In 1819, a major event in Hawaiian history occurred shortly after the death of King Kamehameha: the overthrow of the old Kapu system. This event, referred to as the Hawaiian Cultural Revolution by Craighill Handy, marked a drastic shift in the country's social, political and religious systems. Kamehameha had kept the traditional customs of his ancestors, but he had also opened the door to European influences. Gilbert Mathison reported that when he visited the islands around 1822, the work of destruction was so complete that, within a few months, the inhabitants had stopped celebrating sacrifices or religious ceremonies altogether. Reverend Daniel Tyerman, who left the London Missionary Society to visit several stations on the islands of the South Sea, China, India and other places between 1821 and 1829, noted in 1822 that in 1826 the Missionary Herald reported that Frederick Debell Bennett spent time in Hawaii in 1834 and 1835. Bennett noted that since the arrival of missionaries, Queen Kaahumanu had made significant changes to Hawaiian economic development and trade. Queen Kaahumanu was a powerful figure in Hawaiian history.
She was a strong advocate for Christianity and was instrumental in abolishing many of the traditional Kapu laws. She also encouraged foreign trade with other countries and opened up Hawaii to foreign merchants. This allowed for increased economic development and trade opportunities for Hawaiians. Queen Kaahumanu also encouraged agricultural production by introducing new crops such as sugar cane and coffee. Queen Kaahumanu also encouraged education by establishing schools for both boys and girls.
She also established a printing press which allowed for books to be printed in Hawaiian language. This allowed for more widespread access to education and knowledge. Queen Kaahumanu's reforms were essential in transforming Hawaii from an isolated island nation into an important trading partner with other countries. Her reforms enabled increased economic development and trade opportunities for Hawaiians. Her reforms also allowed for increased access to education and knowledge which helped to create a more educated population.