North America 1904.0504
The Spanish-American War, the Banana Wars, the Mexican Revolution, World War I and the Great Depression (4 May 1904)
Historical Map of North America & the Caribbean
The American gains against Spain increased its interest in procuring a Central American canal to link its Atlantic and Pacific possessions. In 1902, the US purchased the remnants of the failed French attempt to build a canal through Panama, then part of war-torn Colombia. When negotiations with Colombia stalled, the US backed a Panamanian rebellion and gained the rights to a canal that way. Work started in 1904 and the Panama Canal was completed ten years later.
Caste War of Yucatán ends
Mexican federal troops retook Balacar from the Cruzob Maya, with Chan Santa Cruz falling at about the same time. These actions officially ended the Caste War of Yucatán, although sporadic Mayan unrest in the region would continue until April 1933.
The United States of America, represented by John Hay, and the United Kingdom, represented by Lord Pauncefote, signed the Hay-Pauncefote Treaty, nullifying the Clayton-Bulwer Treaty of 1850 and giving the United States the right to construct and control a canal across the Central American isthmus to connect the Atlantic and Pacific oceans.
The United States ended its protectorate over Cuba.
Second Venezuela Crisis
Britain, Germany, and Italy blockaded Venezuela over its refusal to pay foreign debts and damages suffered by European citizens in the recent civil war. At first the United States did not intervene, as the Monroe Doctrine only covered seizure of lands in the Americas not blockades. However, as the crisis escalated and Venezuela refused to back down, the US pressured a compromise where Venezuela agreed to commit 30% of its customs duties to settling claims.
The Platt Amendment granted the United States bases at Guantánamo Bay and Bahia Honda.
On 24 January 1903, the United States and the United Kingdom signed the Hay-Herbert Treaty, entrusting the resolution of the boundary dispute between Alaska and Canada to an arbitration by a mixed tribunal of three Americans, two Canadians, and one Briton. On 20 October, this tribunal agreed on a final demarcation line that was a compromise between the American and Canadian claims.
Following the Colombian government's stalling on Panama Canal negotiations with the United States, the strong separatist movement in Panama planned to declare independence from Colombia in November 1903. Forewarned, the Colombian government sent a battalion and the gunboat Bogotá to Panama City, arriving on 3 November. However, the US blocked Colombian actions on the excuse that they threatened the neutrality of the Panama Railway, allowing the Panamanian Revolutionary Junta to declare the separation of the isthmus and the independence of the Republic of Panama later that day.
Philippe-Jean Bunau-Varilla, the French diplomatic representative of Panama, and United States Secretary of State John Hay signed the Hay-Bunau-Varilla Treaty, establishing the Panama Canal Zone. The treaty allowed the US to begin construction of the Panama Canal; in return, they agreed to pay Panama $10 million plus an annual rental payment of $250,000.