Kamehameha III, (August 11, 1813? - December 15, 1854) was a King of Hawaii since 1824 until 1854, being the Hawaiian monarch with the longest reign. Kamehameha adopted this name upon rising to the throne, being Kauikeaouli was his name before being king. Kamehameha was born in the island of Hawaii, also known as Big Island. He was the second son of Kamehameha I, known as The Lonely one, and the queen Keopuolani. His older brother and the first-born was Liholiho, eleven years older than he, and who had taken the name of Kamehameha II upon rising to the throne of Hawaii.
It is said that Kauikeaouli had a troubled infancy. It debated among continuing the Christian doctrine put in the kingdom by the one that was a prime minister of Hawaii (Kuhina Nui in Hawaiian) Ka' ahumanu, and the desires of returning to the old traditions. Kauikeaouli began to consume liquor under the influence of Boki, governor of Oahu, in a clear condemnation toward the standards of protestant Christian morality.
Kauikeaouli was only 11 years old when he rose to the throne in June of 1825, 11 months after the death of his older brother Liholiho. During the following seven years, he was guided by the managing queen Ka' ahumanu and the great jefa Kalanimoku. After the death of Ka' ahumanu in 1832, she was substituted by Elisabeta Kinau, sister of Kauikeaouli, that would occupy the charge of prime minister between 1832 and 1839. Kinau passed away when Kauikeaouli was 25 years old, and the young king felt surpassed by the responsibilities of the reign.
When Kauikeaouli succeeded to the throne, the population of natives in Hawaii patrolled the 150,000 individuals, less than the half of the population that existed in times of the arrival to the islands of the captain James Cook in 1778. During his reign, this figure would be reduced again halfway, thanks in part to an epidemic of smallpox.
In 1839, before the threat of war on a part of France, the Catholic Church was legalized and the first code of right legislated was established. Also he approved the first constitution of Hawaii in 1840. Two years later he would transfer the capital from Lahaina to Honolulu.
In 1843, the British captain George Paulet pressured the monarch to yield the kingdom of Hawaii to the British Crown and occupied Hawaii, but Kamehameha III informed London of the illegitimate actions of the captain, achieving their independence, and the kingdom was restored. It was during this brief uncertain time period in which the king announced the words that would become the motto of Hawaii:
"Ua mau ke ea o ka aina i ka pono"
"The life/sovereignty of the land is perpetuated in the rectitude."
Less than five months later on July 29, Admiral British Thomas returned the sovereignty of the kingdom to Kamehameha III. Since then, that date, the Day of the Restoration of the Sovereignty, is celebrated (Ka La Ho'iho'i in Hawaiian, and Sovereignty Restoration Day in English), the official public holiday of the kingdom.
One of his more noticeable actions was the approval in 1848 of the law known as Great Mahele. It said that law redistributed the lands among the government, the king, the noble and the plebeian. The majority of these last they ignored or they were not conscious of the program and you left losing in the distribution. For the first time was permitted the foreigners to possess land in Hawaii. In 1849, the French admiral Legoarant of Tromelin plundered Honolulu after the monarch refused to satisfy his demands. The last act of importance of Kamehameha III was the approval of the constitution of 1852 that liberalized enormously the politics.
Comply the years spent, Kauikeaouli finished being resigned to the changing panorama of Hawaii. Its rebellious nature was softened and its authority finished being influenced by close people. In 1854, its Minister of Exterior Matters, Robert Wyllie had that "to determine the point of view of the United States relating to the annexation to them of these Islands."
Kauikeaouli died in December 15, 1854 at age 41. Was happened in the throne by its nephew and adopted son Alexander Liholiho, which would reign like Kamehameha IV.