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When the missionaries arrived in Hawaii in 1820, the Hawaiian people had already dismantled their heiaus and had rejected their religious beliefs.  From 1837 to 1840, nearly 20,000 Hawaiians finally chose to accept Christianity as their new religion.

 

The missionaries who came to Hawaii in the earliest years were a majority from puritan New England, which explains much about their character.  The missionaries reduced the Hawaiian language to written form, enabling the Hawaiian people to read and write in their own language.  Schools were established throughout the islands as rapidly as possible.  By 1831, only 11 years after the missionaries' arrival, some 52000 pupils had been enrolled.  The missionaries introduced western medicine and undertook the Kingdom's first modern census.  And the missionaries are credited to helping Hawaii become and remain an independent nation at a time when Hawaii was ripe for colonization.