the world wasn’t ready for his talent or honesty
Working on a book with a professor at Loyola Chicago on Pan Americanism between the United States and Latin America.
January 9, 2014: Tokyo Narita Airport. I flew Japan Airlines to Ho Chi Minh/Saigon.
That middle picture is map of the world with times, which I thought was pretty cool.
Of course they had sushi magnets, and I want one so bad!
My internship is over, and I am sad to see that the semester has passed so quickly. I have learned so many things, both in the realms of my real life (such as the fact that my communication and time-management skills were not as up to par as I thought they were) and in the realm of actual historical practice as well.
Dr. Berger has been wonderful in this experience, as this is my first internship, and I was her first intern. I’m glad I got to be a part of this research, and I can’t wait to see the final product, in which I hope my efforts prove to be of some assistance.
This was a constant learning experience, and I am glad I am experiencing this early on in my academic career so that I am better prepared for further endeavors in history.
And so to all of you I bid farewell and adieu. Hopefully if you’ve followed this blog, you’ve learned a little something about Pan Americanism and what my experience as an intern has been like.
A small news article from 1889 speaks of the intelligence behind the decision to create a Pan American Union, and James G. Blaine, then Secretary of State, who’s forward thinking is applauded. Blaine can “foresee that the destiny of the great republic is not isolated from that of other nations”, and that some form of policy linking North, Central and South America is required to stay strong and sovereign against “untold evils”.
While advocating for the Pan American Union, the article brings up the suggestion that Europe do something similar. This does eventually happen, with the creation of the European Union in the late 1980s and 90s. The similarities are interesting and the fact that the ‘New’ world is advocating the ‘Old’ world to act in a similar manner is somewhat amusing to me, as in later years, America does indeed act as the watchdog and -dare I say- Big Brother regarding the rest of the world.
Chicago Daily Tribune (1872-1922); Oct 22, 1889 Chicago Tribune p.4
Originally founded in 1890, the Director General L.S. Rowe writes of the Pan American Union’s 50th anniversary on April 14, 1940. It was founded at the First International Conference of American States, which Andrew Carnegie was a part of and was also an American delegate. According to Rowe, “as organized in 1890 the Pan American Union was merely a commercial bureau for the compilation of trade statistics and data on the customs laws and regulations of the American Republics” (113). However, after the success of the International Conference it was decided that the Union should be broadened from merely economic oversights, to also include “the cultural, the juridical, and the social” fields of the Americas, creating the Pan American Union that is now the subject of my research. In between conferences, the Union staid busy by promoting and spreading the ideas of Pan American solidarity and friendship. Though a short announcement, Rowe’s article marks a special date in the Pan-American Union’s history.
L.S. Rowe, “Fiftieth Anniversary of the Pan American Union.”, Bullletin of the American Association of University Professors 26, 1 (1940): 113-114
”Andrew Carnegie” by David Nasaw, provides an interesting look at Carnegie’s life and his involvement with the Pan-American movement, even as early as 1889. Carnegie served as an American delegates for the Pan American conference in October of 1889, a role he apparently enjoyed. Wining and dining the South American representatives seems to have given Carnegie great pleasure both during the conference and afterwards (pp. 378-9).
Even as late as 1910, Carnegie was hoping to establish peace worldwide. He supported the foundation of a ‘League of Peace’, which while a lofty idea, sought to unify the world.
Carnegie also was involved in donating money to the Pan-American movement in between 1889 and 1910. He helped build a Court of Justice for Central America, and also the Pan-American headquarters in D.C.
Its interesting to see how much influence wealth and fame can achieve for one person. Carnegie is heavily involved in politics, and speaks frequently to major US leaders and presidents, oftentimes advising them on what he would do in their place.
Though quite a hefty monolith, Nasaw clearly has done his research on Carnegie’s life and seems to capture the famed millionaire quite well.
Book information: Andrew Carnegie, by David Nasaw. New York: Penguin Press, 2006.
((First, apologies for a late posting—family emergency over the weekend))
Now, onto Pan-American supporters!
Ernst Schwartz, a Director of the Good Neighbor Forum, which dealt with Pan-American issues, wrote an intriguing article in 1939 describing what Pan-Americanism could do.
The spread of peace, freedom, democracy and tolerance were some important parts of his article, an obvious difference from later efforts at Pan-American movements during the Cold War, where hemispheric friendship was replaced with hemispheric security.
These democratic ideals could be spread by several different ways. There were different levels of inter-connectivity that were accessible to a variety of people. For example, learning about a Latin American culture through radio, TV or a community event ( I classify this as entertainment/education) would be more accessible to common Americans. Civil engagement would be less accessible, only because it usually depended upon interaction with Latin Americans, such as founding Pan-American clubs, but also was limited because it was a voluntary club and so those who were uninterested were less likely to join. Finally, the least accessible to the majority of Americans would be political action dealing with Pan- and Latin-American interests. Granted, petitions or comments on policies could be sent to politicians from anyone, but rarely did the common man or woman become heavily involved with the politics of creating a friendly Pan-American movement.
If you’re interested, the article I’ve mentioned is available through JSTOR via this URL: www.jstor.org/stable/20663218.
This time, its to Roosevelt University (RU), to try to find some information on the elusive Pan-American Good Neighbor Forum, founded in part, by the first president of RU, Edward J. Spalding.
Though he was a devout Christian and more or less stated that though he wasn’t racist, he just didn’t particularly care for African-Americans, he did support the idea of equality in higher education, particularly for Black, Jewish, and later on, foreign students.
Spalding hoped that a positive experience here in the US would start a ripple effect of hemispheric friendship, especially with Latin American students. Roosevelt boasted having Culture Studies, which allowed students to begin to understand foreign cultures in an academic way. In spite of contemporary isolationism and xenophobia, the solution to the fear of the stranger was “to teach people how to handle themselves in unfamiliar situations” (Biographical Notes on Edward J. Spalding, p. 15). With these tools and new information at students’ disposal, both staff and students flourished with this promotion of global friendship.
An interesting fact: He served as president/director at New York’s International House, another part of the Pan-American movement. Fun & surprising facts all around.
Though there was little to no information on the Forum, I learned a lot about Spalding, and his commitment to equality and egalitarianism, even when it cost him his position at the Central YMCA college for supporting integration. I could be cliche and say this was a man ahead of his time, but perhaps he was just doing what he deemed the morally correct thing to do.
The North American -emphasis on American- woman is similar in appearance to Columbia, the personification of America prior to Uncle Sam and the Statue of Liberty’s arrival.
From my brief queries online, I can’t find a parallel figure for South America. The brunette on the bottom however, stands in as a symbol of ALL South Americans, despite the fact she’s very fair skinned and dressed in loosely Greco-Roman clothing, allying her to the Western ideas of Democracy that America so strongly supports.
I’ll post some pictures or videos as I find more interesting things to break up the monotony of my text posts.