EssaysForStudent.com - Free Essays, Term Papers & Book Notes
Search

Panama Canal

By:   •  Essay  •  587 Words  •  December 5, 2009  •  1,034 Views

Page 1 of 3

Essay title: Panama Canal

The history of the Panama Canal goes back to 16th century. After realizing the riches of Peru, Ecuador, and Asia, and counting the time it took the gold to reach the ports of Spain, it was suggested c.1524 to Charles V, that by cutting out a piece of land somewhere in Panama, the trips would be made shorter and the risk of taking the treasures through the isthmus would justify such an enterprise. A survey of the isthmus was ordered and subsequently a working plan for a canal was drawn up in 1529. The wars in Europe and the thirsts for the control of kingdoms in the Mediterranean Sea simply put the project on permanent hold.

In 1534 a Spanish official suggested a canal route close to that of the now present canal. Later, several other plans for a canal were suggested, but no action was taken. The Spanish government subsequently abandoned its interest in the canal.

In the early 19th century the books of the German scientist Alexander von Humboldt revived interest in the project, and in 1819 the Spanish government formally authorized the construction of a canal and the creation of a company to build it. The discovery of gold in California in 1848 and the rush of would-be miners stimulated Americas interest in digging the canal

Various surveys were made between 1850 and 1875 showed that only two routes were practical, the one across Panama and another across Nicaragua. In 1876 an international company was organized; two years later it obtained a concession from the Colombian government to dig a canal across the isthmus. The international company failed, and in 1880 a French company was organized by Ferdinand Marie de Lesseps, the builder of the Suez Canal.

In 1879, de Lesseps proposed a sea level canal through Panama. With the success he had with the construction of the Suez Canal in Egypt just ten years earlier, de Lesseps was confident he would complete the water circle around the world.

Time and mileage would be dramatically reduced when travelling from the Atlantic to the Pacific ocean or vice versa. For example, it would save a total of 18,000 miles on a trip from New York to San Francisco.

Although de Lesseps was not an engineer, he was appointed chairman for the construction of the Panama Canal. Upon taking charge,

Continue for 2 more pages »  •  Join now to read essay Panama Canal and other term papers or research documents
Download as (for upgraded members)
txt
pdf
Citation Generator

(2009, 12). Panama Canal. EssaysForStudent.com. Retrieved 12, 2009, from https://www.essaysforstudent.com/essays/Panama-Canal/20036.html

"Panama Canal" EssaysForStudent.com. 12 2009. 2009. 12 2009 <https://www.essaysforstudent.com/essays/Panama-Canal/20036.html>.

"Panama Canal." EssaysForStudent.com. EssaysForStudent.com, 12 2009. Web. 12 2009. <https://www.essaysforstudent.com/essays/Panama-Canal/20036.html>.

"Panama Canal." EssaysForStudent.com. 12, 2009. Accessed 12, 2009. https://www.essaysforstudent.com/essays/Panama-Canal/20036.html.