Complex Chiefdoms vs Early States: The Evolutionary Perspective

Complex Chiefdoms vs Early States: The Evolutionary  Perspective
Author: Grinin, Leonid
Almanac: Evolution:Trajectories of Social Evolution

This article gives a suitable example for illustration of a very important issue of multilinearity of social evolution, the peculiarities of its development, and its alternatives. The author proceeds from the point that principally equal levels of systemic complexity can be achieved not only in various forms, but also through essentially different evolutionary pathways. It is often noted in the academic literature that chiefdoms frequently prove to be troublesome for scholars because of the disagreement as to whether to categorize this or that polity as a complex chiefdom or as an early state. This is no wonder, because complex chiefdoms, early states, as well as different other types of sociopolitical systems (large confederations, large self-governed civil and temple communities, etc.) turn out to be at the same evolutionary level. In the present article it is argued that such complex societies can be considered as early state analogues. The most part of the article is devoted to the analysis of the most developed chiefdoms – the Hawaiian ones. It is argued that before the arrival of Cook there was no state in Hawaii. It should be classified as an early state analogue, i.e. a society of the same level of development as early states but lacking some state characteristics. It proceeds from the fact that the entire Hawaiian political and social organization was based on the strict rules and ideology of kinship, and the ruling groups represented endogamous castes and quasi-castes. The transition to statehood occurred only in the reign of Kamehameha I in the early 19th century. A scrupulous comparison between the Hawaiian chiefdoms and Hawaiian state is presented in the article.

Keywords: complex chiefdoms, early states, sociopolitical systems, Hawaii, Hawaiian chiefdoms, Hawaiian state, early state analogues, Kamehameha I, Kamehameha II.

Evolutionary Complexity vs Evolutionary Advantages

The transition to a new level of complexity is inevitably realized in the considerable number of models and forms. On the one hand, they can be considered within a horizontal dimension as equal versions of the same complexity level, and on the other, they can be analyzed within an evolutionary vertical dimension. So theoretically one may detect main and collateral developmental lines of social evolution (see in detail Grinin 2003, 2004a, 2011a, 2011b). But it took the new organizational principles a rather long time and a few generations of polity types to prove their advantage, because possessing evolutionary potential does not mean having advantages in a concrete historical situation. Quite often it was just the opposite. For entire epochs the evolutionary models coexisted and competed with each other (while at the same time being mutually complementary) whereas in particular ecological and social niches some ‘collateral’ pathways, models, and versions could well have turned out to be more useful.

I proceed from the assumption that complex chiefdoms, early states, and other societal types (e.g., large confederations and large, self-governed civil and temple communities), which will be discussed below, should be considered as standing at the same evolutionary stage – which in turn can be defined as a complex societies or early state stage. The transition to it by definition cannot be fulfilled but in a very extensive variety of forms, developmental trends, and combinations. Thus, on the basis that (a) at this stage there were many different polity types of comparable size and complexity level that were able to fulfill tasks of a certain type, and (b) states finally became the most widespread evolutionary form, it makes sense to divide the whole variety of the polity forms at the given phase of global sociopolitical evolution into two large types. The first one incorporates the early states (this group includes different types of early states), the second one – the early state analogues (this group comprises different types of complex non-state societies, including complex chiefdoms).

On the Definitions and Structure of the Paper

Since there is no generally accepted definition of the state, within the framework of this paper the following definitions are employed.

The state is a category designating a system of specialized institutions, organs, and rules that secure internal and external political life of a society; this system is an organization of power, administration, and order maintenance separate from the population that must possess the following characteristics: (a) sovereignty (autonomy); (b) supremacy, legitimacy, and reality of power within a certain defined territory and a certain set of people; and (c) the ability to coerce its subjects/citizens to fulfill its demands, as well as to alter relationships and norms.

The early state is a category used to designate a special form of political organization of a relatively large and complex agrarian society (or a group of societies/territories) that determines its external policy and partly its social order. It is a power organization that (a) possesses supremacy and sovereignty, or at least autonomy; (b) is able to coerce the ruled to fulfill its demands, alter important relationships, introduce new norms, and redistribute resources; and (c) is based (entirely or mostly) on such principles that are different from those of kinship.[1]

The early state analogue is a category that is used to designate various forms of complex, stateless societies that are comparable to early states (however, usually they do not surpass the level of typical early states) with respect to their size, sociocultural and/or political complexity, functional differentiation, and the scale of tasks they have to accomplish, but lacking at least one of the necessary features of the early state listed in its definition (for details see below; for the characteristics distinguishing early states from their analogues see Grinin 2003, 2004a, 2010, 2011b).

This article proceeds as follows. The first part is devoted to a brief description of the theory of early state analogues and their concise classification (for elaboration of this theory see Grinin 2003, 2004a, 2011a, 2011b). The second part is devoted to the analysis of complex chiefdoms as early state analogues, with special attention paid to the Hawaiian example as a case of the most developed among complex chiefdoms. Thus, this paper mainly presents an analysis of only one type of early state analogue – that of complex chiefdoms. In the scholarly literature, it is often noted that in many cases the differences between complex chiefdoms and inchoate early states are hardly noticeable (see Kochakova 1999: 10; Kradin 2008, 2017; see also Earle 2017; Webb 1975), that they virtually overlap each other in size and level of complexity (Webb 1974: 369; Skalník 2017), and that chiefdoms often prove to be troublesome for researchers due to scholarly disagreement about whether to categorize this or that polity as a complex chiefdom or an early state (Smith 1985: 97).[2] But all these difficulties, to my mind, show once more that in a certain sense it is more efficient to regard such chiefdoms not as pre-state societies, preceding the state, but as early state analogues.[3]

Early State Analogues: General Ideas

As indicated above, sociopolitical evolution proceeded along different lines. Only the historical selection promoted the spread of polities that were similar to states in their administrative and governmental properties. Over the long term, societies evolved and formed complex non-state polities – which I will dwell on in this section.

Complex Non-State Polities and Early States

The early state can only develop within a society that has a certain level of overall sociocultural and political complexity and sufficient surplus product and population (see, e.g., Claessen 1978, 2002; Claessen and Skalník 1978a). However, an analysis of resources on complex societies and my own investigations show the following. A social system, after it reaches such a size and level of sociocultural complexity that permit transformation into a state, may continue to develop for a very long time without ever being transformed into the early state political form, or even never becoming a state. After having attained these characteristics, these complex societies did not form a state but continued developing along other trajectories (see, e.g., Grinin 2003, 2009, 2012). In particular, a social system may have a high level of social stratification, but may still lack any statehood.

