The United States and Inter-American Security, 1889

The United States and Inter-American Security, 1889

by J. Lloyd Mecham


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Of the several regional arrangements that function within the United Nations, the most elaborate in organization and function is the Organization of American States. Although the United Nations holds the primary responsibility for preserving international peace, its charter concedes virtual autonomy to regional arrangements in dealing with matters considered appropriate for regional action. This latitude stimulated a trend toward regionalism which eventually posed the important question of how to preserve legitimate regionalism like Pan-Americanism without impairing the essential overall authority of the United Nations.

Following an introductory description of all existing regional arrangements, this comprehensive case study examines every aspect of security cooperation in the Western Hemisphere in the mid-twentieth century: the historical origins and development of the inter-American system; the perfecting of the security structure; and, most important, the functioning of the system under test by controversies among the member nations, and by two world wars, the Korean emergency, and the aggressive threats of international Communism. Particular attention is given to the Cuban situation.

This volume was the first to recognize, boldly and imaginatively, the overwhelming influence wielded in the OAS by the powerful and wealthy United States. This elastic association of one Great Power and twenty small states, based on a mutuality of interests and a common devotion to the principles of civilized international behavior, can be said to have reached full maturity in 1948 with the adoption of the OAS charter, which articulated the goals toward which it had been striving for fifty-eight years: sovereign equality, nonintervention, and consultation for the peaceful solution of disputes and for hemisphere defense. Ironically, just when the Good Neighbor Policy and the rise of Hitler seemed to have cemented inter-American relations, breaks in the solidarity began to appear. World War II produced new forces destined to profoundly alter the bases and objectives of inter-American cooperation. The “be good” policy began to change to a “do good” policy, and in diplomatic discussions, economic measures began to eclipse those concerned with peril to the peace and security of the hemisphere.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780292766303
Publisher: University of Texas Press
Publication date: 06/13/2014
Pages: 532
Product dimensions: 5.90(w) x 8.90(h) x 1.50(d)

About the Author

J. Lloyd Mecham (1893–1992) was Professor of Government at the University of Texas at Austin and one of the leading political scientists concerned with Latin America.

