Talk:Kamehameha I/Draft

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 Definition (1758?-1819) Also known as Kamehameha the Great, the first Hawaiian king. [d] [e]
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Military comments

I'm delighted to have the request; the lack of collaboration has been rather frustrating. On my first cup of coffee, I made a minor link change for a submarine and will fill in the link.

My basic problem is that I don't know why and how the Hawaiians fought wars. The fact of the Law of the Splintered Paddle, to which I'll return in another context, shows there was some sophisticated thinking about what the West called jus in bello within the broader context of just war theory. Indeed, while it may not have been considered, it could well have been input into the Lieber Code, Hague Conventions, and Geneva Conventions.

Some Pacific peoples, as I understand, fought wars more for manhood rituals, exchange of women, etc. Others fought wars for conquest. Not that it's specific to this article, but why did Hawaiians decide to go to war? What were their objectives? (This also reminds me that I need to work on Fred Ikle's book, Every War Must End).

I understand that some Pacific peoples had razor-edged spears and arrows for hunting, but blunted them for war — someone might get hurt. It doesn't sound like the Hawaiians were quite this symbolic.

In other words, from a military standpoint, a record of a battle or war, especially when considering the command aspects, is more than just that an engagement took place at a certain time -- although I disagree with a former Editor that the battles themselves are less important than the context. Both are meaningful. In this article or perhaps better in another one, I need to understand more about the Hawaiian concept of war before I can really advise on the content in these areas. Howard C. Berkowitz 15:32, 12 August 2009 (UTC)

More research will be needed for either of us to truly understand the why's and how's of Hawaiian warfare. I do know that, at least in Kamehameha's day, war was no joke. They used wood handled weapons with sharks teeth for the blade. They also used clubs, but I think they were usually used defensively. The aim was to take your opponents land by force. Human life was precious though, so if your opponent surrendered, he was spared.
Unfortunately, ancient Hawaiian warfare is rarely discussed beyond a timeline of events. I will look for more information on this, but I doubt I'll find much more.
All that aside, I'm not so sure this is the article to include that in. I understand your need to know before "passing judgement", but if I can't find sources, will speculation and theories work in it's place?Drew R. Smith 10:54, 13 August 2009 (UTC)
The reference on the Hawaiian encyclopedia gives some background. Peter Schmitt 11:36, 13 August 2009 (UTC)
Wow, I've never seen that page before. I skimmed it a little, and it seems most of the battles were fought for revenge... But, its getting late, so I'll look deeper in the morning.Drew R. Smith 11:45, 13 August 2009 (UTC)
You say: "All that aside, I'm not so sure this is the article to include that in." It may well be that in the end an additional page on the wars (for detailed accounts) will be useful. However, I think that the main article should do more (if possible) than give the bare facts: It should put them into context, i.e., describe the motivations, the aims, the results, together with the main events of his politics. Peter Schmitt 23:45, 13 August 2009 (UTC)

Date of birth

Since the date of birth is not known (and the estimates are very different -- is 1937/38 a typo?) this should be reflected when his life dates are given. Moreover, this deserves - needs - a discussion in text and an explanation why 1958 is chosen. (Should not his "the Great" also be mentioned?) Peter Schmitt 00:10, 13 August 2009 (UTC)