We know many polities that in terms of their political organization, power structure, and administration differed considerably from the early state, but that nevertheless were quite comparable to the state regarding the complexity of their organization, solved tasks, and performed functions (see below for examples).[4] It is wrong to consider such polities as pre-state ones. Many of their significant characteristics can well be regarded as being at generally the same level of sociocultural complexity as early states.

Reasons for Introducing the Notion of Early State Analogues

I have proposed to denote these alternatives to the early state forms as early state analogues (see, e.g., Grinin 2004a, 2007a, 2012, 2013, 2014; Grinin and Korotayev 2009a, 2009b) due to the following reasons:

(1)   In comparison with truly pre-state polities, both simple (such as ‘Big Man’ collectivities and communities) and medium-complex polities (such as, e.g., simple chiefdoms, medium-sized tribes, and community confederations; see Grinin and Korotayev 2017), early state analogues were not only larger but also much more complex. We define medium-complex societies in respect to size within a population range of several hundred to several thousand (Ibid.); early state analogues have a population numbering from several thousand to dozens of thousands. Thus, early state analogues start from the upper level of medium-complex societies. Yet, of course, a certain overlap of boundary cases is possible, and quite explicable within the framework of a multilinear approach to evolution.

(2)   The sizes and levels of complexity of early state analogues were quite comparable to those of early states and they often competed quite successfully with states.

(3)   Both political structures (early state and early state analogues) supported the fulfillment of functions of similar complexity (see, e.g., Grinin 2011a, 2011b), in particular:

·   The establishment of a minimal level of political and ideological unity and solidarity within a growing society (a group of closely related societies) in order to solve common problems.

·   The provision of external security as well as conditions for expansion of a substantially large social system (with a minimum population of several thousand, dozens of thousands, and sometimes even hundreds of thousands).

·   The support of social order and redistribution of both necessary product and surplus under the conditions of a substantial level of the development of social stratification and functional differentiation, as well as of more complex tasks.

·   Providing a minimum level of societal governing, including norm creation and justice, as well as the fulfillment by the population of necessary duties (military, material, labor, etc.).

·   Creation of conditions for sustainable economic reproduction (especially where a coordination of common efforts was needed) according to the ecological environment.

(4)   Early states and their analogues were at virtually the same level of complexity, since they shared common elements that differed from all the pre-state polities (including the medium-complex ones). With respect to these elements, one can mention the following additional characteristics: an increase in the number of complexity levels regarding societal organization and administration (up to three or more);[5] a substantial change of traditions and instituti-ons connected with the regulation of sociopolitical life; a radical increase in functional differentiation; the division of society into two or more strata that differ substantially with respect to their formal and/or informal rights, duties, and functions; and the formation of an ideology that justifies and legitimates those sociopolitical changes in society.[6]

(5)   Consequently, early states differ from their analogues not so much in their complexity and size, but rather in certain peculiarities of the technique of political structure and administration; and historically in the fact that the former – at the moment of their formation – had a specific combination of special conditions favorable for state formation, whereas the latter lacked them (for more details see Grinin 2004b, 2007b, 2011a, 2011b).

Evolutionary Characteristics of Early State Analogues

The analogues' forms were rather diverse (see below) and the unification under one notion (early state analogues) of a few different types of polities is primarily done in order to contrast the state alternative of political evolution of complex late archaic societies with other alternatives of political organization.

The population range of the size of early state analogues may be identified as between 15,000 and 70,000, but there were a number of analogues with populations that were significantly smaller or larger than these endpoints (for the classification of early states and analogues comparable in regard to their size, see Table). Of course the early states were generally larger than their analogues, because the states' developmental potential (and consequently their ability to expand) was much higher. However, at the initial phases of the state formation process, while the state's evolutionary advantages were not fully manifested, it is quite reasonable to suppose that the size of early states and their analogues were much the same.

My analysis demonstrates that the formation of early state analogues was by no means an exception. What is more, it was precisely early state formation that for a long time was a rather infrequent politogenetic event (see Grinin 2009; see also Lloyd 1981: 229). The state form only became a typical and leading form of political organization of complex societies as a result of protracted evolutionary selection, whereas other forms that for a long time constituted an alternative to the state were either transformed into states, disappeared, or turned into collateral or dead-end types of sociopolitical organization.

The developmental pathways of analogues were rather different. Some of them turned out to be incapable of transforming themselves into states due to their very nature, while others did not transform themselves into states because their politogenesis was violently interrupted (as happened with the Saxons and the Gaul, etc.). Still, many analogues were transformed into states. However, such transformations took place after they had achieved a rather high level of complexity and development that was quite comparable with the complexity level of many states. Moreover, the level at which some analogues could trans- form themselves into states greatly varied. Some analogues were transformed into states when they had a population of 10,000–15,000, others did this when they had a population of many dozens of thousands, and still others did this when they had a population in the hundreds of thousands (see, e.g., Grinin 2003, 2009, 2012). This proves that in politogenesis the alternatives to the early state can be found at different complexity and development levels
of the early state.

Yet not only could state analogues become states, but conversely – though much less frequently – early states were transformed into analogues (see, e.g., Korotayev 2000; Leach 1970; Meillassoux 1963; Person 1981; Shifferd 1987; Skalník 1991; Trepavlov 1995; Tymowski 2008).

Early State Analogues: Classification

Since the main explanations of the classification, examples, and detailed comments – including data on each analogous society mentioned below – are presented in a number of my other works (see, e.g., Grinin 2003, 2011a, 2012), here I will confine myself to a brief review of the classification and provide only a few references. Specifically, I distinguish the following types of analogues.

Independent, self-governing urban, civil, or civil-temple communities. For example, some temple-civil communities of ancient Arabia, such as pre-Islamic Mecca (see, e.g., Bolshakov 1989: 44–58; Dostal 1991; Peters 1994: 77–166; Simon 1989; Simonsen 2000) or Raybūn (for more details see Frantsuzoff 2000); self-governed territories including those established by colonists, like Iceland of the 10th – 13th centuries (Gurevich 1972; Hjálmarsson 1993; Olgeirsson 1957); and territories inhabited by large groups of déclassé persons of various descent (‘outlaws’) that had their own mechanisms of self-government and constituted an organized and formidable military force – such as the Cossacks of Don or Zaporozhye (Petkevich 2006; Rozner 1970; Shtyrbul 2006: Chapter 4).

