When thinking of the Panama Canal, most people think
of the magnificent engineering worked performed, the gates
that lift and lower ships to cross from the Atlantic to the
Pacific Ocean and back. However, the history of the canal
is far more complex and had big historic implications to
the United States and other countries, such as Panama,
France or Colombia.
conqueror, discovered a narrow strip of land that separated
the Atlantic and Pacific oceans. This discovery pushed
Charles I of Spain to initiate a movement to build a
passage through the isthmus that will unite the two oceans.
After surveying the land, it was determined that building
such canal was an impossible task.
During the 19
century the United States started to
grow rapidly. First, the Louisiana purchased from France in
1803, which doubled the size of the country, giving more
than “2 million sq km (800,000 sq mi) of land extending
from the Mississippi River to the Rocky Mountains”
the American-Mexican war in 1846, added “545,783 square
miles, including the present States of California, Nevada,
Bennett, Ira E.
History of the Panama Canal : its construction and
builders. Washington, Historical Publishing Co., 1915. 543p
Avery, Ralph E.
Americas's triumph at Panama : panorama and story of
the construction and operation .
Chicago, L.W. Walter Co., 1913.