I left out "the great"!?!? Wow, how could I forget about that? Hmmm. Now where to put it...
As for the date, 1758 is chosen because that is the year Halley's comet passed over, and was visible from, Hawaii. When people told the legends, they improvised, as people do, and declared that because a great king was supposed to be born under a comet, and kamehameha was a great king, kamehameha was born under halley's comet. (hope I didn't lose you with that run-on sentence). As for the other two dates, I don't know. Several sources I've found mention them both, but I haven't found anything that says why they might be the correct date. I'm assuming science, or even common sense may have something to do with those other dates. I'm taking a trip to the public library mañana, so I'll see if I can't find anything better.Drew R. Smith 11:02, 13 August 2009 (UTC)
There are even more dates [[1]]. I first thought of typos (1737 instead of 1757). Peter Schmitt 11:22, 13 August 2009 (UTC)
I checked out your link. The "read more" or whatever it was brought up this, which says "Kamehameha I (ca. 1758-1819)". Somebody needs to tell them to fix the discrepancies on their site. Again, I have no idea where 1737 and 1738 come from. Best guess? People thought he looked older and changed it themselves. Like I said, I'll look into tomorrow at the library.
As far as "the great" is concerned, I added it in the lede. I'm sure I could find something more about it, like who first used it, why, etc. The question is, where to put that info?Drew R. Smith 11:33, 13 August 2009 (UTC)
Found more dates. this says 1748-1763, this says 1753, this says 1740. Who do we trust? Google books has a history of Hawaii, written back in the late 1800s, possibly early 1900s that says 1758, which is why I used that one in the lede. I can't seem to find the URL for that one though. Maybe I can find the actual book at the library tomorrow.Drew R. Smith 11:39, 13 August 2009 (UTC)
Of course, there discrepancies. They have to be dealt with in the article. But do not expect to "solve" it by finding a "correct" date :-) Peter Schmitt 11:42, 13 August 2009 (UTC)
Oh I know. The problem is that the 1758 date is the only one I can find an explanation for. I included the two alternatives that popped up the most, but I have yet to see an explanation for them. Are you asking for explanations in the article, or why those those two where included?Drew R. Smith 11:50, 13 August 2009 (UTC)
Why you included them? No - that's clear: It were the dates you found. What I mean is that obviously the true date is not known, and thus a (high-quality) encyclopedia must not pretend to know an exact date. Thus the intro should give the range as estimated by historians, and later (e.g., some subsection) may discuss the most frequently given dates. Since I got curious I learned that June 11 is K's day, so this day seems also to be popular.
By the way, what did you learn in school? Peter Schmitt 22:43, 13 August 2009 (UTC)
My only real education on the subject comes from a one semester course on the history of Hawaii. The book barely touched on the subject, saying he was born in the 1700's. The teacher elaborated further, saying that it was most likely sometime between January and August of 1758, again, citing the comet as evidence.
As for the date in the lede, what you're saying makes sense, so when I get back from work I'll change it.Drew R. Smith 01:48, 14 August 2009 (UTC)

Related articles

I have the impression that the list of "Related Articles" is too long. Not every topic that is linked from the page is also "related" (e.g., Halley's comet). Peter Schmitt 00:27, 13 August 2009 (UTC)

Heh... I did related articles very late at night... It seemed like a good idea to just do all the links. It doesn't seem like such a good idea anymore. I'll go fix that.Drew R. Smith 11:03, 13 August 2009 (UTC)

Some sources

Drew, above you asked who to trust. Try these folks (apologies for the inconsistent citation style):

  • Paul D'Arcy, "Warfare and State Formation in Hawaii: The Limits on Violence as a Means of Political Consolidation." The Journal of Pacific History 38, No. 1 (June 2003): 29-52.
Visiting Fellow at the division of Pacific and Asian History in the Research School of Pacific and Asian Studies of the Australian National University.
  • Patrick V. Kirch and Marshall Sahlins. Anahulu: The Anthropology of History in the Kingdom of Hawaii. Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1992.
I don't know much about Kirch, but Sahlins is a leading scholar in Pacific studies.
  • Dorothy B. Barrère. Kamehameha in Kona: Two Documentary Studies. n.p.: Bernice Pauahi Museum, 1975.
  • Ralph S. Kuykendall, The Hawaiian Kingdom (Honolulu 1938-67), 3 vols. Included in bib.
  • Gavan Daws, Shoal of Time: A History of the Hawaiian Islands (New York 1968). Included in bib.
  • Harold W. Bradley, The American Frontier in Hawaii: The Pioneers, 1789-1843 (Stanford 1942).
  • Theodore Morgan, Hawaii: A Century of Economic Change 1778-1876. (Cambridge, Mass. 1948).
  • Jean Hobbs, Hawaii: A Pageant of the Soil. (Stanford, 1935).
  • Edward Joesting. Hawaii: An Uncommon History. New York: 1972.
  • Marshall Sahlins: several articles and his book Historical Metaphors and Mythical Realities: Structure in the Early History of the Sandwich Island Kingdom. Ann Arbor: University of Michigan Press, 1981.

