12 September 2011

The Forgotten Peace: Mediation at Niagara Falls, 1914

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Australian National Centre for Latin American Studies (ANCLAS) Public Lecture

The Forgotten Peace: Mediation at Niagara Falls, 1914

US – Mexico peace talks during the Mexican Revolution

6:30pm Tuesday 11 October

Haydon-Allen Lecture Theatre (the Tank), ANU

Speaker and author of The Forgotten Peace
His Excellency Mr Michael Small,
Canadian High Commissioner to Australia.

In the early hours of April 22, 1914, American President Woodrow Wilson sent in the Marines to seize the port of Veracruz in an attempt to alter the course of the Mexican Revolution. The United States seemed on the brink of war with Mexico and an international uproar ensued. The governments of Argentina, Brazil and Chile offered to mediate a peaceful solution to the crisis. Surprisingly, both the United States and Mexico accepted their offer and all parties agreed to meet at an international peace conference in Niagara Falls, Ontario.

For Canadians, the conference provided an unexpected spectacle on their doorstep, combining high diplomacy and low intrigue around the gardens and cataracts of Canada’s most famous natural attraction. For the diplomats involved, it proved to be an ephemeral high point in the nascent pan-American movement. After it ended, the conference dropped out of historical memory.

This is the first published account of the Niagara Falls Peace Conference to be published in North America since 1914. The author carefully reconstructs what happened at Niagara Falls, examining its historical significance for Canada’s relationship with the Americas. From this almost forgotten event he draws important lessons for the conduct of international relations and the perils of middle-power diplomacy.

About the author
Michael Small is the Canadian High Commissioner to Australia. He has served as a Canadian diplomat in Malaysia, Brazil, Costa Rica, Mexico and Cuba. He is also a fellow of the Weatherhead Center for International Affairs at Harvard University.

Light food and beverages will be provided. Free admission; No RSVP required.

For more information please visit: http://anclas.anu.edu.au

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