5. The Hawaiian Kingdom
Hawaii was a kingdom first. The islands of Hawaii were united by King Kamehameha I (“the Great”) by 1809. It remained a kingdom until the monarchy was dissolved in 1893 and replaced with a provisional government. The kingdom of Hawaii was then annexed by the United States as a territory in 1898. This process occurred under suspicious circumstances and is still controversial. In 1959, after years of debate, Hawaii became the fiftieth state admitted to the union.