Legislature of the Kingdom of Hawaii

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Legislative Assembly of the Kingdom of Hawaii
Coat of arms or logo
Coat of arms of the Kingdom of Hawaii from 1845 to 1893
Bicameral (1840-1864)
Unicameral (1864-1893)
Houses House of Nobles3
House of Representatives3
Established 1840
Disbanded 1893
Preceded by Council of Chiefs
Succeeded by Legislature of the Republic of Hawaii
House of Nobles voting system
Appointed by the Monarch with the advice of the Privy Council
House of Representatives voting system
Elected by popular vote
Meeting place
Aliiolani Hale, Honolulu
1Name of Parliament from 1852 to 1864
2Name of Parliament from 1864 to 1893
3Structure in place from 1840 to 1864

The Legislature of the Kingdom of Hawaii was the bicameral (later unicameral) legislature of the Kingdom of Hawaii. A royal legislature was first provided by the 1840 Constitution[1] and the 1852 Constitution was the first to use the term "Legislature of the Hawaiian Islands", and the first to subject the monarch to certain democratic principles. Prior to this the monarchs ruled under a Council of Chiefs.


The legislature originally consisted of a lower House of Representatives and an upper House of Nobles.

House of Nobles[edit]

The members of the House of Nobles were appointed by the Monarch with the advice of his Privy Council. It also served as the court of impeachment for any royal official. Members were usually Hawaiian aliʻis, nobles, and royals or wealthy individuals. The position had no salary. It originally consisted of the king plus five women and ten men (contrastingly, women did not universally get the right to vote in the U.S. until 1920).[2] After the overthrow of the Kingdom and the subsequent U.S. annexation this body was reconstituted as a Senate.

House of Representatives[edit]

The members of the House of Representatives were elected by popular vote from several districts in the Kingdom. Revenue-oriented bills were issued through the House of Representatives, and it served as the grand inquest of the Kingdom.


From 1840 to 1864, it existed as a bicameral parliament. However, with the 1864 constitution, the Legislature was unified into a single-house legislature. This constitution also created property and literacy requirements for both legislature members and voters; these requirements were repealed by the legislature in 1874 during the reign of Lunalilo. The 1887 constitution made the House of Nobles elected to six-year terms, with higher property requirements.[3]

After 1893, it became the legislature of the Territory of Hawaii, and then the Hawaii State Legislature in 1959. It now consists of the Hawaii House of Representatives and Hawaii Senate.

Presidents of the House of Nobles[edit]

Speaker of the House of Representatives[edit]

Presidents of the Legislature[edit]

Vice-Presidents of the Legislature[edit]

Further reading[edit]


  1. ^ "The 1840 Constitution of the Kingdom of Hawaii". Hawaiian Electronic Library. 1840. Retrieved 2009-11-25. 
  2. ^ "Women and the Law". Hawaiian Journal of History (Hawaii Historical Society) 11. 1977. hdl:10524/444. 
  3. ^ Anne Feder Lee (June 30, 1993). The Hawaii state constitution: a reference guide. Greenwood Publishing Group. pp. 4–5. ISBN 978-0-313-27950-8.