Pan Americanism

Pan Americanism


a political doctrine based on the idea of an alleged historical, economic, and cultural commonality shared by the USA and the other countries of the Americas. The doctrine is contrary to the facts and is constructed on a distorted interpretation of the historical process. It has been used by North American imperialism as a justification for the economic, political, and often outright military expansion of the USA into Latin America.

As early as the beginning of the 19th century, the USA attempted to strengthen its influence in Latin America under the guise of supporting the Latin-American countries in their joint struggle for independence. In 1823 the USA proclaimed the Monroe Doctrine, whose formula of “America for the Americans” was directed against the intervention of reactionary European powers in the affairs of the Americas; subsequently, however, the formula came to be interpreted as “America for the USA.” From the late 19th century, the USA used inter-American conferences (the First Pan American Conference was held in 1889–90) and the Pan American Union to carry out its expansion in Latin America and to drive other capitalist countries, especially Great Britain, from the region. During the era of imperialism, the USA used the argument of a community of interests of the American states to justify numerous interventions in Cuba, Mexico, Haiti, Nicaragua, Colombia, Panama, the Dominican Republic, and other Latin-American countries.

US expansion in Latin America under the cover of Pan Americanism became especially intense during and after World War II (1939–45). Seeking to consolidate its economic, military, and political position in Latin America, the USA took an active part in the creation of the Organization of American States (OAS) in 1948. In 1961 it promoted the Alliance for Progress, a program of “aid” to the countries of Latin America. US military, political, and economic pressure on the Latin-American states was reinforced by ideological penetration. The ideological campaign, particularly after World War II, took the guise of a struggle against “communist interference” in the affairs of the western hemisphere.

Playing the role of the defender of the countries of Latin America against the “communist threat,” the USA helped prepare an invasion of Cuba by counterrevolutionaries in 1961 and succeeded in having Cuba expelled from the OAS in 1962. However, the growth of the anti-imperialist movement in Latin America, along with the general trend toward détente and international cooperation, has increasingly undermined the ideological foundations of Pan Americanism.


Antiasov, M. V. Sovremennyi panamerikanizm: Proiskhozhdenie i sushchnost’ doktrin panamerikanskoi “solidarnosti.” Moscow, 1960.
References in periodicals archive ?
It describes his interests in seeking a literary renewal in South America and its potential financial benefits, his planning for visiting Chile and Argentina, and his advocacy of a cultural, democratic Pan Americanism that would contribute to mutual understanding and positive relations.
Nonetheless, in recent years, fueled by the development of Hemispheric American Studies, there has been significant scholarly interest in Pan Americanism, particularly in its cultural manifestations.
The chapter on Katherine Dunham is equally nuanced, suggesting that she imagined an alternative kind of Pan Americanism, "one that created networks of cooperation and understanding among peoples of the African diaspora" (p.
By focusing on Pan Americanism (which Threlkeld defines as the "sense of unity and common interest" among people of the American hemisphere) and women's internationalism ("a spirit and a practice of cooperation among women from different nations to advance common interests, especially peace"), Threlkeld extends the work of feminist historians, including Ellen Carol DuBois, Katie Oliviero, Aili Mari Tripp, Karen Garner, and Rumi Yasutake, to a new geopolitical area.
In her epilogue, Threlkeld concludes that though the story of feminist Pan Americanism in Mexico is largely an account of failure, it prefigures debates that emerged after World War II.
The concept of Pan-Americanism is complicated through recognition of the differing conceptions of Pan-Americanism that came into play, including US-centered (hegemonic) Pan Americanism, Simon Bolivar's white-privileged Pan-Americanism, or the black Pan Americanism that often (but not always) has characterized US black-Haitian relations.
Polyne adds a twist to the latter: black Pan Americanism characterizes the particular affinities surrounding the relationship between Haitians and those he calls "U.
The larger themes explore how Pan Americanism, thus defined, functioned in relation to nationalist and reformist narratives (both Haitian and African American); the role of imperialism; and the way in which liberals sought to resolve or reconcile exploitation with Washington's democratic avowals.
The nineteenth-century material focuses more on the African American side and less on the contribution of Haitians to what Hannibal Price called "La rehabilitation de la race noire" While most Haitian polemics and criticism have historically addressed specifically nationalist issues, many also embraced a broad vision of both Pan Americanism and Pan Africanism.

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