|Date(s):||August 5, 1914 to June 24, 1916|
|Location(s):||Dist Columbia, District of Columbia|
|Tag(s):||William Jennings Bryan, Nicaragua, Bryan-Chamorro Convention, General Don Emiliano|
|Course:||“Latin America,” Texas Wesleyan University|
On August 5, 1914, American President William Jennings Bryan and Nicaraguan President Senor General Don Emiliano Chamorro met in Washington D.C. to draw up the Bryan-Chamorro Convention. This convention allowed Nicaragua to cede rights to the United States for the construction of a canal through the Lake of Nicaragua. “Whereas a Convention between the United States of America and the Republic of Nicaragua granting to the United States the exclusive proprietary rights for the construction and operation of an interoceanic canal by a Nicaraguan route, the lease of certain islands, and the right to establish a naval base on the Gulf of Fonseca,…” The Senate ratified the treaty on June 24, 1916. The Convention was a strategic movement by the United States to secure access to Nicaraguan waters and islands and to set up a naval base.
The Convention gave the United States two islands in the Caribbean Sea for a term of 99 years and the creation of a naval base for the same term. In exchange the United States paid Nicaragua three million dollars. “The Government of the United States shall, upon the date of the exchange of ratification of this Convention, pay for the benefit of the Republic of Nicaragua the sum of three million dollars United States gold coin,…to be applied by Nicaragua upon its indebtedness or other public purposes for the advancement of the welfare of Nicaragua…” Historian Herbert Herring said that this treaty was mutually beneficial to both the United States and Nicaragua but it inflamed fury against both countries from Costa Rica and El Salvador because the building of the naval base threatened their territories. Also, the United States controlled the disbursement of the funds, causing Nicaraguan resentment.
The Bryan-Chamorro Convention was a strategic movement by the United States to secure access to Nicaraguan waters, islands, and the construction of a naval base. It was more beneficial to the United States in the long run than it was to Nicaragua. The Convention gave the United States use of the islands and naval base for 99 years but in exchange the three million dollars promised to Nicaragua was controlled by the U.S. and it inflamed fury against the U.S. from Nicaragua.