Theodore Hild

Publication Date


Document Type


First Advisor

Parrini, Carl P.

Degree Name

M.A. (Master of Arts)

Legacy Department

Department of History


Pan American Commercial Conference (4th : 1931 : Washington; D.C.); Inter-American conferences; America--Commerce


Following the onset of the depression of the 1930's the Pan American Union called the Fourth Pan American Commercial Conference to deal with the exceptional circumstances and set the hemisphere on the road to recovery. This required lowering tariffs, developing and refining commercial arbitration and consular procedures, improving transportation and communication facilities, and stabilizing currency, the gold standard, and central banks. By the end of the twenties the United States had more or less succeeded in establishing itself at the head of a hemispheric political economy. The depression threatened all this work. The American delegation to the conference thus perceived their duty to insure that any programs coming out of the conference fell within the framework of that system. The Latin Americans, on the other hand, felt no particular obligation to work within that framework. They felt that if that system were blocking recovery, the system must either be revised, ignored, or abandoned. In the end the United States got the Latin Americans to accept their principles, but in practice, the Latin Americans continued their retreat into economic nationalism. Because of the far-reaching effects of the depression, the conference could do little to bolster the international political economy. It was not until the depression ended and World War II drew to a close that the leaders of the major industrial nations could draw up a new outline for that structure.


Includes bibliographical references.


105 pages




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