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Hay-Herrán Treaty

HAY-HERRÁN TREATY

HAY-HERRÁN TREATY was signed by Secretary of State John M. Hay and Dr. Tomás Herrán, the Colombian minister, on 22 January 1903. It allowed the French-controlled New Panama Canal Company to sell its option on a canal route through Panama to the United States. In addition, Colombia would give the United States a 100-year lease on a ten-kilometer-wide strip of land across Panama for construction of a canal. The United States agreed to pay Colombia $10 million and an annuity of $250,000 starting nine years after ratification of the treaty. The U.S. Senate approved the treaty in March 1903. In August of that year, however, the Colombian Senate rejected the treaty. The primary arguments against the treaty centered on the question of money and issues of Colombian sovereignty. President Theodore Roosevelt was furious at the Colombian action, and in November 1903 a revolution broke out in Panama that resulted in its independence from Colombia. Shortly thereafter, the United States signed an agreement with Panama giving America the right to construct a canal through that country.

BIBLIOGRAPHY

Lael, Richard L. Arrogant Diplomacy: U.S. Policy Toward Colombia, 19031922. Wilmington, Del.: Scholarly Resources, 1987.

Miner, Dwight C. The Right for the Panama Route: The Story of the Spooner Act and the Hay-Herrán Treaty. New York: Columbia University Press, 1940.

Michael L. Krenn

See also Panama Canal .

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Hay-Herrán Treaty

Hay-Herrán Treaty (hā-ĕrän´), 1903, aborted agreement between the United States and Colombia providing for U.S. control of the prospective Panama Canal and for U.S. acquisition of a canal zone. It was signed by U.S. Secretary of State John Hay and Colombian foreign minister Tomás Herrán on Jan. 22, 1903. The treaty stipulated that the New Panama Canal Company, which held an option on the canal route, might sell its properties to the United States; that Colombia lease a strip of land across the Isthmus of Panama to the United States for construction of a canal; and that the United States pay Colombia $10 million and, after nine years, an annuity of $250,000. Although it did not give the United States complete governmental control over the proposed canal zone, the treaty was ratified by the U.S. Senate. The Colombian congress delayed ratification, hoping to increase the price offered by the United States; finally, it rejected the treaty because of dissatisfaction with the financial terms and fear of "Yankee imperialism" and loss of national sovereignty.

See D. C. Miner, The Fight for the Panama Route (1940).

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