognition from major European powers. The United States became its chief trading partner. The Kingdom was watched jealously by the United States against the possibility of another power (such as Britain or Japan) threatening to seize control. Hawaii adopted a new constitution in 1887 to reduce the absolute power of King Kalākaua. Queen Liliʻuokalani, who succeeded Kalākaua in 1891, tried to restore the old order, but was overthrown in 1893, largely at the hands of United States citizens. Hawaii became a republic until the United States annexed it in 1898.