SAT Subject US History Practice Question 816: Answer and Explanation

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Question: 816

77. The Hay-Bunau-Varilla Treaty of 1903 is significant because it

A. ended the Spanish-American War.
B. paved the way for the Panama Canal project.
C. established commonwealth status for Puerto Rico.
D. added the Mexican Cession to U.S. territory.
E. gave U.S. companies exclusive rights to the Guatemalan banana trade.

Correct Answer: B

Explanation:

In 1902, Colombia rejected the U.S. bid to build a canal through Panama (which was then part of Colombia). The United States, with the collaboration of Phillipe Bunau-Varilla, an official in the French company that had previously attempted to build a canal, then organized a "revolution" in Panama against Colombia. The United States immediately recognized the newly independent nation of Panama. Secretary of State John Hay quickly signed a treaty with Bunau-Varilla (who had become the Panamanian ambassador to the United States), allowing the United States to build the canal. The Treaty of Paris of 1898 ended the Spanish-American War (A). The 1900 Foraker Act established commonwealth status for Puerto Rico (C). The 1848 Treaty of Guadalupe-Hidalgo secured the Mexican Cession for the United States (D). There was no treaty with Guatemala involving banana growing (E).

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