Large tribal alliances with a relatively strong paramount leader (king) and a comparatively large population. Some German tribal unions of the Great Migration and earlier periods (the Burgundianes, Salian Franks, Visi-goths, Ostrogoths, Vandals, etc.) that counted a population of 80,000–150,000 people (Bessmertny 1972: 40; Budanova 2000; Kolosovskaya 2000; Le Goff 1992: 33; Neusykhin 1968; Oosten 1996) may serve as examples here. Of course, one can basically regard them as complex chiefdoms, yet the main difference is that they were not in a stationary or stable condition – as, for example, the pre-contact Hawaiian chiefdoms – but in a specific transitional one. That is, they were in motion in both a literal and evolutionary sense, and it was precisely this movement that in many respects kept them within the framework of a single polity.

Large ethnic-political (tribal) alliances and confederations without ‘royal’ power (which was absent altogether or sometimes abolished), but at the same time in such societies the processes of social and wealth stratification – as well as functional differentiation – had brought significant results and even moved more quickly than processes of political development. The examples of such ethnic-political alliances without royal power could be found among the Saxons (Kolesnitsky 1963) and some Gallic peoples (Clark and Piggott 1970: 310–328; Le Roux 2000; Thevenot 1996). The population united by such alliances could well reach tens of thousands (and sometimes hundreds of thousands) of people. The variations of such analogues could be represented by diverse confederations, including tribal ones (e.g., of the Tuareg; Khazanov 2008; Lot 1989; Pershits 1968), chiefdom confederations (about some of them as well as their definition, see Gibson 2017), and some heterarchies (see Crumley 1995, 2001; McIntosh 1999a; see also Claessen 2002: 109).

The quasi-state alliances of nomads that were large and militarily strong and may have looked like large states – for example, Scythia (Khazanov 1975, 2008) or the Xiongnu empire (Kradin 2001). I find it unreasonable to apply the notion of chiefdoms (even the supra-complex ones, as Kradin does; e.g., Kradin 2001, 2017) to the nomadic empires of Inner Asia because they had populations of 1,000,000–1,500,000 people (Kradin 2001: 79), and so in principle are not comparable to chiefdoms in size and can be compared only with medium-sized states.

Large, complex chiefdoms (see below).

Large and developed polities with indeterminate characteristics, whose structure cannot be precisely described due to the lack of sufficient data; how-ever, judging by what is known about them, they cannot be regarded as pre-state polities or as states. The Indus, or Harappan civilization, can serve as an example of this kind (see, e.g., Lal 1984; Possehl 1998; Vahia and Yadav 2011; Wright 2010).

Corporative forms of analogues can be represented in particular by some secret societies. Grinin and Korotayev (2017) argue that secret societies can be considered as chiefdom analogues. However, it is justified to suppose that some secret societies might have grown to the level of early state analogues, especially if they actually became a part of the power authorities – as was observed, for example, among the Mende and Temne in West Africa (Kubbel 1988: 241). Among many African peoples, such secret societies became the very structure from which the supreme sacral power developed (Kubbel 1988: 241). This correlates quite well with the idea that the sacredness of royal power was directly related to the application of force (see Skalník 1991: 145).

I can cite an example of another rather unusual corporative analogue from the history of Asia Minor, where in the early 2nd millennium B.C. we observe the formation of a peculiar union or community of merchants with its center in the city of Kanish that had a sort of constitution, self-governing bodies, court, treasury, and a chain of factories along the trading route connecting Mesopotamia with the Mediterranean and Aegean seas. Furthermore, this community was independent from any other political power and acted as an agent of international relations (Giorgadze 1989, 2000: 113–114; Yankovskaya 1989: 181–182, 2010).

Complex Chiefdoms as Early State Analogues

As discussed above, in the process of sociopolitical evolution there appeared different forms of complex societies and polities – early state analogu-
es – that were comparable in some respects with primitive states. Complex chiefdoms were a widespread type of such analogues in different regions. Europeans were able to observe complex chiefdoms in great numbers in the Americas, Oceania, and Africa.

Complex Chiefdoms in the Americas

Large (let alone super-large) complex chiefdoms can be considered as early state analogues since they are not inferior to small and medium states in size, population, and complexity.[7] As an example of very large chiefdoms, one can point to chiefdoms in the Americas – for example, in Venezuela. In particular, Spencer (1998) speaks about Caquetío chiefdoms in the 16th century. One of the Caquetío chiefdoms comprised 23 villages under the authority of a paramount chief, and moreover about 4,000 people lived in one of the villages. According to Federmann, this paramount chief could gather 30,000 fighting men; the other two chiefdoms could put forward 16,000 and 8,500, respectively (see Spencer 1998: 108–109).

Chiefdoms in Haiti in the late 15th and 16th centuries can serve as another example. Haiti at that time was probably the most populous island among the other Greater Antilles (Aleksandrenkov 1976: 143) and was composed of several huge chiefdoms that were at war with each other. Among the great number of chiefs (caciques), the Spanish singled out several more significant paramount chiefs. According to some data, each of the four major chiefs had about 60–80 lower chiefs under his authority, and Las Casas even stated that Behechio – one of the paramount chiefs – had about 200 caciques under his command (Ibid.: 150–151).

Hawaiian Chiefdoms: The Level of Complexity

However, it is worth taking the Hawaiian chiefdoms as the most illustrative example of large chiefdoms as early state analogues. This is all the more relevant since prior to contact with the Europeans, social organization in Hawaii was the most complex of all Polynesian islands, and perhaps even of all known chiefdoms (Earle 2000: 73–77; 2017; see also Johnson and Earle 2000: 284).

The existence of (an) early state in aboriginal Hawaii has always been a matter of controversy (van Bakel 1996). This is not surprising since the complexity and sophistication of the Hawaiian chiefdoms complicates their classification, but it does make the process more important and challenging. That is why I cannot agree that the question of whether the polities of the prehistoric Hawaiian Islands are classified as chiefdoms or states becomes largely irrelevant (Earle 2017). It seems important to define whether Hawaii is a state or its analogue in the form of a very complex chiefdom. Earle's definition of the Hawaiian Islands chieftaincies as state-like political organizations (Ibid.) is correct, but this very fact indicates that it is more useful to consider them as a state analogue.

