The Panama Canal Essay

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Building The Panama Canal Essay

Since the start of Teddy Roosevelt's presidency, he wanted to imperialize the United States. He believed that building a canal in Latin America would be a good way to imperialize. It would connect the Atlantic and the Pacific Oceans and would be much quicker and more efficient than having to go around the bottom tip of South America in the Tierra del Fuego. Roosevelt was determined to build this canal and would keep pushing for it until he got his way. He faced many obstacles, but his determination enabled him to overcome them. With much help, he would build one of the most important canals in the western hemisphere.
Building a canal to connect the seas together wasn?t originally Roosevelt?s idea. The idea had been around since Spanish colonial times, but the United States took interest in the subject too as they expanded westward. In 1846 a treaty was signed granting the United States transit rights across the Isthmus of Panama, as long as they guaranteed neutrality in Panama and Columbia. In 1848, Great Britain and the United States had great interest in building the Nicaragua Canal, a route other than across the Isthmus of Panama. The Clayton-Buwler Treaty of 1850, in which Great Britain and the United States promised that any canal in Central America would be politically neutral, ended the rivalry between the two countries. Credit of the idea for building a canal can be given to Cornelius Vanderbilt. H realized he could make quite a profit from the canal. The United States found it imperative that they had control over a canal in Latin America, but did not know whether to build one in Nicaragua or Panama. Later, in 1878, a French company under Ferdinand de Lesseps, who was an ambitious man who built the Suez Canal, was granted the rights to build a sea-level canal in Panama. De Lesseps thought building the Panama Canal would be as easy as the Suez Canal, but he would soon find out that this was not the case. They started building in 1881, but faced many problems such as disease, construction problems, and poor financing and soon went bankrupt. In 1901 the rights were then transferred to another French company, under leaders William Nelson Cornwell and Phillipe Bunau-Varilla. Cornwell and Bunau-Varilla were determined to build a canal, and worked very hard to persuade the United States into helping them to build a canal in Panama instead of Nicaragua. At the same time, the Hay-Pauncefote Treaty was signed between Great Britain and the United States, giving the United States the right to build an isthmian canal. The U.S. proposed to Congress to build a canal in Nicaragua, but then an explosion of Volcano Martinique that killed nearly 40,000 people caused the Americans to lose interest in Nicaragua, and gain interest in Panama. To gain the rights to building a canal in Panama though, the United States had to acquire rights from Colombia, but Colombia offered an outrageous price that Americans weren?t willing to pay. With help from the United...

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History of the Panama Canal Essay

925 words - 4 pages History of the Panama CanalIn 1825, a group of American businesspeople announced theformation of a canal building company, with interests in constructinga canal system across the Isthmus. This project was to take place inan area now called Panama. The endeavor was filled with controversy.Though the canal...

The Geography of Panama and the Panama Canal

693 words - 3 pages The Geography of Panama and the Panama Canal The Panama Canal is one of the greatest works of engineering and modern achievements of mankind. An all-water passage through the continental divide of the Panama region had been suggested since early Spanish colonial times of the 16th century. Today a canal that was cut through the Isthmus of Panama is a reality. It's presence has greatly affected Panama in many ways,...

The History of the Panama Canal.

831 words - 3 pages The History of the Panama Canal,By, Aaron AngThe date is August 15, 1914, where one of the world's greatest engineering marvels, was officially opened by the passage of the SS Ancon. But it was a long and tiring journey, taken over the course of more then a century.The United States wanted to build a canal because of the...

The U.s. Interest in the Panama Canal

1124 words - 4 pages Why do you think the United States (U.S.) became involved with Latin America? If you said, it was because we wanted something, you are right. Throughout history we have always wanted something from somebody and as customary, we get it. In the case of Latin America, we were in need of a more logical passage from coast to coast. The perfect solution was, the Panama Canal. We knew what we needed, so we did everything in our power to get it....

How did the Good Neighbor Policy affect relations between the United States and Panama in the context of the Panama Canal?

1579 words - 6 pages The good Neighbor Policy, which reflected a major shift in Latin American Policy for the United States, has been seen in modern years as one of the most pivotal policies in maintaining constructive relationships in the hemisphere. While it affected every country in Central and South America, Panama is an interesting case because it represented intense American financial investment, and consequently influence in the Canal Zone. The aim of my...

Panama Canal Essay

892 words - 4 pages Panama Canal Essay The canal was the best thing that ever happened to Panama. The Panama Canal was started under President Roosevelt and completed by his successor, William Howard Taft. The canal was built across an isthmus, a narrow body of land that connects two larger land areas, which connects North and South America. In some places in Panama the isthmus is only 50 miles across. The French started the canal in the late 1800’s. They had...

Panama Canal

2253 words - 9 pages The Panama Canal is a forty eight mile long man-made canal that connects the Atlantic Ocean to the Pacific Ocean and is considered one of the greatest engineering feats achieved in American history. The acquisition of the Canal Zone in the Panama Isthmus (a narrow stretch of land connecting the Caribbean Sea to the Pacific Ocean) is mired in controversy following

Panama Canal Essay

765 words - 3 pages Panama Canal EssayThe Panama Canal was one of the greatest triumphs and tragedies of the late 19th and early 20th centuries.The tragedy was that of the French, they were just simply too far ahead of technology, at that time, to complete or even get farther than the very beginning of the Panama Canal....

Panama canal and effects on america

1103 words - 4 pages In 1825, a group of American businessmen announced the formation of a new canal building company, with interests in constructing the first canal system across the Isthmus. This project was to take place in an area that we now called Panama. The endeavor was filled with controversy. Though the canal itself was not built until the early 1900's every step toward the building and ownership, was saturated with difficulty. The construction...

Panama Canal

850 words - 3 pages The canal is joining the atlantic and pacific oceans. It runs fromCristobal on lemon bay, a part of the Caribbean sea, to Balboa, on theGulf of Panama. The canal is slightly more than 64 km long, not includingthe dredged approach channels at either end. The minimum depth is 12.5 m,and the minimum width is 91.5 m. The construction of the canal ranks asone of the greatest engineering works of all time.In...

Panama History and Culture

1524 words - 6 pages Panama History and Culture The culture and political structures of Panama as we know it today has evolved from an incredibly diverse and interesting history. Geographically, Panama lies on an isthmus, a strip of land that essentially connects the greater landmasses of North and South America. It is believed that volcanic activity in the late Pliocene era closed the former Central American Seaway that had separated the two...

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