The Panama Canal
For centurys man has used water as way to get from one place to another very quickly. The Panama Canal is no exception. From around the start of the 16th century people have been trying to find a way to cut a canal across the Isthmus of Panama. Many misfortunes and deaths have been sacrificed to obtain this goal. Finally in 1914 the American had completed one of the greatest feats of all time the Panama Canal, cutting a many months journey to nine hours.
The Panama Canal;
The Shorter Trade Route.
Europeans had wanted of Central American canal as early as the 16thy century; President Ulysses S. Grant sent seven expeditions to study the feasibility of digging the cannel. As travel and trade in the Western Hemisphere increased the need for a canal grew increasingly more important. To sail from the Atlantic to the pacific, ships navigated around the Cape Horn. This was a long and very dangerous trip especially around the tip of South America. A New York to San Francisco journey measured more than 13000 miles and took months to complete. The canals construction was badly needed.
History Of Canals
A canal is an artificial waterway built for navigation, crop irrigation, water supply and drainage. Canals are usually connected with natural bodies of water or other canal. Canals have been used for thousands of years. They started out in early civilization in the middle east as a way to bring water to the city and to water their crops. In the 3rd century the Chinese began building canals, the longest of these early canals was more than 1000 miles long. Making it the longest artificial waterway in the world. (Britannica(no date))
Romans built huge canals mainly for military transport. By the twelfth century 85% of all Medieval European travel was by waterway.( Britannica(no date)) The greatest invention in canal construction came along 1373. The Dutch developed the pound lock system. The Lock system uses a series of chambers that can be flooded or drained so the ship can change elevation. This allowed canals to be built where elevation made it impossible. This brings us to the modern era of canal building and one of the greatest engineering feats of all time the Panama Canal.
A French Developer Ferdinand de Lesseps believed that the Panama Canal could make lots of money for investors. The French cut a broad path through the jungle and on January 20, 1882 they commenced digging. They brought with them tons of modern equipment. They had steam shovels and locomotive and dredges. Their work crews were mostly black and Indian labors.
In the first months, the digging proceeded slowly but steadily. Then the rain began and the French faced many dangers. The crew faced miles upon mile of impassable jungle, and very heavy rain. In the jungle they also faced insects, snakes, swamps, small pox, malaria, yellow fever, and flooding of the charges river.
The Charges sakes across the canal route a total...