Some suggest the overthrow of the Hawai‘i constitutional monarchy was neither unexpected nor sudden. Dissatisfaction with the rule of Kalākaua (and, later, Lili‘uokalani) led to the ‘Bayonet Constitution,’ then, the overthrow. Mounting dissatisfaction with government policies and private acts of officials led to the formation of the Hawaiian League, a group of Honolulu businessmen.
Folks generally cite the efforts to form the Polynesian Confederacy, the opium license bribery case and the extravagance (and growing debt) as issues of concern about Kalākaua’s rule. This led to the ‘Bayonet Constitution’ (signed July 6, 1887) that greatly curtailed the monarch’s power; it placed executive power in the hands of a cabinet whose members could no longer be dismissed by the monarch but only by the legislature; it provided for election of the House of Nobles, formerly appointed by the monarch.