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In the early 1800s, King Kamehameha I of Hawai'i made liberal use of foreigners as advisors and counselors. His favorites included John Young, an English boatswain, Francisco Paula de Marin, a Spanish sailor and horticulturalist, John Eliot d'Castro, an English-Portuguese supercargo, and Alexander Adams, a Scottish sailor. Kamehameha gave them land and responsibilities such as military advice, medical attendance, diplomatic contacts, and liquor distilling.

Hawai'i was a country that was only recently exposed to the outside world, and it is understandable that the king would have sought outside knowledge and advice. We should assume that he had in mind the best interests of himself and his nation. Through these foreigners he might have sought to stave off colonization and to profit from trends in trade. Whether his strategy looked good to his compatriots is another matter.

Has any other sovereign installed so many foreigners in such powerful positions?

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    >We should assume that he had in mind the best interests of himself and his nation. ;; Dubious, discuss. cf: Pro-Soviet central europeans 1945-1968. – Samuel Russell May 2 at 6:45
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The most nearest potential person only within my knowledge is Meiji Emperor.

Though unlike the Hawaii Kingdom, which lasted only 100 years (from 1795 to 1893), and sizes and population is not comparable, the Imperial Japan hired may non native Japanese advisers under the rulership of Emperor Meiji. There is even an list in Wiki.

From agriculture to military issues to arts, there were almost 2,000 - 3,000 who served or advised the government (and to the Emperor). You can find a name of non native persons and what they did from the above wiki list.

So you question

Was Kamehameha I unique in elevating so many foreigners?

would probably be No.

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  • If the OP is looking for more tiny or compact sovereignty, please ignore. – Kentaro May 2 at 11:07

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