Panama Canal Essay

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 history people had interest in a shorter route from the Atlantic toPacific. This began with the explorers of Central America early in the 16thcentury. Hernan Cortez was a spanish conqeror of mexico who suggesteda canal across the Isthmus of Tehuantepec. Other explorers had favoredroutes through Nicaragua and Darien. The 1 st for a canal through thePanama was started by Holy Roman Emperor Charles V, Who in 1523ordered a survey of the isthmus. A working plan for the canal was drawnup as early as 1529, but was shown to the king. In 1534 a spanish officalsuggested a canal route close to that of the present canal. Later more of thecanal plans were suggested but no action was taken upon any of these planssuggested.Later on there is more in the canal. The Spanish govermentabandoned its interest in the canal but in the early 19 th century the booksof the Germam scientist Alexander von Humboldt brang back the interestin the project of the canal, and in 1819the Spanish goverment formallyathorized the construction of a canal and the creation of a company tobuild it. Nothing came of this effort, however, and the revolt of the spanishcolonies soon took control of possible canal sites out of spanish hands .The republics of Central America tried to interest groups in the UnitedStates and Europe in building a canal, and it became a subject of perennialdebate in the congress of the United States. The discovery of gold inCalifornia in 1848 and the rush of would-be miners started the UnitedStates interest in digging the canal. Various surveys made between 1850and 1875 indicated that only two routes were practical, the one acrossPanama and that across Nicargua. In 1876 an international company wasorganized. Two years later it obtained a consession from the Colombiangoverment. Panama was then part of Colombia to dig a canal across theisthmus.The United States involvement was the international company failed,and in 1880 a French company was organized by Ferdinand Marie deLesseps, the builder of the Suez Canal. His company went bankrupt in 1889.United States interest in a Atlantic-Pacific canal however...

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