Buenos Aires Peace Conference

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BUENOS AIRES PEACE CONFERENCE. President Franklin D. Roosevelt's concern over the rise of fascism in Europe prompted him in early 1936 to suggest a meeting of the American republics to discuss the maintenance of peace in the Western Hemisphere. Such a meeting would allow Roosevelt to promote his "Good Neighbor Policy" toward Latin America, which drastically limited U.S. definitions of intervention. Latin American leaders agreed to a conference, and they placed neutrality, arms limitations, and foreign intervention high on the meeting's agenda.

Argentina's Minister of Foreign Affairs and Nobel Peace Prize winner Carlos Saavedra Lamas presided over the Inter-American Conference for the Maintenance of Peace, which met at Buenos Aires from 1 to 23 December 1936. U.S. Secretary of State Cordell Hull led the American delegation. As a show of good faith, the United States gave up some of its intervention rights. The American republics agreed to a policy of nonintervention toward one another, and to collaborate on responses to disagreements. Lamas, however, clashed with Hull when the United States attempted to form a block of nations opposed to European fascism. Unlike the isolationist United States, Argentina had crafted a foreign and economic policytied to Europe. The nations reached no agreement on the American initiative.


Connell-Smith, Gordon. The United States and Latin America: An Historical Analysis of Inter-American Relations. London: Heinemann Educational, 1974.

Schoultz, Lars. Beneath the United States: A History of U.S. Policy Toward Latin America. Cambridge, Mass.: Harvard University Press, 1998.

R. StevenJones

A. CurtisWilgus

See alsoGood Neighbor Policy ; Latin America, Relations with .

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