Kamehameha was the first king of Hawaii.

In the 1780s, the island chain of Hawaii was divided into a number of tribal kingdoms. Each island had its king and the largest island, Hawaii, was divided between two cousins.

In 1782 Hawaii was united by one of these cousins whose name was Kamehameha. Eight years later Kamehameha attacked the island of Maui. Helped by two Englishmen, Kamehameha took over the island. The following year, Kamehameha enlisted the help of a European ship and cannon in a sea fight with the warriors of Oahu and Kauai. Again Kamehameha won. His career of conquest reached its climax in a battle on Oahu island in May 1795. In the battle, the warriors of Oahu were pushed steadily back until they were forced over a precipice to be dashed to the rocks below.

By 1809, Kamehameha had united the island chain, either by conquest or negotiation. This astounding career as a warrior and conqueror was followed by an equally successful life as a king and an administrator.