The Hawaiians made considerable economic progress – in particular, in irrigation and in stimulating the economy as a whole, including creating fishponds and salt dams (see Earle 1997, 2000, 2017; Johnson and Earle 2000; Wittfogel 1957: 241). Among them a very high level of stratification and accumulation of surplus product by the elite was observed; a fundamental ideological explanation of the upper stratum's privileges was also typical (Claessen 2004; Seaton 1978; van Bakel 1996). By the time of James Cook's discovery of the Hawaiian Islands, a political system had been formed with several large coexisting chiefdoms, whose borders were limited within separate islands (Hawai'i, Maui, O'ahu, and Kaua'i) with some adjacent small islands (Earle 2002: 78, 2017). Wars between large chiefdoms, as well as within one chiefdom, were common.[8] From time to time, as a result of successful or failed wars or other political events, polities expanded or decreased in size.

Inhabitants of large chiefdoms – which were divided into districts – numbered from 30,000 to 100,000 people (Johnson and Earle 2000: 246). On the whole, at least in the largest chiefdoms, we can speak about a four-tiered system of hierarchy from land managers (konohiki) to paramount chiefs (Earle 2017; Seaton 1978: 274).

The Hawaiian Polities: A State, Pre-State Society, or State Analogue?

Thus, in these chiefdoms all the objective conditions for early state formation were present: a sizeable area with a territorial division, large population, high level of social stratification, sufficient surplus, system of forced redistribution, strong authority of paramount chief and his ‘sacralization’, strict power hierarchy, developed ideology, and so on. But concrete historical conditions and triggers – that is, dramatic and important changes in conventional life conditions – had been absent (see Claessen 2002, 2004, 2010; Grinin 2002, 2003, 2011a). This is why states (according to my and many other researches' interpretation of such a polity) did not emerge in the pre-contact period.

The view that before the arrival of Cook's third expedition in 1778–1779 there had been no state in the Hawaiian Islands is shared by a majority of researchers (e.g., Earle 1997, 2000; Goldman 1970; Harris 1995: 152; Johnson and Earle 2000; Kirch 1986; Sahlins 1972; Service 1975). Still, some anthropologists (e.g., Bargatzky 1985; Seaton 1978: 270; van Bakel 1996) believe that an early state – at least an inchoate one – existed in the pre-contact Hawaiian Islands. Patrick Kirch has expressed his opinion on this point and thinks that the Hawaiian Islands had already passed from chiefdoms to a state on the eve of Cook's arrival (Kirch 2010: 3–4). It is worth mentioning that earlier he was inclined to regard pre-contact Hawaiian polities as complex chiefdoms (Kirch 1986), so it is not easy to decide how Hawaiian societies should be defined. Of course, it depends to a large extent on the definition of a state.

Proceeding from my definition of an early state, I think that we cannot speak of a state in Hawaii during that period. But at the same time it is wrong to regard Hawaii as merely a pre-state society.[9] It should be considered as a society of the same level of development as early states but lacking some state characteristics (although these features were functionally replaced by others) of an early state analogue. The process of rapid changes and transformations in the Hawaiian chiefdoms (early state analogues) into an early state started from James Cook's discovery of the islands. We can speak about qualitative changes, indicating that the early state in Hawaii had already been formed after the military consolidation of the Hawaiian Islands into a united polity – that is, around 1810 when all the inhabited islands of the archipelago joined the kingdom of Kamehameha I.

The Hawaiian Chiefdoms in Terms of the Early State Definition

Though methodologically it is correct to analyze the polity on the very threshold of transformation into an early state solely from the viewpoint of the early state concept, it would be worth starting by comparing the Hawaiian polities with the definition of the state as a whole, and then proceeding to their comparison with the early state.

According to my definition, the state should not be just an organization of power separated from a population, but a system of specialized institutions, bodies, and rules. The Hawaiian chiefdoms had a power structure distinct from the population and in this sense were close to a state. But did this organization represent a system of specialized institutions, bodies, and rules? No, in no way can one call the system of governmental authorities in Hawaii a specialized one. The determinative ‘specialized’ implies that these institutions, bodies, and rules initially appeared for political and administrative governance, and that within the society they had this particular administrative focus.[10]

The power structure in Hawaii represented a system – supporting the class and caste supremacy of chiefs of different ranks – in which political, economic, and spiritual aspects were closely intertwined. ‘Rule in Hawaii was a combination of noble prerogatives and duties’ (Seaton 1978: 275). Besides, the ideological point of this symbiosis, at least in terms of a stable basis for the power of the upper stratum or estate (ali'i), was of principal significance (see, e.g., Service 1975: 158), and therefore the ideology could not be changed and did not allow anybody to change social relations. To a lesser degree, one can consider as concrete the state's rules in the form of different taboos (kapus), by means of which the Hawaiian chiefs reinforced and often realized their authority, while on the whole the most significant kapus supported the power of the ali'i.[11]

Now let us analyze Hawaiian polities in terms of conformity to the definition of the early state.

The major principle of political organization of power in the Hawaiian chiefdoms was tightly (tighter than in early states) connected with kinship hierarchy based on genealogical affinity with the ancestors, the paramount chief's lineage, and the chief himself. According to the principle of primogeniture, the elder brothers' and sons' lines were considered as higher ranked. Consequently, blood brothers had different status. In fact, all political and social organization was based on the strict rules and ideology of kinship and the ruling groups represented endogamous castes and quasi-castes (see, e.g., Bellwood 1987: 98–99; Butinov 1985; Earle 1997: 34–35; Service 1975: 152–154; van Bakel 1996).

This is why – if we use the definition of the early state presented above – the Hawaiian polities do not match item (c), which says that the early state is a power organization that is not formed (either entirely or mostly) on the kinship principle. The word ‘mostly’ means that in early states there is present an evident social mobility when establishing and enlarging the administrators' stratum (at least the medium-level civil and war administrators' stratum). Such social mobility in Hawaii was very weak, if it was present at all. And the tighter the restrictions for outside persons to enter an administrative body, the more difficult it is for a polity to pass to real state management instruments (see Grinin 2004b: 110–111).

Though in many early states,  for example, in China of the Zhou Period in the late 12th – 8th centuries B.C. (Creel 1970, 2001; Vasilyev 1993) or even in ancient Rus in the 10th to 12th centuries – kinship relations played a critical part in the formation of rulers' upper stratum (e.g., ancient Russian principalities), the middle classes were recruited mainly from other strata and sources, including those with diminished rights (about ancient Rus see, e.g., Froyanov 1999; Klyuchevsky 1937).[12] Besides, in the course of time – as Claessen and Skalník (1978b) have convincingly shown – the significance of kinship in the state decreases.

