How Did The Panama Canal Benefit America

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Irv sigle American History 12 October 2015 How the Panama Canal Benefited America Three hundred, seventy-five million dollars, 5,600 lives, forty-eight miles long, 268 million cubic yards of excavated dirt and ten years span of time, after all these things, the Panama Canal was complete. It was far more than just a canal. It was a dream that was turned into a reality. An idea that was shared and dreamed about by many nations. Who could take on the daunting task of building it? The United States thought they had what it took to give it a try, but they had one problem. The Colombians (owners of what is now Panama) did not want to sell their land to the United States. The United States refused to let this obstacle stand in their way. To proceed…show more content…
This trip could take three to six months and would cost one to three hundred dollars. This is about $67,500 in today’s standards (http:// www.measuringworth.com/uscompare/relativevalue.php). It was an extremely difficult trip consisting of vigorous storms, seasickness, not much water, and stale food (http:// www.nhusd.k12.ca.us/Pioneer/pages/classrooms/FourthGrade/4thGradeGold/pages/ Sea.html). Trading by plane was nonexistent at the time and everything was done by boat. Due to the rapidly growing demand for certain products, a much cheaper and faster way to get the products into the markets was needed. This was America’s first obstacle to stay competitive with the rest of the World. The canal cut travel time from New York to San Francisco by 7,872 miles. After the canal was complete, trade with China and other Asian markets flourished. Goods were coming in quicker and cheaper than ever (“Central America: Panama Canal”). The Panama Canal also greatly benefited western cities. Many Americans were interested in the west and what it had to offer. By 1802, California was colonized and the California gold rush of 1849 soon followed. By 1900 and 1910, there was a huge increase in population on the west coast of California by over sixty percent.…show more content…
When America went to war against Spain in the Spanish-American War, American ships in the Pacific had to sail all the way around the tip of South America in order to join the United States’ fleet off the coast of Cuba. The USS Oregon in 1898, which was traveling from the Philippines to reload the Americans to continue fighting the Spanish in Cuba, took sixty-nine days to redeploy. It would have taken only twenty-nine days if there was a Panama Canal at that time. The Panama Canal would have been extremely helpful at times like these. The canal’s location is in a strategic area of the world making oceans to ocean maneuvers more feasible The Panama Canal also showed off America’s power. France had once tried to build a canal though Panama, but their idea was to make a sea level canal. They broke ground on January 1, 1880. However, due to the extreme amount of dirt being carved out to make the sea level canal, storms would wash mud right back down into the canal. The constant work in response to these storms was expensive and time consuming. The French aborted the mission. The United States decided to take on the task. In 1904,
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