Table of Contents

  • Preface
  • I. Regionalism and Regional Arrangements
    • The meaning of regionalism
    • Regional arrangements: pre-World War II
    • Regionalism under the United Nations
    • Western European Union
    • NATO
    • SEATO
    • The Baghdad Pact and CENTO
    • The Arab League
    • The Warsaw Pact
    • Conclusion
  • II. The “Old” Pan Americanism (1826–1888)
    • Bolívar’s initiative
    • United States reaction
    • Invitations to the Congress of Panama
    • Determining of policy by the United States
    • The Congress of Panama
    • The progress of Pan Hispano-Americanism
    • An appraisement of the “old” Pan Americanism
  • III. The “New” Pan Americanism: I (1889–1913)
    • Blaine’s initiative
    • The Washington Conference
    • The Mexico City Conference
    • The Rio de Janeiro Conference
    • The Central American Conference in Washington
    • The Buenos Aires Conference
    • An appraisement of Pan American development
  • IV. The “New” Pan Americanism: II (1914–1928)
    • The problems of neutrality
    • The problems of belligerency
    • The inter-American system vis-à-vis the League of Nations
    • Central American security
    • The Santiago Conference
    • The Havana Conference
    • The Washington arbitration and conciliation treaties
    • The inter-American peace treaties under test
  • V. The Good Neighbor (1929–1939)
    • Enunciation of the policy of the Good Neighbor
    • The Montevideo Conference
    • The Buenos Aires Peace Conference
    • External dangers
    • The Lima Conference
  • VI. The American Peace Structure on the Eve of World War II
    • The Inter-American Security Structure:
    • Development of the inter-American security system to 1939
    • The economic factor
    • Application of Peace Procedures to Inter-American Disputes (1929–39)
    • Mediation in the Chaco controversy
    • The Leticia controversy
    • The Ecuador-Peru boundary dispute
    • The Guatemala-Honduras boundary dispute
    • The Honduras-Nicaragua boundary dispute
    • Haiti versus the Dominican Republic
    • Technical deficiencies
    • An appraisement
  • VII. Neutral America (1939–1941)
    • The Panama Meeting of foreign ministers
    • The Havana Meeting of foreign ministers
    • Pre-Pearl Harbor politico-military cooperation
    • Pre-Pearl Harbor economic defense
    • United States economic program
    • Conclusion
  • VIII. The War Comes to the Americas (1941–1945)
    • Pearl Harbor and the Rio Meeting
    • Implementing the Rio agreements
    • Defensive military cooperation
    • The Inter-American Defense Board
    • Mutual assistance
    • Offensive military cooperation
    • Defense against subversion
    • The Emergency Advisory Committee for Political Defense
    • The Bolivian problem
    • The Inter-American Juridical Committee
    • Economic defense: multilateral
    • Economic defense: bilateral
    • Conclusion
  • IX. Integrating the Inter-American Security System into the United Nations
    • The problem of Argentina
    • Postwar planning
    • Regionalism and general international organization
    • Postwar economic cooperation
    • Latin-American discontent
    • The Mexico City Conference
    • The San Francisco Conference
    • The small-powers issue
    • How to integrate
    • The Vandenberg formula
    • The meaning of integration
  • X. The Organization of American States (1945–1948)
    • The Rio de Janeiro Conference
    • The Inter-American Treaty of Reciprocal Assistance
    • Tasks assigned to the Juridical Committee
    • The Larreta proposal
    • The problem of a prodemocratic policy
    • Proposed inter-American military cooperation
    • Arms standardization
    • The Bogotá Conference
    • The Charter of the OAS
    • The Pact of Bogotá
    • Economic Agreement of Bogotá
    • Miscellaneous acts
  • XI. Developments in Inter-American Solidarity (1949–1960)
    • The inter-American security system at mid-century
    • Structural and functional developments: political and juridical
    • The Inter-American Juridical Committee and the Council of Jurists
    • Colonies and dependent territories
    • The Inter-American Peace Committee
    • The Inter-American Defense Board
    • United States Military Assistance Agreements
    • The grant of military aid
    • Tensions in the neighborhood
    • Causes of Latin-American hostility toward the United States
    • Conclusion
  • XII. Weakening Solidarity: The Economic Factor (1949–1960)
    • Emergence of the economic factor
    • Economic aspects of the Good Neighbor policy
    • United States reaction to economic pleas
    • The encouragement of private investments
    • Divergent points of view on economic cooperation
    • Technical assistance
    • Old problems and new administration
    • Dr. Milton Eisenhower’s report
    • The Caracas Conference
    • The Rio and Buenos Aires Economic Conferences
    • Consequence of economic impasse
    • Economic meetings and committees
    • The increasing flow of United States funds
    • Concluding observations
  • XIII. Caribbean Turbulence (1949–1960)
    • Caribbean interventionism
    • The Dominican Republic and Cuba, 1948
    • Costa Rica and Nicaragua, 1948
    • The Dominican Republic and Haiti, 1949
    • The situation in the Caribbean, 1949
    • The controversies of 1950
    • Costa Rica and Nicaragua, 1955
    • The peace machinery not utilized
    • Honduras versus Nicaragua, 1957
    • Turmoil returns to the Caribbean, 1959
    • The Santiago Meeting of Foreign Ministers
    • The OAS condemns Trujillo
    • Conclusion
  • XIV. The OAS and International Communism
    • Communism in Latin America
    • The Americas react to the threat
    • Korea and the Washington Meeting
    • Communist threat in Guatemala
    • The Caracas Conference
    • The overthrow of Communism in Guatemala
    • The issue before the UN and the OAS
    • The aftermath in Guatemala
    • Communist activities heightened
    • The Cuban situation
    • Conclusion
  • XV. Conclusion
    • Evolving Pan Americanism
    • United States predominance
    • Inter-American solidarity
    • Threatened solidarity
    • Remedies, tried and proposed
  • Bibliographical Note
  • Index

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