In the Hawaiian polities kinship ideology was very important, so even the lowest stratum of the ruling estate consisted mostly of the chieftain elite's distant relatives. It is not surprising that entering even this lowest ruling stratum was extremely difficult, if not impossible, since it also included chiefs (though of a lower rank), their close relatives and distant kinsmen of ali'i (Service 1975: 152), and often kinsmen of the major chief family (see, e.g., Bellwood 1987: 98).[13] A lower-ranked chief could become a member of a paramount chief 's retinue or his warrior (Earle 1997: 44), and only the lowest strata (servants and craftsmen) were composed of non-relatives – yet perhaps not entirely, since in Hawaii even community members (maka'āinana) were considered distant relations of ali'i.[14]

There is one more crucial point where the Hawaiian polities do not match my definition of the early state: their insufficient or simply weak potential to change relations and regulations by means of political power (by which I mean the opportunities for changing relationships dramatically through reforms and political decisions). Of course, life in the Hawaiian chiefdoms forged ahead. The persons of chiefs, chieftaincies, and boundaries of chiefdoms changed; revolts and uprisings were quite frequent events (Sahlins 1972a); and as a result of revolts and civil wars, a chief of the lower line lacking clear legal rights to the supreme title could come to power, the land allotment could be redistributed, taboos were enforced or abolished, and obligatory norms varied within certain limits. But all the institutions and rules, major sociopolitical and ideological relations, and governing principles remained traditional – that is, based on kinship and caste division. Consequently, new or unconventional forms of regulation (political, administrative, social, etc.), which inevitably appear in the early state, were almost absent.

As Service pointed out, ‘the chiefdoms' sociopolitical system relying on long-term customs no longer satisfies the requirements of a formative state – which, though attempting to rule by means of ideology and traditions (customs), should develop additional support in the form of a monopoly of force with a legal structure managing this force’ (Service 1975: 154; see also Webb 1974). On the whole, as we will see below, the reasons for this necessary change lie deeper. The issue is that in the early state the importance of political and administrative (military) instruments for internal management sharply increases, which requires new recruiting forms and new types of managers, modification of management technologies, and retreat from traditional methods of regulating life (for details see Grinin 2003, 2004b, 2010; see also Shifferd 1987: 43, 47).

Some Fundamental Differences Between Early States and Their Analogues

First, a few general points (see in detail Grinin 2003, 2011a, 2011b):

(1)   Development in analogous polities is tied to a lesser degree to the creation of new institutions, relations, and forms, and to a greater extent to the overdevelopment of former tendencies. For instance, in pre-contact Hawaii this can be seen in the overdevelopment of the chief's sacralization, the kapu institute, the kinship and pseudo-kinship system, and the hyper-strict division of genealogical lines of different priority – in other words, in the whole ‘rank–mana–taboo’ system (Webb 1965: 25). In the early state, we have an inverse proportion: as reform, change, and breach of traditions increase, new forms of management, recruiting system, and frequently new ideologies appear.

(2)   In general, in early states the supreme authority's capability to change relations considerably surpasses that of the analogues.

(3)   On the whole, in early states the tendency to change is much stronger than in the analogous polities.

(4)   As a result, the speed, depth, and systemic character of transformations and rate of development increase more in early states compared with the analogues.[15] Early state formation is always connected with significant shifts, and on a number of occasions with deep sociopolitical and demographic crises.

Since the scope of this article does not permit a thorough comparison of early states and their analogues (e.g., see in detail Grinin 2010, 2011a), in this section I will dwell at length only on some aspects vividly demonstrating the difference between an early state analogous polity and an early state in the depth of transformation, the rate of change, and the means to realize transformations – especially the reform and breach of traditions. It is worth noting that differences between Hawaiian chiefdoms and the Hawaiian state in all these issues were manifested in classic form. However, such changes could not take place without the strengthening of supreme power, so I will start with this process. At the same time, it is worth paying attention to some peculiarities typical for the Hawaiian state formation process: the systemic character of changes which hardly appears in every early state or does not show itself immediately, the high price that the archipelago paid for such changes, and several others.

The Strengthening of Supreme Power

Since the degree of centralization in pre-contact Hawaii was very high, the process of Hawaiian transformation into an early state nominally went on under the same political regime as before. But by this example one can see that if a state emerges on the basis of complex chiefdoms with strong chieftain authority, the new king's power could be stronger and indisputable. It can be recalled that Kamehameha I – having united all the islands in the early 19th century – liquidated a part of the local aristocracy, transferred power over the islands from local dynasties to his relatives and followers, redistributed the lands of the conquered territory (Tumarkin 1964: 88–90, 1971: 21), and changed the manner of appointment of upper administrators. He also relocated his residence to O'ahu Island, and such an action is typical of many early states (see Grinin 2003: 160). A considerable strengthening of political power was also carried out through the weakening of the priesthood (Davenport 1969: 17; Service 1975: 158), although this harmed the concept of the chief's sacred status (Davenport 1969: 17).

Liholiho, the son of Kamehameha who took the throne name of Kamehameha II, and his entourage launched the so-called Hawaiian cultural revolution (Davenport 1969; Hiroa 1964; Latushko 2006; Service 1975: 156–158; Tokarev and Tolstov 1956: 654; Tumarkin 1971). This dramatic breakthrough began with violation of a number of the most reputable kapu. In particular, Liholiho publicly entered his wives' places and ate with them (to be more precise, he accepted their invitation to dine together). Then Liholiho, following his supporters' advice, issued decrees abolishing the former religion and destroying places of worship. Having an army with firearms, the king rightfully believed that he needed the sacred support of Heaven less than before which he proved by victory in a civil war.

Though the reasons for this cultural revolution are widely discussed (see, e.g., Webb 1965), it is quite obvious that it had a political basis, because the state objectively faced the necessity to eradicate the opposition – which in Hawaii stood not only for the former religion, but also for the former order. According to Service, a new state ruler often tends to consider the old priesthood as an obstacle to strengthening his power and absolutism (Service 1975: 158). Because breaking with the old ideology and using new religions and ideologies are more suitable for these aims, frequently these seem a more appropriate way to carry out such a sociopolitical revolution. Besides, it appears that new rulers usually do not mind freeing themselves from constraining and tiresome sacral duties, if it is possible.

Later the extent of central power in Hawaii – depending on the personalities of kings and regents, as well as foreign influence – could fluctuate, but the very fact of a unified state was no longer in dispute and separatism did not play any significant role.

