According to the Miller Center, the goal of the 1889 Pan American Conference was to improve the relations between the United States and various countries of Latin America. Plans for the conference were first drawn up in 1881 by Secretary of State James Blaine.
Discussions did not proceed smoothly. The U.S. delegation was not in accordance with Blaine's plans, which led to a disconnect between the U.S. and the representatives of Latin America. The U.S. was accused of making the plans unilaterally favorable to their own interests. Instead, a weak system of rules was put into place, allowing the participants to refuse any act perceived to threaten their respective sovereignty.