Politics and Military
More and more, Hawai‘i began to make itself into an American community. But the new citizens had to pay their own taxes as well as U.S. taxes. Hawai‘i was caught in the middle between being an independent country and a state. Suddenly, the territorial citizens found they had more power over government than before. This kind of government was new to them. Problems were tangled and not easy to solve—land ownership, labor, education, shipping, road building, marketing. In time, a system of county government was set up. Republican, Democratic, and Home Rule parties formed, but, by 1912, the Home Rule Party disappeared altogether. The Republican Party was to control the government of Hawai‘i from 1902 to 1954.
Annexation took away the fear that Hawai‘i would fall into the possession of any other country. However, the United States knew that such an important Pacific outpost had to be protected. Guarding the island of O‘ahu was begun in 1905. Fort Shafter was built on the heights at the west end beyond Honolulu. Fort DeRussy was built in the Waikīkī district. After that, the largest of all, Schofield Barracks, was built. People in Honolulu became used to seeing soldiers.
While the territorial citizens knew the army posts were necessary, the most important defensive site was Wai Momi, now known as Pearl Harbor. The United States decided there should be a large naval base at Pearl Harbor for protection against attacks. Congress voted money to dredge the channel in 1900. After fits and starts, construction rushed ahead when America entered World War I. The dock was finally completed in 1919. Although Marines had used Pearl Harbor since 1814, it was not until 1904 that they were regularly stationed in Hawai‘i. In 1914, they first occupied the Marine Barracks at Pearl Harbor.