International Organizations in Which the United States Participates

By Laurence F. Schmeckebier | Go to book overview

PAN AMERICAN UNION

History. The Pan American Union was the direct out- growth of the First International American Conference held in Washington from October 2, 1889 to April 19, 1890.

The first attempt to develop unity of action among the American republics was taken by Simon Bolivar in 1824 when he called the Congress of Panama which met, without representation of the United States, from June 22 to July 15, 1826.1 For almost three-quarters of a century no further effective action was accomplished, although several proposals were made for international conferences.2 In 1881, James G. Blaine, then Secretary of State, proposed a general conference of American states for the purpose of considering the best method of preventing war.3 Congress failed to support this proposal and the project slumbered until 1884 when the Chairman of the Committee on Foreign Relations of the Senate submitted to the Secretary of State a proposed amendment to the diplomatic and consular appropriation bill providing an appropriation to defray the expenses of such a conference. Frederick T. Frelinghuysen, who was then Secretary of State, made an adverse report on the conference, but suggested that a commission be appointed to confer with the other governments,

____________________
1
For a brief account of this congress and documents relating to it see introduction to James Brown Scott (ed.), The International Conferences of American States, 1889-1928, Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, 1931.
2
For résumé of proposals see International American Conference: Reports of Committees and Discussions Thereon, 1890, Vol. IV, described in detail in Note 6.
3
The International Conferences of American States, 1889-1928, p. 447.

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