Popular Works

  • Kathleen Dickenson Mellen. The Lonely Warrior: Kamehameha the Great of Hawaii. New York: Hastings House, 1949.
Given the publisher of this biography, I'd suspect that this was a amateur biography. I don't know anything about Mellen.
  • Richard Tregaskis. The Warrior King: Hawaii's Kamehameha the Great. New York: Macmillan, 1973.
Tregaskis was the author of Guadalcanal Diary and John F. Kennedy and the PT-109. He was a journalist, novelist, and writer of popular history.

This was just a quick review using a JSTOR search. I didn't include these in the bibliography as I don't know how relevant they are for this article. Most of them seem like general histories. Sahlins should definitely be consulted as he is a leading academic in Pacific studies. I started reading the D'Arcy and found it interesting. Regarding the link to WP in the bibliography, I'd take it out. Russell D. Jones 16:13, 13 August 2009 (UTC)

Toward Approval

This version of this article has been nominated by Politics editor User:Roger Lohmann and has not added content to the article and therefore this article is on track for a June 15, 2010 single editor approval. Please continue to make changes as needed and Roger can update the version number as he sees fit up to and including June 15th. Whichever version is in the ToApprov etemplate will be the one approved unless an editor removes the ToApprove template before that time. D. Matt Innis 20:25, 13 June 2010 (UTC)

I'm ready to join from the Military standpoint. While I wouldn't worry about it for now, there's actually a good deal of material here to link to other articles on laws of war. Howard C. Berkowitz 21:19, 13 June 2010 (UTC)

Copy edit and a couple of questions

I have trouble in this section: The raid on Puna District understanding what's fact and what's legend. Works either way; just needs to be made clear. Also, Drew, if you're around, a couple of very short definitions right in the copy would enhance this, (kahuna, ali) as would some expansion of the battles. Aleta Curry 22:04, 13 June 2010 (UTC)

The question you raise is an interesting one both generally and in this battle. (What's fact and what's fiction?) and as you note, it works either way. But, it may not be possible to get the definitive clarification you seek. If it is, and I'm wrong, please make the clarifications on the draft page and we can incorporate them in a corrected version. Roger Lohmann 10:23, 15 June 2010 (UTC)

Hola, Roger: I'm just talking about the way it's written. We may not know, but we know what/when we *don't* know. Should be either: here's what we know happened, from the oral history, from...or here's what people think happened, (or, I suppose: we don't have the foggiest clue as to what happened, but here are the legends. Aleta Curry 18:55, 15 June 2010 (UTC)

Approved Version 1.0

I have linked from just war theory, which reminded me that article needs work. Howard C. Berkowitz 19:19, 15 June 2010 (UTC)

Moved text from above to here, as it was written after the Approval

Let me remind myself to link the laws of war articles to this. Now, I don't know if anyone but Drew is immediately familiar with it, but I note there's a redlink to the Law of the Broken Paddle. The Law is referenced a fair bit, but never actually stated. Hayford, did this concept make it to Tahiti? I wonder if Ruth Benedict mentions it? Howard C. Berkowitz 15:09, 15 June 2010 (UTC)
Actually Howard, that would be the law of the splintered paddle. And it is referenced quite a bit in the article, though I'm not quite sure what you meant by "never actually stated". Drew R. Smith 01:00, 18 June 2010 (UTC)
Never heard of it but that certainly doesn't mean it didn't/doesn't exist. Hayford Peirce 02:22, 18 June 2010 (UTC)