Spooner Act

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The First Spooner Act of 1902 (also referred to as the Panama Canal Act, 32 Stat. 481)[1] was written by a United States Senator from Wisconsin, John Coit Spooner, enacted on June 28, 1902, and signed by President Roosevelt the following day. It authorized purchasing the assets of a French syndicate called the Compagnie Nouvelle du Canal de Panama, provided that a treaty could be negotiated with the Republic of Colombia.

The syndicate, headed by Philippe-Jean Bunau-Varilla, sold at a price reduced from $110 million to only $40 million. US lawyer William Nelson Cromwell subsequently received a commission of $800,000 for his lobbying.[2][3][4]

The Spooner Act was followed by the Hay–Bunau-Varilla Treaty of November 18, 1903.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Records of the Panama Canal". US National Archives. Retrieved 12 January 2014. 
  2. ^ "Panama Canal Act [1902]". History Central. Retrieved 12 January 2014. 
  3. ^ "AMERICAN CANAL CONSTRUCTION". Panama Canal Authority. Retrieved 12 January 2014. 
  4. ^ Kinzer, Stephen (2007). "3. From a Whorehouse to a White House". Overthrow: America's Century of Regime Change from Hawaii to Iraq. pp. 56–62. 

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