The Depth and Rate of Transformations of a Society

The difference in the depth and rate of transformations of a society in the analogues and early states can be easily understood if one compares a certain stagnation of the sociopolitical pattern before Kamehameha I with the numerous changes he made during his rule.[16] Among the major ones are the following:

•    A change in the system of appointing high officials and island governors (kuhina), who from that time on were chosen according to the principle of personal loyalty from among people of supreme status (the governors, in turn, were also appointed to the positions with the king's approval).

•    The partial separation of administrative from economic power due to the changed system of landowning (the chiefs' estates were split and situated in different places and on different islands) and appointing administrators. Moreover, the nobility was separated from their ‘nests’ since the highest-level aristocrats sided with the king.

•    The creation of a regular army and navy,[17] police, and domestic espionage system.[18]

•    The introduction of written language into management (coexisting with oral tradition).

•    Changes in the systems of taxation and duty. Now the former included different customs and port duties (and income from the monopoly on foreign trade), and the latter became not only more severe – especially in respect to sandalwood harvesting – but partially transformed into monetary form. In addition, new economic arrangements were made, connected with foreign trade (building storehouses, etc.) and irrigation.

Great changes in the state administration system also took place after Kamehameha I. The short reign of Kamehameha II (1819–1824) was marked by the cultural revolution mentioned above. This created an ideological vacuum that was quickly filled by missionaries,[19] who introduced fundamental changes in the political and cultural ideological fields: an increase of Europeans' direct influence in every sphere of Hawaiian life; the establishment of a written language and educational system accessible to the entire population; changes in legislation, including the institution of written laws; and the Christianization of life. In the 1840–1850s,[20] reformation of the state administration system after Western constitutional patterns (with a particular Hawaiian character) was undertaken; the king's authority was reduced and restricted; state councils were established along with ministries, parliament, and an idiosyncratic election system; the safety of life and property was proclaimed; and naturalized Europeans were granted the right to be elected to office.

The Ways of Changes: Breaking Traditions and Reforming

The attitude toward traditions in early states could vary; in particular, it often depended on to what extent the tradition at that moment suited the authorities' interests (of course, the reformers' psychological peculiarities also played a role). The cultural revolution in Hawaii and the subsequent adoption of Christianity certainly were the most dramatic demonstrations of breaking fundamental traditions. In political life the breach of traditions was also quite obvious and varied, particularly in giving up native ceremonies[21] and in imitating the ceremonies and rituals of foreign palaces, Western dress and housing, and the like (Johnson and Earle 2000: 294); in the introduction of new forms of communication with people and new political formulas (in particular, those incorporated into constitutions); and in attempts to reduce estate inequality. Early states could remain indifferent toward many traditions since they did not affect its functioning. Others, on the contrary, were sometimes dramatically enforced and used by the state to lean on, and less important traditions became significant or even dominant.[22] Quite often this had to do with performing various labor, financial, or military services, which is exactly what took place in the Hawaiian state in the 19th century. Because of the increase in government expenditures, wastefulness of the court and aristocracy, and huge state debts, the commoners' obligations – relatively moderate in the pre-contact period – dramatically increased afterward. It was especially pronounced in compulsory sandalwood logging, which occasionally led to agricultural crises, food deficits, and even famine (Ellis 1963: 79–80; Tumarkin 1971). Reform and modernization, which were promoted by foreign influence, became the main way of changing the existing order. In 1804 Kamehameha's service already numbered 50 Europeans (Lisyansky 1812: 184), and by the middle of the 19th century naturalized foreigners held all the key positions. Many of the fundamental reforms have already been mentioned above, but it is also worth pointing out significant changes in the 1840s that concerned adjustments of state and royal finances, the discharge of state debts, and judicial and land reforms such as the introduction of private ownership and the right of free land disposal (including for foreigners), all of which led to profound changes in social structure and, eventually, to the loss of independence.

Systemic Character, Price for Transformation, and Its Features

Even a brief survey of changes shows that they were of a systemic nature, actually involving within a relatively short period all spheres of life and all aspects of political, economic, religious, and cultural activities. Rapid changes were typical for early states; usually, however, they were not consistent and systematic. The peculiarity of the Hawaiian state (and, to a certain extent, of other Polynesian states) was just such a combination of rapidity and consistency. By all means, this was the result of enormous and ever-increasing foreign influence in the reform process, and of the growing economic
interests in the region among different immigrant groups and countries.

But as a rule one would pay a high price for such rapid changes. In Hawaii it resulted first in depopulation and then in changes in ethnic composition, to the point when by the 1900s the number of foreign immigrants eventually exceeded the number of natives.[23]

It is useful to point out one more peculiarity (in general, uncharacteristic of early states) of the transformation of the Hawaiian polity – to be precise, of its second phase that began after Kamehameha I's death. After the 1819 civil war (which began as a result of the abolition of the former religion), the significance of wars and the army dramatically decreased. And along with that the stimuli for development, a typical factor in the evolution of early states (and which, as a rule, was accompanied by endless wars and directed all their forces to the development of the army and external activity), were reduced.[24]

Final Remarks

So we can conclude that the pre-contact Hawaiian chiefdoms, which can be considered as early state analogues, were prevented from becoming a state by the following circumstances.

The decisive influence of the status obtained by a person within the kinship hierarchy on the possibility to secure a position in the governmental hierarchy. The person's social status was defined by almost a single criterion: that of his genealogical closeness to the senior kinship line (see, e.g., Bellwood 1987: 97–98; Claessen 1996; Sahlins 1972a). Although – as has been mentioned above – in some early states the factor of kinship relation with the ruling clan was of great significance, in Hawaii its importance was exceptional.[25] With the unification of the Hawaiian Islands by Kamehameha I in the early 19th century, and with the elimination or reduction of the importance of the defeated chieftain clans (also by means of the confiscation of their lands), the possibilities increased to incorporate people of humble or insufficient noble birth (including foreigners) into the ruling stratum. Besides, foreigners were allotted estates with corvée labor (see Tumarkin 1964: 88–90, 94; 1971: 21ff.) and later became the leading economic force.

Quite limited possibilities to introduce political innovations due to an excessive importance of tightly interconnected traditions, especially religious and genealogical. Kapus permitted the chiefs to respond quite flexibly to situations and also supported traditional relations. We may agree with Elman Service that the system of Hawaiian chiefdoms was a theocracy held together by an ideology that justified and sanctioned the rule of hereditary aristocracy, buttressed by age-old custom and etiquette (Service 1975: 154). Thus, since the whole order was supported by the ideology of sacrality and superiority of noble clans and lineages, any changes undermined not only the ideology, but the ruling group's position itself.

