Science Fair Project Encyclopedia
Kamehameha II (1797 - 1824) was the second king of the Kingdom of Hawai‘i. Born Liholiho in Hilo, Hawai‘i, the eldest son of Kamehameha I and his highest-ranking wife Keopuolani, he was groomed to be heir to the throne from age five.
Liholiho succeeded to the throne upon Kamehameha I's death in May 1819, but among other conditions, he was forced to take on merely a ceremonial role; administrative power was to be vested in Ka‘ahumanu, his father's favorite wife, and the former king's prime minister.
Kamehameha II is best remembered for ordering that the ancient kapu (taboo) system of religious laws be abolished six months into his reign. It was also during his reign that the first Christian missionaries arrived in the Hawaiian Islands.
In November 1823 Kamehameha II and his queen traveled to London seeking to complete negotiations for an alliance between Hawaii and Great Britain. However, before he could meet with King George IV, he and his queen caught measles, to which they had no immunity. Kamehameha II died on July 14, 1824. He was succeeded by his younger brother, Kauikeaouli, who became Kamehameha III.
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