Hay-Pauncefote Treaty 1901

Hay-Pauncefote Treaty (1901)


an Anglo-American agreement regarding the construction of a canal between the Atlantic and Pacific Oceans. It was signed by the American secretary of state, J. Hay, and the British ambassador to the USA, J. Pauncefote, on Nov. 18, 1901. The treaty superseded the Clay-ton-Bulwer Treaty of 1850.

The Hay-Pauncefote Treaty, by permitting freedom of interpretation of disputed points, gave the USA a de facto monopoly on construction of the canal. Great Britain relinquished the international guarantees of the canal’s neutrality, provided for earlier. The prohibition against erecting fortifications in the canal zone was also annulled. The treaty, which had been preceded by a protracted diplomatic struggle between the USA and Great Britain, significantly strengthened the USA in Central America.


Diplomatic History of the Panama Canal. Washington, D.C., 1914. Pages 289–94.