The isolation of the Hawaiian archipelago, which maintained the established political, social, and ecological balance (on the latter see Seaton 1978). Meanwhile, as has already been mentioned, for the formation of the early state the situation of sudden change of the customary life conditions (the triggers) was necessary. With the Europeans' arrival, such changes appeared.[26]

The impossibility of drastically redistributing power and authority (including that connected with duties) in favor of the center. This was prevented by a number of circumstances connected with the peculiarities of the Hawaiian polities. For instance, if we can trust Sahlins (1972b), the attempts to increase exploitation of the common people encountered their resistance and often ended with rebellions initiated by discontented chiefs and priests. Besides, the isolation and absence of external markets limited the impetus of the aristocracy and chiefs to undertake a redistribution of material resources. In the early 19th century, reinforcement of the king's political and economic power permitted the concentration of more resources in his hands (by an order of magnitude), and moreover those were not derived from natural commodities but from export goods and money.[27]

At the same time, the scale and level of development of large Hawaiian chiefdoms give good reasons to consider them as early state analogues. In particular, the population of the largest Hawaiian chiefdom – situated on the Big Island of the Archipelago itself – numbered 100,000 people (Johnson and Earle 2000: 285), which for example was a hundred times more than the population of the typical simple chiefdoms similar to those in the Trobriand Islands (Johnson and Earle 2000: 267–279).[28] The number of chiefs alone in Hawaii could amount to a thousand, which corresponded to the total population of one of the Trobriand chiefdoms (Johnson and Earle 2000: 291). In other words, in this case one can apparently speak about a sort of primitive caste that can be called the chieftain one. If to the number of chiefs in the Hawaiian Islands one adds other representatives of the elite (priests, warriors, and specialists) and their relatives, the elite population will obviously exceed the total population of some complex chiefdoms on Tahiti, whose population (according to Claessen 2004: 77) numbered 5,000 people.[29]

Following Kirch's estimates, even the smallest district Kahikinui on the island of Maui had a population of between 3,000 and 4,000 people (Kirch 2010: 231). One should also bear in mind that in the process of state formation in the Hawaiian archipelago the total population decreased, and consequently the population of the Hawaiian state even in the 1830s (132,000 people according to some, perhaps underestimated, data; Latushko 2006: 147–148) hardly exceeded the population of one chiefdom on the Big Island. And later the depopulation of the Hawaiian state continued.[30]

So the Hawaiian polities are quite comparable to the early state and even surpass some of them in size, sociocultural complexity, level of social stratification, and centralization of power (concerning the level of the latter in early states see, e.g., Shifferd 1987). All this shows that the complex Hawaiian chiefdoms should be considered as small and medium-sized early state analogues.

Conclusion. The Two Models of State Formation

The variants of early state formation were very diverse (see, e.g., Godiner 1991; Grinin 2004a, 2011a, 2011b; Tymowski 1981, 1987, 2008; see also Lloyd 1981). Thereby a non-state polity can transform into a state:

•    From the pre-state level (e.g., by synoikismos of small communes).

•    From the level of small early state analogues (e.g., the Great Mongolian empire of Genghis Khan[31]).

•    From the level of medium-sized early state analogues (e.g., the Hawaiian Islands).

•    From the level of medium-large early state analogues (e.g., the Scythians in the late 5th – early 4th century B.C.).

Within the framework of multilinear evolutionary theory and the concept of early state analogues, it is most important to point out two fundamental mod-
els of the state formation process: the vertical and the horizontal (see Fig.).

The vertical model is a direct transition of inherently pre-state polities to the early state through expansion or consolidation. This model was typical, for example, for Mesopotamia in the late 4th and 3rd millennia B.C. (Dyakonov 1983: 110), as well as for Greek communities (Gluskina 1983: 36; see also Andreev 1979: 20–21; Frolov 1986: 44) and the state of the Betsileo in Madagascar in the early 17th century (Claessen 2002, 2004; Kottak 1980). This model was less frequent in the emergence of large states, such as the Zulu state in the early 19th century that very rapidly (literally within two or three decades) developed from a conglomerate of chiefdoms into an empire (Büttner 1981: 184; Gluckman 1960, 1987; Ritter 1955; Service 1975: 109).

The horizontal model implied in the initial phase the formation of early state analogues, which in terms of complexity were quite comparable to states and only afterward were transformed into states. Note that at the final stage such a transition often proceeds rather quickly, sometimes in a revolutionary way. This may be connected with the unification of a few analogues into a larger state – for example, through military amalgamation (the process that occurred in the Hawaiian archipelago) – and also could occur through internal transformation of an early state analogue (as was observed among the Scythians).

Thus, complex chiefdoms that can be characterized as early state analogues, while transforming themselves into the early state, accomplished the transition horizontally – which explains the rapidity and even suddenness of the changes that took place. In fact, since in such complex chiefdoms many pre-conditions necessary for the transition to statehood had already existed long before, only a necessary catalyst was required.


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* This article is an output of a research project implemented as part of the Basic Research Program at the HSE University in 2021 with the support of the Russian Science Foundation (Project № 18-18-00254).

[1] The necessity of providing a special definition of the early state consists of the fact that the state's most vivid attributes (the presence of a bureaucratic apparatus, taxation system, and administrative/territorial division) were not manifested in early states (this is the reason why some scholars deny the early states as states proper). For a detailed grounding of the terms ‘state’ and ‘early state’, as well as an analysis of different definitions of the state, see Grinin (2011b: 21–32).

[2] On the difficulties of classifying states that already surpassed the pre-state level but failed to become states, see also Doornbos (1994); Lloyd (1981: 233); Marcus and Feinman (1998: 6); and Schaedel (1995).

[3] Within the multilinear evolution approach, the fact that chiefdoms and early states (not only inchoate but also typical ones) virtually overlap is quite natural, because societies can achieve the same level in different ways. On the contrary, if not for this overlap, evolution can be considered only as a unilinear process – when every state by definition is larger and more complex than any chiefdom that is not observed in reality. Moreover, the transition to statehood can be carried out both vertically (i.e., from the lower level) and horizontally (i.e., from about the same level of complexity).

