During Theodore Roosevelt's administration, the country set its sights on building a canal through Central America, because a canal would greatly shorten the sea trip from the Atlantic to the Pacific Ocean. Congress approved a plan for a canal through Panama, at the time a province of Colombia. Roosevelt ordered Secretary of State John Hay to negotiate the purchase of a canal zone across Panama, where the stretch of land separating the two bodies of water was the shortest. The 1850 Clayton-Bulwer Treaty with Britain had forbid the construction by either country of a canal in the Americas without the other’s consent and help. In the 1901 Hay-Pauncefote Treaty, Secretary of State John Hay and British Ambassador Sir Julian Pauncefote agreed on a new treaty that would drop England’s claim on the canal and would recognize U.S. sphere of influence over the Panama Canal Zone provided that the canal itself remain neutral. The U.S. negotiated a deal that would buy a 6-mile-wide strip of land in Panama for $10,000,000, but when the Colombian government recoiled the terms of the treaty, the Roosevelt administration aided a revolt by Panama against Colombian rule beginning on November 3, 1903. Fifteen days later the U.S. guaranteed the independence of the newly-created Republic of Panama. The Hay-Buna-Varilla Treaty gave the U.S. a widened (6x10mi) Panamanian zone for $15,000,000. Construction of the Panama Canal began in 1904 and was finally finished and opened in 1914, at a cost of $400,000,000.