In 1902, Congress decided to put the ocean-to-ocean canal that would revolutionize travel by boat into Panama, which was then controlled by Colombia. The US government offered Colombia $10 million, plus $250,000 a year if they would allow the canal to be built in Panama. Colombia declined, angering Panamanians. Panama fought for their independence, and with help from America, won their freedom. In 1903 President Roosevelt acknowledged Panama as a free country. The French Canal Company was paid $40 million. Construction then began on the canal in 1904, and ended in 1914. The project ended up costing $400 million dollars.