[4] See, e.g., Bondarenko (2000), Bondarenko and Korotayev (2000a, 2000b); Crumley (1995, 2001, 2005); Girenko (1993); Grinin (2003, 2004a, 2007a); Grinin et al. (2004, 2006); Kradin, Bondarenko, and Barfield (2003); Kradin et al. (2000); Kradin and Lynsha (1995); McIntosh (1999b); Popov (1995a, 1995b, 2000); Schaedel (1995); and Shtyrbul (2006). See the full reference list in Grinin (2011a, 2011b).

[5] Of course, this does not mean an obligatory presence of the settlements' hierarchical structure (on this see, e.g., Wright and Johnson 1975) and administrative hierarchy, since hierarchies of that kind exist only in certain types of complex societies (in particular, see Drennan, Hanks, and Peterson 2011; see also Flannery 1998: 16).

[6] The last two points are spelled out clearly in Claessen and Skalník (1978a, 1978b, 1978c, 1978d) but only in respect to the early states.

[7] E.g., chiefdoms embracing up to a hundred settlements, and which are so large and complex that deserve to be called states, are referred to by Carneiro (1981, 2000: 55–56) and Rountree and Turner (1998).

[8] After a paramount chief's death, the redistribution of chiefs' possessions— alongside with their shift in the hierarchy – usually took place but rarely in a peaceful manner. This is why the succession of a paramount chief usually involved fierce war among competing heirs (Earle 2017; Stingle 1983: 116).

[9] Hawaii was a pre-state society from a historical viewpoint, but not from a state-level one. For details on such a division, see Grinin (2004a: 94, 2011a: 88, 2011b: 245–247).

[10] Such agencies and relations started to form only during Kamehameha I's reign and continued after him. These were, e.g., police, courts, new laws and regulations, educational institutions, and institutions of monetary regulation.

[11] The existence of these institutions probably was one of the reasons that determined the lack of legislation and courts based on this legislation.

[12] In general, in early states the role of foreigners, slaves, and people with diminished rights in the formation of an administrative apparatus was extremely important (see, e.g., Grinin 2010: 43; Shifferd 1987).

[13] Although Seaton (1978: 274) assumes that the stratum of land managers (konohiki) could partially comprise commoners (maka'āinana), other researchers do not corroborate this. E.g., Earle (2017) writes that the land manager (konohiki) was typically a lower-ranked chief and often a former warrior.

[14] But in a time of large-scale hostilities, chiefs could recruit warriors from among the commoners, who could expect to be granted a plot of captured lands in the case of success.

[15] Compare the rates of development, say, of Kievan Rus and its neighbors the Polovtsi (the Cuman), or of the Saxons in Britain and Saxony, or of the Mongolians before the Genghis Khan empire and after it, and this idea will become clear. Claessen and Skalník pointed to the increasing speed of changes in the early state. They emphasized the idea that the evident characteristic of statehood formation is a snowball effect (cumulativeness): once it comes into motion, it grows faster and faster (Claessen and Skalník 1978b: 624–625). Actually, we are dealing here with the positive feedback effect.

[16] I can only list those changes briefly within the scope of this paper.

[17] The army equipped with guns and cannons and billeted on each island numbered several thousand soldiers and the fleet consisted of 60 deck boats, several brigs, and schooners; in addition, forts were built (Tumarkin 1964: 102–103, 1971: 20).

[18] E.g., V. M. Golovin (1965: 223) noted, ‘[T]he espionage system was perfectly developed in Hawaii’.

[19] Especially in the period of the queen regent Kaahumanu during the reign of the under-age Kamehameha III (1824–1832).

[20] This is the late period of Kamehameha III's independent reign (1824–1855) and the initial period of Kamehameha IV's reign (1855–1863).

[21] One could say a rather impressive ceremony. Each paramount chief would move about surrounded by 60 or so attendant warriors and personal specialists, who carried his symbols of office, personal regalia (such as his spittoon and flyswatter), and catered to his every whim (Earle 2017).

[22] E.g., Zulu youths had to study some kind of feats of war in military kraals, where they stayed for quite a long time, and only after that did they obtain the right to get married. The Zulu ruler Chaka, who waged endless wars and maintained a substantial army, strengthened this tradition. For years he prohibited warriors from marrying because they were constantly in military service. He gave this right to certain warriors or whole units only for meritorious service (see Ritter 1955).

[23] According to certain data, the number of immigrants in the Hawaiian Islands in 1850 amounted to less than 3 %. But by 1900, as a result of mass inflow of Chinese and other workers, it included almost three-quarters of the population (Latushko 2006: 185).

[24] Perhaps, such a relatively peaceful existence in the Hawaiian state weakened the power of the Hawaiian aristocracy and led to its replacement by foreign plantation owners. And the reduction of population alleviates demographic pressures and social tensions.

[25] However, in Zhou China the peculiar role of kinship status in the ruler's clans was defined in many respects by the fact that the Zhou were a comparatively small ethnic group that conquered a very large country (however, the same was true for many other cases, e.g., Kievan Rus). Besides, administrative positions were held not only by the ruler's relatives, but also by aristocrats having abilities and services. Many offices were hereditary but this was not the norm. ‘People were appointed to the positions and promoted basing on their personal merits and abilities’ (Creel 2001: 88; see also Vasilyev 1993: 187, etc.). And to my mind, this essentially distinguishes western Zhou as an early state from the Hawaiian chiefdoms as an early state analogue.

[26] On account of the relative isolation of the archipelago and Polynesia, and due to the seagirt territory of the islands, in neither case can I agree with Earle (2017) that Polynesia is a laboratory of how human societies develop (Goldman 1970; Kirch 1984, 1986, 2007; Sahlins 1972a). The conditions under which Polynesian society developed should be regarded as a specific rather than a typical case. Consequently, sociopolitical relations in Polynesia should be viewed through the lens of these societies' uniqueness.

[27] About the important role of foreign trade in early states, see, e.g., Webb (1974: 374).

[28] Some scholars estimate the population of Hawaii before Cook's arrival as being about 120,000, even given still larger figures (see Wright 2006: 6). Of course, these estimates are approximate and can only definitely confirm the substantial population of Hawaii. The divergence of opinions about the population of the Hawaiian Islands is rather considerable (see Kirch 2010).

[29] Claessen even regards them as early states (Claessen 2004: 77).

[30] In particular, measles killed one-fifth of Hawaii's people during the 1850s (Mintz 2007).

[31] Since by the start of his political career, his father's confederation had already split (Fletcher 2004: 235).