The United States and Inter-American Security, 1889-1960

By J. Lloyd Mecham | Go to book overview

III The "New" Pan Americanism: I (1889-1913)

We believe that hearty cooperation . . . will save all American states from the burdens and evils which have long and cruelly afflicted the older nations of the world.

JAMES G. BLAINE, 1889

T HE SECOND PHASE of the Pan American movement, inaugurated in 1889, was, at least in its earlier years, so different from the original concept of inter-American cooperation as envisaged by Simón Bolívar that the two policies appeared to be completely independent of, and unrelated to, each other. The old Pan American movement was exclusively Spanish American in membership (with meager participation at that), and with objectives mostly political in nature. Attempts had been made on several occasions between 1826 and 1865 to form a closely-integrated confederation of states, leagued for common defense and pledged to applying peaceful procedures for the settlement of their interstate disputes.

In contrast, the new movement sponsored by the United States became all-inclusive in membership, a truly "pan" affair;1all the American states--the United States, Brazil, and Haiti, as well as all the Spanish American states--became participating members. The objectives, too, were significantly different. No longer was security the raison d'être of inter-American cooperation. Not one of the first six conferences was called because of peril to American peace and security. As a matter of fact the conferences met by the calendar, at times neither critical nor urgent but merely convenient for considering measures to promote the common welfare of the Americas. Organiz-

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1
J. B. Lockey ( Pan Americanism: Its Beginnings, 2) attributes the origin of the term "Pan Americanism" to the New YorkEvening Post, which first employed the term on June 27, 1882.

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